Part-owner Michael Jordan , who has the final say on all basketball decisions, dismissed Vincent less than a year after he gambled by giving him his first NBA head coaching job.
Struggling to find a consistent rotation and clashing with players, the inexperienced Vincent led the Bobcats to a 32-50 record in a season the fourth-year franchise felt confident would end with its first playoff berth.
"The decision to remove Sam as head coach after just one season was difficult, but it was a decision that had to be made because my first obligation is to do what is in the best interest of our team," Jordan said in a statement.
A team spokesman said Vincent planned to wait until today to talk to reporters.
Vincent's ouster means Larry Brown could quickly become a candidate for the job. Brown and Jordan have a history from their ties to North Carolina, and Brown's mother lives in Charlotte.
Brown, who has been out of coaching since he was fired after just one season in New York in 2006, resigned as executive vice president of the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.
"Larry is interested in getting back into coaching in the pros or college," Brown's agent, Joe Glass, said.
PISTONS: Forward Antonio McDyess returned to Detroit on Saturday and had surgery to repair the broken nose he suffered in Game 3 of their playoff series with Philadelphia.
Pistons coach Flip Saunders said McDyess' availability for Sunday's Game 4 would depend on how he felt after surgery. McDyess was injured Friday in the third quarter.