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Maurice Cheeks: The ultimate retread

Maurice Cheeks – the Pistons’ presumptive next coach – is incredibly likable, a class act, a true gentleman. He was an NBA champion as a player, a four-time All-Star. He has more head-coaching experience than 75 percent of current coaches.

He’s also proven himself as a mediocre coach.

On the surface, this is painfully obvious. He hasn’t had a winning season in his last six years as a coach. He’s never won a playoff series. His last team, the 76ers, was better both the season before his arrival and the rest of the year after his mid-season firing than it was in any season with him.

A deeper examination is even more troubling.

Evaluating coaches based on record alone usually proves foolish. Too much that goes into a record – especially talent of players – that a coach just can’t control, and we’re also often using small samples anyway.

But Cheeks has had a rare opportunity to build his case. He’s completed two jobs, coached a total of eight seasons and has a losing record through those two jobs. Just nine coaches in NBA history have met those conditions – two jobs, eight total seasons, losing record – including Cheeks. Two, Phil Johnson and Lawrence Frank, haven’t gotten a third job – likely for good reason.

The other six who met the conditions – two jobs, eight total seasons, losing record – provide a reasonable model for what the Pistons can expect from Cheeks.

Del Harris led the Houston Rockets to the 1981 NBA FInals, and in his second job with the Milwaukee Bucks, his only losing season came when he resigned with an 8-9 mark in 1992. Harris makes the list mostly because a 14-68 season in his final year with the Rockets torpedoed his record. He got a third shot with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1990s, going 224-125, but never taking the Lakers to the Finals. He was cast aside just in time for Phil Jackson to step in and win three straight titles.

Hubie Brown coached the Atlanta Hawks in the 1970s and New York Knicks in the 1980s, compiling a 341-410 record. A generation later, he came back to coach the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002. Not only did he lead them to the first winning season and first playoff berth in franchise history in his first full season, they won 50 games. But Brown resigned after a 5-7 start the following season due to health reasons, and his final record with Memphis was just 83-85. Brown isn’t the typical losing NBA coach, though, because his two non-counted ABA seasons yielded 58-26 and 48-36 records and a championship.

Bernie Bickerstaff went 261-276 in five seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics (1985-90) and three seasons with the Denver Nuggets (1995-96). He resigned as Denver’s coach early in that third season and then quit as the Nuggets general manager a short time later to become the Washington Bullets’ head coach. Besides making himself the answer to a trivia question – joining Larry Brown and Harry Gallatin in coaching two teams during a single season – Bickerstaff didn’t accomplish much in Washington. In his first season, the Bullets went 22-13 under his watch, but they were swept in the first round of the playoffs. In year two, they became the Wizards, went 42-40 and missed the playoffs. He was fired after Washington started 13-19 in his third season. Bickerstaff got yet another head-coaching jobs with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2004, and in three years with Charlotte, he went 18-64, 26-56 and 33-49 before being fired.

Eddie Jordan went 33-64 with the Sacramento Kings in the mid-1990s and 197-224 with the Wizards in the mid-2000s. Somehow, the 76ers saw fit to hire Jordan in 2009. After one regrettable season and a 27-55 record, they fired him.

Paul Silas went 286-323 while coaching the San Diego Clippers (1980-83) for three seasons and the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets for five (1999-03). He didn’t fare much better as LeBron James’ first coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers (35-47 and 34-30 in two seasons). More recently, he was historically bad with the Bobcats (25-29 and 7-59).

Byron Scott took the Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals when the Eastern Conference was at its weakest, but by the time the Hornets fired him in 2009, his stock had sunk considerably and he had a losing career record. The Cavaliers gave him another chance, but they fired him this offseason after his best record in his three years with Cleveland – 24-58.

Of the six coaches who met the conditions – two jobs, eight total seasons, losing record –  only two, Del Harris and Hubie Brown, had a better record after his first two jobs than in his first two jobs. But Harris coached Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in his third job, so a better record alone isn’t exactly a success. And Brown won an ABA title before accepting his first NBA job, and his improved record didn’t even surpass .500 – though it’s not like Cheeks makes a credible comparison to a championship coach, anyway.

