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Pistons sever ties with coach Curry

THE Detroit Pistons sacked coach Michael Curry on Tuesday after just one season in charge.

"This was a difficult decision to make," said Joe Dumars, the Pistons president of basketball operations, in a statement on the team's Website.

"I want to thank Michael for his hard work and dedication to the organization. However, at this time, I have decided to make a change."

Under Curry the Pistons finished with a regular-season record of 39-43 and advanced to the playoffs where they were swept from the first round in four games by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The results fell far short of the expectations for a team that had made the conference finals the previous six years.

A former Pistons player, Curry watched the season unravel following an unpopular trade in which popular point guard Chauncey Billups moved to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Allen Iverson.

Boozer, Okur stay

While Billups revived the Nuggets, Iverson flopped in Detroit and ended the season on the injury list.

Meanwhile, Utah Jazz starters Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur have decided not to opt out of their contracts to remain with the team for next season, the Jazz said on Tuesday.

Both players had early termination options and could have tested the NBA's free-agency market, which opened late yesterday.

Boozer appeared in only 37 games last season after suffering numerous injuries, but averaged 16.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a starting forward.

"We are excited that Carlos has decided to remain with the Jazz," Utah general manager Kevin O'Connor said in a statement on the team's Website.

"We are hopeful he can continue to play at an All-Star level and will have an injury-free season."

An NBA All-Star in 2007 and 2008, Boozer also played on the gold-medal winning United States basketball team at the Beijing Olympics.

Okur played in 72 games for Utah and averaged 17.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

"He has clearly been an integral part of our success since his arrival and we are hopeful that he will continue to perform at such a high level in the future," O'Connor said of Okur.


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