The Atlanta Hawks fired head coach Lloyd Pierce on Monday evening.
Despite coming into this season with a ton of hype, Atlanta found itself sitting 11th in the East after 34 games. Beyond that, the team has struggled with a lack of cohesion, has factions that seem to deeply hate playing alongside star Trae Young, and has earned the ire of opposing teams who don’t like the way the Hawks play.
All of those things contributed to the decision to fire Pierce.
That said, there is one person who thinks Atlanta made a huge mistake: San Antonio Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich.
Recently, Popovich issued a stern warning to the Hawks suggesting that they may come to rue the day they got rid of a perfectly good coach too soon.
“We all know it is a volatile environment and that sort of thing, but you don’t want to miss on people like him,” Popovich told Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “It’s like missing on a really good player in the draft or evaluating somebody wrongly. He is the kind of guy you can build a culture around.”
She couldn’t stop throwing up. https://t.co/1LQkLjj2Vz
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 26, 2021
While Popovich is a legend and his opinion should always be taken into account to some degree, it’s hard to agree with his assessment as it pertains to this particular situation.
The Hawks were 63-120 during Pierce’s tenure. Despite having a ton of talent on the roster this year, he has been unable to do anything with it.
Firing Pierce was an understandable move, and Atlanta will likely be better off for it in the long-term.