The best counterargument to my numbers is that coaches who meet the conditions typically don’t get quality third jobs, and that unfairly taints their record regardless of their coaching ability. They’re stuck with either a team that has poor management, management that doesn’t know any better than to hire a coach with such an uninspiring track record, or they’re stuck with a bad roster – sometimes both.

Well then.

52 Comments

  • Jun 7, 20136:43 am
    by mshansky

    Reply

    There is not much to add to Dan Feldman’s analysis. I also believe that the coaching “style” pod a new coach has a subtle (or not so subtle) effect on players. A passive approach , like Cheeks takes, may be fine for a veteran team of stars and superstars,but a young, inexperienced team with no identity requires a more active approach. This hire is not a good reflection on Dumars or Gores either. It is also VERY clear that no decent coaches even interviewed with the Pistons seriously and that NO other teams had the slightest interest in him (as stated in the analysis above). Two more years, or more of mediocrity are guaranteed. Thank you,Mike Illitch….owners andmanagement and coaches DO make a difference.
     

  • Jun 7, 20137:10 am
    by far north

    Reply

    I find your use (or abuse) of numbers to strengthen your argument “troubling.” You’ve singled out facts – two jobs, eight total seasons, losing record – from Cheeks’ resume rather than from any objective criteria for defining the category “retread.” Especially misleading is the losing record component; he has a losing record only by two games (284-286)!

    • Jun 7, 20137:26 am
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      How do you define retread “objectively”?

      • Jun 7, 20137:48 am
        by G

        Reply

        This isn’t exactly “objective”, but in my OPINION a retread is a coach who’s basically a warm body that has been a head coach, but was never good enough to win a playoff series or take his team up a level. In the NBA, if you aren’t moving forward you’re moving backward. Cheeks is a coach who just treads water, which is to say his teams haven’t been improved by his coaching.

        As far as his abilities as an assistant are concerned, he might be ok. I have no idea. But giving him credit for Westbrook (whose success has almost nothing to do with coaching) is crazy, and sounds a lot like when people gave L. Frank credit for Boston’s defense a couple years ago. 

        • Jun 7, 20139:55 am
          by Edgar

          Reply

          Totally agree about the Westbrook thing. The poor quality of coaching in OKC was really troubling too. They had basically no offensive philosophy or system, they stubbornly kept playing Perkins despite the fact he was clearly a minus on offense and defense, they had no answers or adjustments for when Westbrook went down (I think Dan pointed this out already), and their defense fell apart when Westbrook got hurt. As lead assistant, you have to put some of this on Cheeks. Maybe he had brilliant solutions but Brooks just wasn’t listening. But, I think it’s more likely he just doesn’t have a creative basketball mind. Like most retreads.

        • Jun 7, 201311:20 am
          by danny

          Reply

          Boston’s defense was coach tibs job so no one was giving credit to Frank.  He became the defensive coach for the celtics but they ran tibs system. 

          • Jun 7, 20132:06 pm
            by G

            When Dumars hired Frank, I remember people saying “well, he’s a good defensive coach because of Boston…” I know Thibs set the defense up, but a lot of people acted like Frank was going to come here and revolutionize the Pistons’ D because of that.

    • Jun 7, 20137:51 am
      by G

      Reply

      @ far north – The second paragraph wasn’t aimed at you but at some comments I read in an early post on this blog. Apparently some people were giving Cheeks credit for “developing” Westbrook – a player who relies on INCREDIBLE athleticism and scoring instincts but doesn’t play like a well-coached player.

  • Jun 7, 20137:51 am
    by Lorenzo

    Reply

    The numbers seem to back up the perception when it comes to Cheeks: Average. However it seems that organizationally there is finally a consensuses on the coaching hire and direction of the team…which you have to perceive as a positive considering the past few years of melancholy and stagnation. Not to mention he gets rave reviews from the OKC populace. Certainty isn’t enough to convince me–I would have much, much, rather preferred McMillan–but his dossier does approach a threshold where I’m willing to give him a shot. Hope he proves me wrong.     

