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Maurice Cheeks’ most awesome moment

Natalie Gilbert, then 13 years old, began to shake. She hid her face with microphone. She looked around for help, and then covered her face again.

Enter Maurice Cheeks to save the day.

In 2003, Gilbert sung the national anthem before a Trail Blazers playoff game, and early into the song, she forgot the lyrics. That’s embarrassing for anyone, but a 13-year-old is especially ill-prepared to handle such a public mistake.

Famously, Cheeks walked up, put his arm around her and sang the rest of the anthem with her. It’s one of the, if not the, coolest things an NBA coach has ever done.

Cheeks deservedly received national praise for his chivalry, and the moment has become the the defining example of his classiness.


  • Jun 11, 20134:45 pm
    by sebastian


    Mo’  is no Daddy Rich, but he had to learn a thing or three from the Great Chuck Daly while playing for Daly in New Jersey.
    The next moves will involve the comprising of Cheeks’ staff. I would love to see Rick Mahorn (former Bad Boy, player under Chuck Daly, and teammate of Mo’ Cheeks, while in New Jersey); perhaps; maybe Aaron McKee (former Pistons, player under Mo’ while at Philly, former member of Doug Collins’ Philly staff; and maybe Lindsey Hunter).
    Then, it is preparation for the draft. My choice for #8: Kantavious Caldwell-Pope.

  • Jun 11, 20136:48 pm
    by Edgar


    Dude, Dan. Why are you being so negative?

  • Jun 12, 201312:09 am
    by rick77


    Cause he assumes some “big name” retread coach is going turn Detroit around. From where I sit no Gm in the league will ever give Dumars a fair deal after how he swindled people over when he constructed the title team. It’s the nature f the beast and as long as he is at the helm we have a chance.

    • Jun 12, 20137:01 am
      by tarsier


      A) So you believe that GMs are more wary of dealing with Dumars than with all the other GMs who have constructed championship teams? They had some deals work out pretty well for them too.

      B) Assuming you believe that, you think it is an argument to keep Dumars around? Even if the man really is such a genius, if he hurts the Pistons’ trade leverage that much, he’s not worth it.

    • Jun 12, 20137:55 am
      by Jeremy


      What “swindling” are you referring to? Billups was signed as a free agent and Tay was drafted so they aren’t in the discussion. The Rip deal was essentially for Stackhouse and while Stackhouse may have dropped off in his production, he still had a very good career after the deal. The deal that brought Ben to Detroit was really just Joe D’s last ditch effort to get something out of Grant Hill because the dude was gone no matter what. No one could have expected that Ben was going to become the face of the franchise and if they made that bet, I want some lotto numbers from them. Chucky Atkins’ greatest achievement with Detroit was being included in the trade that got Sheed to town and that gets us to the Sheed trade…Joe D traded a bunch of role players and 2 (yes 2) first round picks to get Sheed to town. Who did those draft picks become? ATL took Josh Smith at 17 and Boston took Tony Allen at 26.
      While watching the team win the championship in 04 was one of the greatest moments of my life, I kind of wouldn’t have minded having Josh Smith and Tony Allen at points over the past 9 or so years. Imagine the defensive prowess that a line up of Billups, Allen, Tay, Smith, and Ben would have had. Bruce Bowen recently said the 05 Pistons was the greatest defensive team that he ever played against – potentially could have been better.

  • Jun 12, 20133:11 am
    by david junker


    Mo Cheeks, class of a person. He’s going to have a real challenge transferring it to the win column. But Detroit has lots of cap space. Maybe Mo and Motown can turn things around.

    from Japan 

  • Jun 12, 20137:47 am
    by patrick the troll


    A feel good story on Pistons Powered?… I like it!

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