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Poor finish, high expectations led to exit

NEW ORLEANS -- Tim Floyd's second chance as an NBA head
coach ended after just one disappointing season.

New Orleans fired Floyd on Friday, days after the Hornets were
knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat.

"We thank Tim for his hard work, but we are in a bottom-line
business," owner George Shinn said at a news conference. "He is a
good person. He's going to live in this community. He loves New
Orleans. This is tough. But I have a bigger passion with bigger
dreams to make this team successful ... and we were not
successful."

Shinn declined to discuss potential replacements. He said no
decision had been made about Floyd's assistant coaches, who include
former Los Angeles Clippers head coach Alvin Gentry.

Floyd did not return a message left on his personal phone.

"We're going to be looking for someone that has succeeded in
the NBA," Shinn said. "It's not just a person that can handle and
manage X's and O's, it's a person that can manage these egos and
the personalities. ... It takes a special individual and we're
committed to finding that individual."

"I thought Tim did a terrific job," Gentry, currently a Hornets assistant, told ESPN Radio on Friday night. "Winning 41 games and then taking Miami seven games into the playoffs. I thought it was a good year. Obviously, they didn't and it was their decision to be made.

"I am interested in being the head coach, but I have not even given it any consideration. I worked for a guy that's been a good friend for the last 27 years. Obviously, I would have liked to see him succeed here, but it hadn't even entered my thought process," Gentry said.

With Terry Stotts fired by the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, five NBA
coaches -- all in the Eastern Conference -- have lost their jobs
since the regular season ended less than a month ago. Boston (Doc
Rivers) and Philadelphia (Jim O'Brien) have hired replacements;
Toronto is still looking for a new coach.

Floyd was hired by New Orleans last summer with the expectation
of guiding the Hornets deep into the playoffs in the team's last
year in the East before switching to the tougher Western
Conference.

But a combination of injuries and chemistry problems that Floyd
struggled to control contributed to a 41-41 regular season and an
opening-round playoff loss.

The Hornets were eliminated in Game 7 Tuesday night; general
manager Bob Bass stepped down Wednesday during a news conference
that Floyd attended.

Floyd's overall NBA record, including playoffs, is 93-235. He
replaced Phil Jackson as the Chicago Bulls' coach in the
post-Michael Jordan era and went 49-190 before resigning in
December 2001.

Floyd, a successful college coach, got another chance in the
pros with the Hornets, replacing Paul Silas. He referred to his
hiring as a dream opportunity with a talented, veteran club in a
city he loved and always planned to call home.

Some of those veterans, however, were unsure about Floyd, who
not only came in with one of the worst records in NBA history but
never played professionally.

Then came injuries before the season -- to All-Star Jamal
Mashburn and top reserve Courtney Alexander. Alexander missed the
entire season, and Mashburn missed all but 19 games during the
regular season, then was left off the playoff roster.

David Wesley also missed a long stretch of the season with a toe
injury, and All-Star guard Baron Davis sprained his ankle late in
the season and played through pain in the playoffs.