  • Jun 7, 20138:03 am
    by far north

    Reply

    Maybe he won’t be a good coach – who really knows? Doc Rivers had a much worse losing record after eight years (273-312) before leading the Celtics to a championship, though he was only coaching his second team at the time. 
    But why rely on this kind of quantitative analysis (where the variables are preselected to bolster a tendentious opinion)? 

    • Jun 7, 20139:15 am
      by G

      Reply

      Everyone uses the Doc Rivers example as a coach who was mediocre until he figured it out. A couple counter points to that:
      A) Doc did pretty well with Orlando, going over .500 every season until he started the ’03-’04 season 1-10 & was fired
      B) Doc was brought in to handle a Celtics team that was fairly un-talented and in turmoil. He did a bad job as well, but outside of Pierce, he didn’t exactly have great personnel to work with
      C) Doc actually only had 3 losing seasons out of 8 (counting his 1-10 start with the Magic)
      D) Doc owed a bit of his success to the acquisition of Garnett (who was one of the top 10 players in the league at that time), Ray Allen, and Thibodeau’s defense
      E) Doc was only 46 the year he apparently figured it all out

      Cheeks is 57. A coach in his 40′s is still likely to be improving, but at 57 you basically are who you are. Improvements in Cheeks’ coaching is possible, but unlikely. By way of comparison, LB was 61 when he made the NBA Finals with Philly. Popovich is 64 and close to retirement.

      • Jun 7, 20139:46 am
        by acr

        Reply

        Not saying your wrong with your analysis of Doc, but I’m not sure about the age thing.  Lionel Hollins for example.  He had 4 losing seasons as a head coach, then had his first winning season at the age of 57.
        http://www.basketball-reference.com/coaches/hollili01c.html

        There are multiple factors for success as a coach (players, fit, timing, etc.).  Maybe I’m being too optimistic about Cheeks, but at the very least I think that he would be good for developing our young players (including Drummond and Monroe).  Yes, we don’t have anyone nearly as talented as Westbrook, but he did improve his game as a point guard while Cheeks was there (beyond his dominant athleticism).  I’m not saying that he will be a great coach, I’m just saying that he has some positives as well – despite the strong negativity about him being expressed here.

         

        • Jun 7, 20139:57 am
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          Hollins’ first three seasons were as an interim coach. In his first full season, he went 40-42, which was the Grizzlies’ best record in for years. When giving the full-time job, he immediately began to show signs he knew what he was doing.

          “Yes, we don’t have anyone nearly as talented as Westbrook, but he did improve his game as a point guard while Cheeks was there”

          Correlation does not equal causation. I’d need a lot more evidence Cheeks was a major factor in Westbrook’s development before I just accept it because they worked for the same team while it happened.

          • Jun 7, 201310:21 am
            by acr

            Ok, but despite the word “interim”, does that not mean that he was still the head coach?  Did he not have the same responsibilities and input as when he was given the full-time job?  I don’t know enough about the situation, but you seem to be splitting hairs a bit here.  

            At any rate, my larger point was that his record improved as a coach at the age of 57 (after going 18-42 at the age of 46, then a few more losing seasons as the “interim” coach), just as a counterexample to the comment above.  And, please note that his improvement in record after removing the “interim” role directly correlates with the addition of Zach Randolph to the team that season (along with his 20.8ppg and 7.7rpg).  Which is my primary point – there are multiple factors for success as a coach, and good players is a major factor, if not the most important.

            As for the development of Westbrook, I can only go by that Sports Illustrated article and other brief mentions of his work with Cheeks as contributing to his development.  Beyond directly interviewing Westbrook (which I assume you would be able to do much more than I could), that’s all I can base my comment on, obviously. 

          • Jun 7, 20132:12 pm
            by G

            Love the “correlation does not equal causation” quote, it’s one of my favorites.

