CHICAGO (AP) -Scott Skiles was fired Monday as coach of the Chicago Bulls, who have one of the worst records in the Eastern Conference.
The underachieving Bulls (9-16) have lost three of their last four and were booed throughout by the home crowd during Saturday night's 116-98 loss to the Houston Rockets.
``This was a difficult decision to make, but one that was necessary at this time,'' Bulls general manager John Paxson said in a release. ``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.
Chicago is in a familiar spot with this season's slow start.
The Bulls dropped their first nine in 2004-05 and were 4-15 before going on a surge that led to 47 wins and their first playoff appearance since the Michael Jordan era. They needed a late surge the next season to make it to the playoffs, winning 12 of their final 14 regular-season games to finish with 41 wins.
And with high expectations following the arrival of Ben Wallace, the Bulls promptly dropped nine of their first 12 last season before turning things around. They wound up with 49 wins and swept Miami to capture a playoff series, then lost in six games to Detroit in the second round.
There were no major acquisitions in the offseason. Instead, the most notable moves were the ones the Bulls did not make - contract extensions for Ben Gordon and Luol Deng and a blockbuster trade for Kobe Bryant.

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