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76ers Fire Guokas, Name Jim Lynam as Coach

February 09, 1988

The Philadelphia 76ers, playing inconsistently in a season marked by injuries and major personnel changes, Monday fired Coach Matt Guokas and replaced him with assistant Jim Lynam.

Lynam will coach the team for the remainder of the season. Owner Harold Katz said Lynam, who coached the Clippers in both San Diego and Los Angeles in 1983-84, will remain coach if the 76ers improve.

"I'm rooting for Jimmy to make it work," Katz said. "I felt the change had to be made at this time. If he can make it work, he'll have the job next year."

Guokas, who signed a two-year contract last May, was hired as the 76ers' coach in June 1985 after Billy Cunningham resigned. In 2 1/2 seasons, he compiled a 119-88 record.

The 76ers have lost 7 of 9 games and at 20-23 trail the first-place Boston Celtics in the Atlantic Division by 11 games. Guokas, 43, was not at Monday's news conference and could not be reached for comment.

"After watching the club for the last two weeks I felt our defensive effort was not there," Katz said. "This is not to put the blame on Matty. Teams were shooting better than 60% against us. I felt the change was in order."

Lynam, who coached the Clippers to a 30-52 record in 1983-84, said his first order of business will be to meet with assistant coach Fred Carter to discuss how to revive the team.

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