Struggling Warriors fire Cowens
Sunday, December 16, 2001
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors fired coach Dave Cowens on Saturday after just 105 games with one of the NBA's most downtrodden franchises.
Cowens will be replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Brian Winters, a team spokesman said. Winters coached the Vancouver Grizzlies in their first two seasons.
Golden State (8-15) has lost four straight and eight of nine entering Saturday night's game against Memphis. It has missed the playoffs the last seven seasons -- the longest current streak in the NBA.
Cowens, a Hall of Famer who was promoted from an assistant's job before last season, went 25-80 with the Warriors.
Winters becomes the 20th coach of one of the NBA's original franchises. He is the Warriors' seventh coach since 1995, when Don Nelson left the team after seven seasons and owner Chris Cohan assumed control of the club.
Golden State had the NBA's second-worst record at 17-65 last season, and after a strong start this fall, the team again has sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Division.
After leading the league in man-games lost to injury during Cowens' first season, the Warriors appeared to be turning the corner this year. But Cowens has struggled to find a consistent rotation for his players and has kept $24 million center Marc Jackson on the bench.
Cowens played 10 of his 11 NBA seasons with the Boston Celtics, who have retired his No. 18. He was the league MVP in 1973 and won two championships.