            Does Westbrook look like a well-coached player to you? Because he doesn’t to me. He looks like an incredibly athletic and talented player, but he’s VERY undisciplined and goes through spells where he makes TERRIBLE decisions. If Cheeks is being brought in to coach Knight into a less-talented version of Westbrook, I’ll be waiting for yet another draft where PG is a need in a couple years.

          • Jun 7, 20137:11 pm
            by acr

            Way to ignore the first part of what I said about your “coaching improvement in their 50s comment”, as well as my response to Feldman about Hollins and Westbrook.  I also didn’t say anything about Knight.

          • Jun 10, 20133:34 am
            by Dan Feldman

            As an interim coach, he took over teams mid-season that had spent the entire year implementing and practicing another coach’s system. Generally, I wouldn’t read much into a coach’s record in that situation.

      • Jun 7, 20133:08 pm
        by Vic

        Reply

        Plus, Doc Rivers had Rondo running PG, who’s pretty much a “coach on the floor,” true pg

        • Jun 7, 20135:16 pm
          by mike

          Reply

          Rondo was not the reason Doc succeed in 08. Rondo was barely a role player on that team.

      • Jun 7, 20135:18 pm
        by mike

        Reply

        Aside from Doc, there’s also the Chuck Daly comparison, who failed as a coach in CLE, until he came to Detroit at age 53 and built a HOF career for himself. So 57 isn’t really too late. 

        Like others said, Hollins is 59 and basically just starting his career. 

    • Jun 7, 20139:52 am
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      But the Celtics didn’t fire Rivers after his eighth yea. The 76ers fired Cheeks after his eighth year, and that reflects poorly on him. That’s why the parameters are set where they are. If a team wants to keep a coach, that’s a factor that bodes well for the coach. The team didn’t want to keep Cheeks.

  • Jun 7, 20138:28 am
    by Zeiram

    Reply

    I have to say however that once Mike Budenholzer got off the market there wasn´t much to be inspired by. A host of proven but mediocre coaches (really I see no functional difference between Cheeks and Mcmillan) vs unproven new names. I know I sound overly gloomy right now but for me it was always a choice between a new mike curry (unproven) or a new Frank (provenly mediocre).
    What I really long for in a new Detroit coach is a young coach from inside the organisation who develops with the team but has a bright basketball mind form the onset. Think Vogel or Spoelstra. However I doubt the stat avers and oldschool regime of JoeD offers such a find.
     
    Really this whole coaching search shows me it is time for a new general manager. 

  • Jun 7, 20139:20 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    this is exactly the type of coach we don’t need. One that can “develop young players” but can’t execute winning decisions. 

    Coaches that can “develop young players” should be assistants to coaches that can execute winning decisions.

    The only way to salvage this decision, if it is made, is to either keep Calderon or draft Trey Burke or Michael Carter Williams.

    True PGs are the only antidote to mediocre coaches… (think Jason Kidd/Lawrence Frank, Chris Paul/Vinny Del Negro) just like Elite coaches are the only way to salvage Combo guard pgs (think Popovich/Tony Parker or Larry Brown/Billups).

    • Jun 7, 20135:21 pm
      by mike

      Reply

      I agree with this. The idea that our main goal should be finding a coach to develop young players is ridiculous. We aren’t a farm team. This team needs to win, and needs a coach that can win. You get assistants to develop young players.

      Fortunately though, Cheeks has had winning teams before. Unforunately, he’s only won 5 playoff games in his career, and never been out of the first round.

  • Jun 7, 20139:41 am
    by XstreamINsanity

    Reply

    “…only two, Del Harris and Hubie Brown, had a better record after his first two jobs than in his first two jobs. But Harris and Cheeks both won championships as head coaches, Harris in the NBA and Brown in the ABA,…”

    If only this wasn’t a typo.  :( 

  • Jun 7, 20139:46 am
    by jacob

    Reply

    It doesn’t matter who are coach is unless we can add some good players. How many coaches have one championships with mediocre players? I’m guessing none.

  • Jun 7, 201310:04 am
    by Jon

    Reply

    this could be a decent hire but only if the goal is to use analytics heavily, the way golden state does. 

