The Detroit Pistons have found their man. After a six week search in which they brought in Hall of Famer Phil Jackson to help with the coaching search, they hired former Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers head coach Maurice “Mo” Cheeks.
ESPN’s Mark Stein was the first to report the story.
Cheeks was hired after it came down to another former Blazers coach Nate McMillan, former Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew, and Jackson’s lead assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers Brian Shaw.
Cheeks has a 284-286 career record and has lost in the first round of the playoffs in the three seasons he’s made it. However, you have to realize that be coached the infamous “Jail Blazers” in Portland and he had to deal with the trading of Allen Iverson and a young squad in Philadelphia.
Remember, he was coach of that 76ers team that gave the Pistons a run for their money in the 2008 playoffs, taking a 2-1 lead on Detroit.
Cheeks isn’t a glitzy hire, but he’s a good hire. He’s credited for the development of Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook in his last four season as an assistant with the Thunder. He replaces Lawrence Frank who lasted two season in Detroit.
Cheeks has two goals. One is to get this team back to the playoffs. Another is to help develop Brandon Knight. I believe in Cheeks and it will be interesting to see how he does in his first season in MoTown. The Pistons have fired coach at an alarming rate recently, firing Michael Curry after one season, John Kuester after two seasons, and Frank after two. Cheeks will have to prove himself and become a long term option as head coach.
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