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Old 04-27-2011, 03:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Default Smart Done with GSW

from espn -LINK

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors parted ways with coach Keith Smart Wednesday, the first major fallout in their offseason from a new ownership group that has promised sweeping changes to the perennially underachieving franchise.

Smart spent seven years as an assistant with Golden State before he replaced Don Nelson, who was ousted just before training camp. The Warriors went 36-46 under Smart, a 10-game improvement from the previous season but clearly not enough to appease owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.

They managed to hastily put Smart in place even before the NBA officially approved the sale of the Warriors last year. Smart was given only a one-year contract with a team option for next season, and nothing short of a rare playoff appearance would have saved his job.

The new owners have vowed to restore the franchise to past glory with splashy signings and playoff performances. The Warriors have made the postseason just once since 1994; yet fans in the basketball-crazy Bay Area remain some of the most loyal and vocal in a market saturated with sports teams.

Golden State already had decided to retain general manager Larry Riley. The team also hired longtime NBA agent Bob Myers a few weeks ago to be the assistant general manager and Riley's eventual successor.

"It's never easy to make difficult decisions, especially when it involves someone that we have a great deal of respect for like Keith Smart," Lacob said. "After meeting extensively with Larry Riley and Bob Myers, we came to the conclusion that a change was necessary at this particular time. I think Keith did an admirable job this season, and he should be commended for many of the positive things that transpired both on and off the floor.

"The team showed improvement, and their effort was never in question. However, we've elected to pursue a new path, and we wish Keith the very best. He's a quality person, and we thank him for the time he invested with our organization."
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