    • Jun 7, 20135:22 pm
      by mike

      Reply

      This is basketball, not calculus

  • Jun 7, 201310:43 am
    by mshansky

    Reply

    Apparently, putting more tushes in the seats is not a high priority for this organization.Halftime entertainment and luxury suites tops all…
    This hire will simply postpone any sort of improvement, both on the court and off. The Koolaid drinkers who envision trades that will not happen and free agents who will not come here will have to await a new owner/management/coaching change, imo.

  • Jun 7, 201311:09 am
    by DTroyEveryThang

    Reply

    I just can’t put faith in a coach that came from Scott Brooks coaching staff because Brooks sucks as a coach. As far as the mentoring Westbrook junk, who care’s, that is not the Pistons problem, the Pistons problem is having a good coaching scheme that fit this team. If you look at the way OKC play, posting big men up in the paint is not their strongest suit. I wasn’t one of the people who felt Dumars need to be fire after last season, but now i’m feeling different.

  • Jun 7, 201311:21 am
    by picknroll

    Reply

    For a fan base that is looking for something, anything to try and get excited about, this is a big negative for Gores and JD!  Boy, is Keith Langlois going to have his work cutout for him trying to put a positive spin on this hire!!

  • Jun 7, 201311:26 am
    by Ozzie-Moto

    Reply

    I really feel sorry for the Pistons.  Shack’s comments were spot on:  STOP HIRING RETREADS. This is such a mediocre confort zone move.  This has been my constant complaint with JD. Sure character is important SO IS COMPETENCE and being about to relate to todays players.  NOT JUST who the front office feel comfortable having a beer with.  I really don’t get most of the decisions coming out of this front office 

  • Jun 7, 201311:45 am
    by zeke

    Reply

     
    This is crazy, why Mo Cheeks if they have opportunity to sign Shaw. I don’t understand, Cheeks is coach loser and the best way to see that is his previous jobs. If he signs we will have opportunity to be at top 3 teams in the draft 2014.
    My man is Shaw, and I will say why. I’m looking at Pacers team and what is he done with Hibbert – West combination is beautiful to watch. Pistons have the same, maybe, better prospects in Moose – Dre (they are still very young players). Moose is one of the best passer from the elbow and Dre is beast at boards in offense and defense (still unpolished and raw).
     

    • Jun 7, 20132:17 pm
      by zdh

      Reply

      i doubt shaw would want to work here if he is being considered by the clippers or grizz, or now even the nuggets. even with phil here, i dont know why shaw would want to coach the pistons when teams that are more clearly playoff contenders are looking at him. mo cheeks may not have been the best option, but i think he fits better than mcmillan, who was apparently the only other realistic option.

  • Jun 7, 201312:19 pm
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Initial version of this post said Del Harris won the 1981 title. Fixed to reflect the Rockets only made the Finals.

  • Jun 7, 201312:25 pm
    by Tony J

    Reply

    This may be a bit off topic but I loved the way that coach Pop let Tony Parker conduct the huddle and be the coach for parts of the game last night. That showed tremendous trust and solidarity. Add that all of the players including Tim Duncan and Manu bought into what TP was saying in the huddle. A good team needs to start with good solidarity. Joe Dumars has done one thing right and that is bringing in high character guys. That is already pushing towards trust and solidarity between the players themselves. I personally am against hiring Cheeks but I’m hoping if anything, he brings trust to this team and he gains the respect of the players so that they can go out and play their butts of day in and day night for him, the organization and each other. Too many times have I seen Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight among others walking around with their heads down. Cheeks may not be the X’s and O’s coach we need but hopefully he can get this team to try their 200% hardest for the sake of the team.

