Pistons Hire Cheeks As Head Coach

detroitpistsonsThe Detroit Pistons, who a few weeks ago brought Phil Jackson in as an adviser to help find a coach for the team, have finally made their choice: Maurice Cheeks. Many assumed that with Jackson as an adviser, Brian Shaw would end up with the job, but the current Pacers’ assistant coach is also being considered for several other positions and surprisingly never even had an interview with the Pistons.

Maurice Cheeks as point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Maurice Cheeks as point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Cheeks does not perhaps have the best resume of any of the available coaches (his record is just under .500 at 248-286), but he has proved a competent coach and in his two previous position took over teams in flux. The Portland Trailblazers, while Cheeks was coach, were a good team, but competed in a Western Conference that featured two dynasties in the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs, it was hard to have deep playoff runs. The Philadelphia 76ers were desperate that the time Cheeks took over, trading for an injured Chris Webber and eventually waiving him. During his playing days, Cheeks was a four-time All-Star and made four appearances on the All-Defensive first team and won an NBA championship alongside Julius Erving and Moses Malone as the starting point guard of the 76ers.

Former starting center for the two-time-NBA-Champion Detroit Pistons has been passed over again as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons.

Former starting center for the two-time-NBA-Champion Detroit Pistons has been passed over again as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons have not brought in the highest profile coach, so one can assume they don’t expect to yet contend for a title but are hoping to at least make a move into the playoffs, something which coach Lawrence Frank failed to do this season (though Frank did secure the Pistons a first-round draft pick this year; had the Pistons done any better, their protected pick would have gone to the Charlotte Bobcats). Their hope may be the Cheeks, like Doc Rivers, can blossom into one of the best coaches in the league. Nate McMillan, Lindsey Hunter, Larry Drew and Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer were all top candidate for the position. Bill Laimbeer, who has aspired to the Pistons’ head coaching job was apparently not considered for the position, though he has had head-coaching experience in the WNBA where he won 3 titles in 6 season.

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