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AROUND THE LEAGUE

Bulls fire Skiles after disappointing start

December 25, 2007|From the Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls were sure this was their season to challenge for the Eastern Conference championship. If they do, it'll be with a new coach.

The Bulls fired Scott Skiles on Monday, hoping to shake up a team with one of the worst records in the Eastern Conference.

"I felt like something was going to happen," forward Luol Deng said. "I didn't know whether it was players or coaches. But you could definitely feel there was something. It just didn't seem like we were on the same page."

The underachieving Bulls (9-16) have lost three of their last four games and were booed throughout by the home crowd during Saturday night's 116-98 loss to the Houston Rockets. Their next game is Wednesday at San Antonio.

The Bulls didn't immediately announce a replacement for Skiles, who went 165-172 after replacing Bill Cartwright in November 2003. Bulls General Manager John Paxson said he does not expect to hire a coach until after the season, with assistants Pete Myers or Jim Boylan likely taking over on an interim basis.

Myers will coach the team against the Spurs. "I don't have a long-term solution as of today," Paxson said.

With three consecutive playoff appearances after a long postseason drought, the Bulls' expectations were soaring. Then, they dropped 10 of their first 12 games, and they've been unable to capture the intensity that catapulted them into the second round of the playoffs last season.

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