Clippers, wasting no time, fire interim head coach Hughes

Posted: April 16, 2010

The Los Angeles Clippers wasted no time making their first offseason change, firing interim head coach Kim Hughes yesterday in the team's third major shakeup in 2 1/2 months.

The team said on its Web site that Hughes had been dismissed and the search for a new coach was already under way, although there were no leading candidates.

Hughes took over as interim coach for Mike Dunleavy on Feb. 4 after seven seasons as an assistant and went 8-25 the rest of the way. The Clippers ended another losing season Wednesday with a 107-91 victory over the playoff-bound Lakers.

Hughes said he was grateful that the team let him go now, rather than at the end of June when his contract expired, so he could begin searching for a new job.

"I wish I could have worked with the guys next year," Hughes told the Los Angeles Times. He added that the experience "made me a better coach."

The Clippers finished with a 29-53 record, missing the playoffs for the 15th time in 17 years.

Dunleavy stepped down as coach to focus exclusively on his general-manager duties in early February, then he and the team severed ties completely on March 8. Neal Olshey took over as GM.

Noteworthy

* Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy will have surgery on his right knee today and will miss the playoffs, the team announced.

Roy, who averaged 21.5 points, needs the surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He was injured in Portland's victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

* Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins has agreed to a new 3-year contract with the team. Terms were not disclosed.

Hollins led the team to a 40-42 record this season, 16 more wins than last year.

* Joe Dumars, president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons, said John Kuester will be back to coach the team next season. Detroit finished with a 27-55 record in Kuester's first year as an NBA coach. The Pistons missed the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

* Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson has been fined $35,000 by the NBA for criticizing officials earlier this week.

The fine was for comments Jackson made after the Lakers' win against Sacramento on Tuesday night. It marked the second time this month Jackson was fined for criticizing game officials. He was was previously penalized the same amount for comments after a loss to San Antonio on April 4.

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