    • Jun 7, 201312:28 pm
      by Tony J

      Reply

      BTW it does pain me to give any credit to San Antonio because of what happened in 2005 to my dear Pistons but I give respect and credit to where it is needed and San Antonio definetly should be one of the most respected franchises in the world… Despite that 2005 lose or not

      • Jun 7, 20135:23 pm
        by mike

        Reply

        F the Spurs

        • Jun 7, 20137:40 pm
          by Tony J

          Reply

          Haha I feel the same way but I do give them respect even though I despise them haha

  • Jun 7, 201312:40 pm
    by Mike

    Reply

    seriously, terrible format. It’s hard to read red screen behind black text. Also, the webpage is faulted, can’t read the headlines.

    • Jun 7, 20131:31 pm
      by City of Klompton

      Reply

      Think this is an issue on your end.  I have never had issues.

    • Jun 7, 20132:19 pm
      by zdh

      Reply

      if you have ad block it causes the red screen, at least that was my issue previously.

    • Jun 7, 20134:39 pm
      by Anthony

      Reply

      If you have Adblock on that’s probably it. I had the same problem until I disabled it for this page. Try it out. 

  • Jun 7, 20133:59 pm
    by Moe

    Reply

    We waited a month and a half to find out that mo was gonna be the coach? This guy drew no interest from any other team, Joe d made it seem like he’s gonna hire Jesus. He’s mediocre at best but to give him some credit he didn’t have the best roster in Philly.he seems like a class act and he definitely seems like he can help us contend for the playoffs? Definitely to hit the draft and free agency hard to make this hiring not as bad because if this one fails then Joe d is gone and I hope he is 

  • Jun 7, 20134:29 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    Honestly, the most troubling thing about this hire might be all this talk about hiring him for Brandon Knight. 

    First time I’ve ever heard of a team hiring a coac because of how he fits with the teams 3rd best player.

    This is like the Lakers hiring D’Antoni because he was the best fit for Nash, and completely ignoring which coach was the best fit for Howard.

    We should’ve been looking for the coach who best fit with Drummond, and has a track record developing big men.

    However, Cheeks does have some positives in his resume regarding big men. I remember those early POR teams always had great frontcourt play, and Cheeks actually used his bigs (unlike Frank) and developed some of them. I believe Zach Randolph went from a nobody into a 20-10 big man under Cheeks, if I’m not mistaken.

    So while the Pistons might be stupid enough to hire him just for Knight, he also could surprise with how he handles/develops our bigs.

    I don’t love this hire by any means, but it could be worse I guess. In reality, the Pistons could’ve kept Frank a 3rd yr like most thought they would mid-season last year. While Cheeks may be a mediocre retread, Frank was a complete failure retread. So on the bright side, I guess he’s at least better than having to deal with Frank and his refusal to play Drummond again next year.
     

    • Jun 8, 20137:31 am
      by oats

      Reply

      It’s debatable that Cheeks actually did anything with Randolph but play him. In fact, Cheeks may have been holding Randolph back those first two seasons. It actually looks kind of similar to what Frank just did with Drummond.
       
      Randolph was drafted by Portland under Cheeks, and in his rookie year he played 5.8 Minutes per game, and in only 41 games. He only had 4 games with at least 15 minutes, putting up a 4 and 4, a 9 and 5, an 11 and 7, and a 14 and 9 in 28 minutes to end the season. Not a lot to say on this year due to lack of play time, but he had just enough flashes to suggest he could become a competent player.
       
      In year 2, Randolph got up to 17 minutes a game and averaged 8.4 points and 4.5 rebounds. It’s hard to say anything conclusively about 17 minutes a game, but those numbers are really good for his amount of time on the court. It gave him 18 points per 36 minutes, and 9.5 rebounds per 36 minutes. His career averages are 19.5 points per 36 and 10.6 rebounds per 36, so he wasn’t too far off that pace. Despite the fact that Randolph consistently produced when given minutes, Cheeks actually had his minutes fluctuating wildly. Randolph even put up one monster of a game, a 31 and 20. Naturally the game after that he only played 11 minutes. All in all, Randolph’s year 2 is pretty similar to the year Drummond just had. A lot of production when given play time, a lot of reasons to be hopeful for his future, but frustratingly few minutes actually played. To be fair to Cheeks, Dale Davis was slightly better as a starter than Maxiell, but a 7 and 7 in 30 minutes was not a good reason to keep Randolph chained to the bench.
       
