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Maurice Cheeks shaped by brother’s murder

Phil Jasner of the Philadelphia Daily News in 1991

36-year-old Marvin Cheeks, an older brother of the former Sixers star, was shot to death in Chicago Saturday night, the victim of an apparent robbery.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Marvin Cheeks had been at a bar and was supposed to have been en route to his girlfriend’s home. He was found 12 miles away from his destination, in the Hyde Park neighborhood, having been shot in the head and neck. He was outside his car, an Isuzu Amigo, that had been set on fire. The family told the Tribune that the Isuzu had been stolen twice.

The police apparently became aware of the situation when somebody noticed the burning vehicle and called to report it.

"His truck was burned up beyond recognition," said his father, Moses Cheeks. Moses Cheeks has offered a reward of $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the guilty party or parties.

Maurice Cheeks, contacted last night by the Daily News, did not want to discuss the situation. Earlier, he told the Tribune that "We were very close.

Families that grow up in the projects tend to be very close."

Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune in 1992:

Maurice Cheeks stayed in his room at the team`s downtown hotel all day before the Bulls played the Atlanta Hawks this week in Chicago. That`s not unusual for most NBA players. But it is for Cheeks, a Du Sable High School graduate and Chicago native, when he`s back home.

“I have a difficult time staying (at his family`s home) these days,“

Cheeks said. “Whenever we came to Chicago, I always stayed there. But (now) I go into his room and his things are there, and it`s difficult seeing a lot of those things.“

Difficult for the battle-hardened veteran of 14 NBA seasons because those things are the possessions of Cheeks` late brother, Marvin, a Chicago firefighter who was murdered in a robbery last fall.

Cheeks had just been traded from the Knicks to the Hawks. Marvin Cheeks and his girlfriend had just spent a few days with Cheeks at his Philadelphia home. In fact, it was Marvin who had called to inform his brother of the trade.

“He saw it on TV and called me,“ Cheeks recalled in an even, almost emotionless voice, his eyes usually cast down. “I`d just talked to him, and a day later he was gone. It changed my whole outlook on life.“

Orlando Sentinel in 2003:

A SOUTH Side Chicago man was convicted Monday of abducting an off-duty Chicago firefighter, robbing him and killing him before setting fire to the firefighter’s car on the West Side. Darryl Clemons, 20, of 4734 S. Woodlawn Ave., was convicted by a jury in the courtroom of Cook County Circuit Judge Shelvin Singer in the fatal shooting of Marvin Cheeks, 36, a Navy veteran who had been a firefighter for 11 years. Cheeks was the brother of basketball player Maurice Cheeks, who played last season with the New Jersey Nets. Last month, James Munson, 20, was convicted and found eligible for the death penalty in Cheeks’ murder.

How tragic. I can only imagine what Cheeks went through, and I’m sure his brother’s death affects him to this day.


  • Jun 13, 201310:15 am
    by sebastian


    Dan your reporting of the various encounters, during the life of Maurice Cheeks has helped US fans to learn more about the man, and for this you should be commended.
    I’m more convinced that Mo’ Cheeks may have been the best hire as the 33rd Head Coach of the Detroit Pistons.
    The texture that is Maurice Cheeks will be appreciated and respected by the Pistons roster.
    Great job!

  • Jun 13, 201310:25 am
    by Keith


    I still think Cheeks was a bad hire for the Pistons, but as always I will be rooting for him. Being a good person doesn’t give him extra points as a coach, but if we have a bad coach either way, I’m glad he is such a good person.

  • Jun 13, 201310:39 am
    by DasMark


    And this makes him a better coach how? 

  • Jun 13, 201310:56 am
    by RyanK


    In a couple weeks we’ll have something better to discuss.  The draft is the 27th.  With three picks this year, I’ll be glad when there’s something other to discuss than Cheeks.

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