Add Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle to the growing list of NBA coaches who were shocked that the Atlanta Hawks fired Lloyd Pierce on Monday.
Carlisle expressed his dismay before Monday’s 130-124 victory over the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.
“I know that Black History Month officially ended yesterday, but on the way over here on the bus I heard about the dismissal of Lloyd Pierce in Atlanta,” Carlisle said. “This is a shocking development to all of us in the coaching world.
“The timing seems odd. The team had injuries — a lot of those kinds of things.”
The Hawks are 14-20 overall, 3-4 in their last seven games, and in third place in the Southeast Division. They also own victories over Philadelphia and Brooklyn – the top two teams in the Eastern Conference – plus a win over the Los Angeles Clippers, who are seeded third in the Western Conference.
“It sucks,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said when asked about the firing of Pierce. “He’s done a really good job. He’s a tremendous person. Yeah, this is a hard one.”
Clifford and Carlisle believe it’s even harder considering when NBA players were fighting for racial justice and equality in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd last May, it was Pierce who led the NBA coaches in that fight.
In fact, when the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced a new National Basketball Social…