John MacLeod, who brought the Dallas Mavericks to the Western Conference finals against the Lakers two years ago, was fired as head coach Wednesday for failing to motivate the club.
Assistant coach Richie Adubato was named to coach the Mavericks (5-6 under MacLeod) against the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday night “as well as the next few games,” said Rick Sund, vice president of basketball operations.
“The Mavericks have a multitude of problems,” Sund said. “Certainly John has not caused those problems, but at this particular time in order to get the team turned around we feel a coaching change is necessary.”
The trigger for the firing was a 47-point loss to Seattle at home last Saturday. It was the worst home loss in team history and the Mavericks’ second-worst loss ever.
The team also has been stung by the loss of forward Roy Tarpley, who was indefinitely suspended after his arrest on driving while intoxicated charges. Tarpley had been suspended previously because of drug problems.