      Year 3 Randolph finally replaced Dale Davis as the starter and Sheed moved over to the 5. Sheed was also traded that year, and Davis took over that job after Sheed was moved while Randolph continued to start at the 4. This was the breakout year for Randolph, putting up 20.1 points and 10.5 rebounds in 38 minutes. That gave him a per 36 average of 19.1 points and 10 rebounds, or only marginally better than his per 36 numbers in year 2. I feel like I should add that Randolph’s per 36 numbers as a rookie were also pretty similar, but considering how few minutes he played that might not be suggestive of anything. Still, it seems reasonably likely that the only thing Cheeks did right was finally play a guy that should have already been playing the year before. Giving him credit for figuring this out a year after it should have been obvious is not really saying much. I’m betting he would start Drummond all year next year, and it would be like congratulating Cheeks for Drummond having a breakout year when all he did was play him more.

  • Jun 8, 20135:43 am
    by Grizz

    Reply

    Dan Feldman .. great analysis … there’s not more to say … Lets hope at least that Cheeks as a former star PG he can get Knight into the groove .. That being said .. I felt far worse each time when Frank, Kuester and Curry were initially hired (and feel justified hating those choices) … So Cheeks is an improvement but ….  You are quite right that a promising assistant coach from an elite team would be the best choice …

  • Jun 8, 20139:27 am
    by Sop

    Reply

    Doesn’t look like the stats show Damon Stoudamire or Andre Miller feeling the same positive impact of Cheeks.  Although you could make the case that Iguoudala had his best statistical seasons while under Cheeks.
     
    I wonder how Iggy would feel about being reunited with Cheeks?

    • Jun 8, 20139:37 am
      by Sop

      Reply

      Not sure I love this quote from Hollinger in Dec. 2008 either: “Cheeks’ teams have a track record of finishing strong after slow starts…”
      The Pistons have started slow in a number of recent seasons and it has hurt their motivation and playoff chances. How about a coach who starts out strong?

  • Jun 8, 20139:28 pm
    by WhereIsBisonDele?

    Reply

    A lot of you guys read too much into headlines…
    Looking deeper, while Fank wasn’t the answer, the team showed some improvement last year.  The stretch  where he missed games due to his wife’s illness seriously hurt any Playoff hopes.  

    The bottom line is that we could hire Phil Jackson to coach this squad and they still might not make the 8th seed.  A retread, though not as sexy as a first time coach, provides some stability and can possibly help develop the younger players for a few years. With the roster we have, you can’t gamble on someone new.  We should be hopeful that he will bring in quality assistants to get us to the next level.  Frank’s staff had a few bright spots but was underwhelming.  

    One other quick note – Mike Curry will be an excellent head coach one day.  He could not have been put in a worse position as a first year head coach (trade Billups, create a malcontent Rip and insert Iverson’s escapades at the casinos).   Give MC a pass on that one.  The guy knows the game and has the ability to teach And leads with passion.  His time under Collins in Philly will do wonders.  

  • Jun 9, 20133:01 pm
    by NoMoMo

    Reply

    This is a bad move by Detroit. I understand that getting a coach to come there may be a challenge, but Cheeks is a poor choice. 
     
    1. His X and O ability is a below average
    2. His “nice guy” personality is a fake. 
    3. He will need a STRONG basketball minded staff, not his crony Bernard Smith
    4. He will want to bring people in that are not as intelligent as him. He then is the smartest in the room
     
    I have no idea how this man has been offered another head coaching job. His “thing” is that he is good with temperamental (i.e Iverson and Sheed), but was he really that effective then. Iverson and Cheeks was a DISASTER. Did he tame Sheed? FACT CHECK:
     
    Cheeks at Portland WALLACE TRADED
    Cheeks at Philly IVERSON TRADED
     
    This man was a great NBA player.
     
    DISASTER as a coach. Stick to being an assistant where you can still be “cool” and have little responsibility. 
     
    NO MO MO!!!!!

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