Pistons Fire Coach Alvin Gentry
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ Alvin Gentry was fired as coach of the Detroit Pistons today, a little more than two years after he took over for Doug Collins.
Gentry, in his first try as an NBA coach after 10 years as an assistant with four teams, was replaced on an interim basis by assistant George Irvine, Pistons spokesman J. J. Carter said.
The Pistons, led by All-Star Grant Hill, were 28-30 and third in the Central Division.
Irvine’s first game as coach will be Wednesday at home against the Denver Nuggets.
The firing marks the sixth NBA coaching change this season, the most recent being Darrell Walker replacing Gar Heard as coach of the Washington Wizards in late January.
Other teams with new coaches since the season started are Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns and Vancouver Grizzlies.
Detroit finished 29-21 in last year’s lock-out shortened regular season. The Pistons lost in the first round of the playoffs to Atlanta.
The year before, Detroit missed the playoffs and finished 16-21 under Gentry, who took over Feb. 2, 1998 after Doug Collins was fired.
He became the permanent coach following offseason.
In 1995, Gentry finished out the season as Miami’s interim coach after the Heat fired Kevin Loughery.
He guided the Heat to a 15-21 record over the final 36 games of the 1994-95 season, but was not offered the job at the end of the season. He then joined the Pistons as an assistant for the 1995-96 season under Collins.
Irvine came to the Pistons last year from the Indiana Pacers, where he worked 16 seasons, primarily as director of basketball operations. He also served for two years as assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors.