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Chicago Bulls Fire Coach Scott Skiles

CHICAGO (AP) _ Chicago Bulls head coach Scott Skiles was fired Monday, after the team failed to live up to expectations, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson announced.

``This was a difficult decision to make, but one that was necessary at this time,'' Paxson said in a statement. ``Scott helped us in many ways during his time with the Bulls; most importantly, he helped this franchise get back to respectability. I am appreciative of his hard work and the imprint that he left on our team.''

The Bulls didn't immediately announce a replacement for Skiles, who went 165-172 after replacing Bill Cartwright in November 2003.

In Skiles' five seasons with the Bulls, the team made the playoffs three consecutive years, sweeping the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat in the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
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