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Portland columnist slams Maurice Cheeks as lazy, clueless

Dwight Jaynes of CSN Northwest:

Well, I’ve covered the NBA since the days when Jack Ramsay was roaming the Blazer sidelines in paisley pants. And I don’t think since that time I’ve seen a coach as poorly informed, as casual about his duties and as lazy as Cheeks. NBA head coach? He should have been charged with identity theft. This is a guy who… :

  • … sometimes within an hour of game time couldn’t tell you the starting lineup of the team he’d be facing on a given night.
  • … after a game one night famously (I used to play the tape of this on my radio show) needed prompting to understand how standings worked — you know that complicated thing where if two teams have the same number of wins but one team has fewer losses? Yeah, there was a problem with that.
  • … didn’t listen to assistant coaches who knew way more about the game than he did.
  • … spent a large portion of the game yukking it up with fans behind the bench rather than paying attention to the game.
  • … got outcoached on a nightly basis, especially at the defensive end.

53 Comments

  • Jun 12, 20139:13 am
    by tarsier

    Reply

    ouch

  • Jun 12, 20139:17 am
    by Mo Cheeks

    Reply

    Well damn…

  • Jun 12, 20139:30 am
    by Clint in Flint

    Reply

    Dismal Dan at it again.

    • Jun 12, 201310:01 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I’m pretty sure this one is actually courtesy of Dwight Jaynes.

    • Jun 12, 201310:35 am
      by mike

      Reply

      Don’t blame Dan, as he wasn’t the one who made this dumb hire. When a team makes a collosally dumb move like this, and hires a coach with a collosal record of dumb mistakes, then expect that there’s going to be a collosal amount of negative stories to match. Dan isn’t the one who made all these dumb coaching mistakes, he’s just reporting them.

      If you wonder why he’s not digging up any positive stories highlighting some ingenius coaching moves, its because there aren’t any. The only positive of his career has been noted a hundred times already. He helped a girl sing the National Anthem. Yay!

      • Jun 12, 201311:06 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Exactly. SHould we all be singing the praises of the BG and CV signing just because they happened and there’s nothing we can do about it now?

      • Jun 12, 20135:29 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        “If you wonder why he’s not digging up any positive stories highlighting some ingenius coaching moves, its because there aren’t any. The only positive of his career has been noted a hundred times already. He helped a girl sing the National Anthem. Yay!”

        This 

  • Jun 12, 20139:35 am
    by ryan

    Reply

    The condemnation of idiots is as good as the recommendation of wise people.

    • Jun 12, 201310:03 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Is this a statement you actually believe? Because it has to be about the dumbest axiom I’ve ever encountered. Condemnation of idiots is really easy to come by. Recommendation of wise people, not so much.

      • Jun 12, 201310:10 am
        by ryan

        Reply

        All you’ve done is point out that idiots talk run their mouth a lot and the wise don’t you haven’t shown any flaw in the essential point.
         

        • Jun 12, 201310:25 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Ummm, my point is that criticism from an idiot doesn’t mean you’ve done well. It may not prove much one way or another, but it’s still more likely to be a negative indicator than a positive one.

          The recommendation of the wise is a positive indicator.

          That is why recommendations for applicants of certain positions cannot be replaced with getting an idiot to talk about their flaws. 

    • Jun 12, 201311:26 am
      by Clint in Flint

      Reply

      If I check the Ohio newspaper sports section archives  I am sure I can find similar opinions about Chuck Daly. Seems like he worked out ok for the Pistons.

      • Jun 12, 201312:32 pm
        by G

        Reply

        I’m getting tired of the Chuck Daly comps… Daly had less than a full season as HC under his belt when the Pistons hired him. Cheeks has been a HC in parts of 8 years (6 full seasons, 2 partial). There are indications all along the way that he never really had a handle on it, in Portland and in Philly.

      • Jun 12, 20135:30 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        “If I check the Ohio newspaper sports section archives  I am sure I can find similar opinions about Chuck Daly”

        I bet you can’t. 

  • Jun 12, 20139:36 am
    by patrick the troll

    Reply

    “The Pistons have some solid young players as a core group and are in rebuilding mode. There’s a chance this franchise is on the upswing. Maybe Cheeks, in his tenure as an assistant at Oklahoma City, has learned some lessons. We shall see.”

    This is from the same article. It starts off very negative to provide the writers personal opinion then, guess what, it ends in a way that doesn’t make you feel like the guy is a complete jerk. 
       
         

  • Jun 12, 20139:54 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    yeah that confirms my thoughts.
    The Pistons will need a true pg to handle things and make decisions on the floor. 

  • Jun 12, 20139:57 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    key phrase:
    “ But today’s NBA is headed the other direction in a hurry. The teams in this year’s NBA Finals are extremely well coached and so were a lot of teams that had successful playoff runs.”

    the decision making that it takes to win when it counts is super-important nowadays. its not just about “best talent wins” anymore

    • Jun 12, 201310:38 am
      by mike

      Reply

      Its never been about that.

      All the greatest teams through history also had the greatest coach’s of all-time.

      Anyone who thinks its just about the players is sorely mistaken. Its more about the coach than it is the players, and its always been that way. You need great players too, but the coach is the leader, so idk how anyone could ever argue the leader of anything isn’t the most important.

      • Jun 12, 201311:10 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        “All the greatest teams through history also had the greatest coach’s of all-time.”

        I would argue that all the greatest teams through history also had the greatest players of all time.

        The coach matters, but not more than the players. A lot less in fact.

        Put Popovich, Jackson, Auerbach, Riley, or whoever else you wan ton the Bobcats’ bench, and it’ll still suck.

        Let Jordan, Pippen, Rodman, and other solid role players play without a coach, and they will still be formidable. 

        • Jun 12, 201311:24 am
          by Huddy

          Reply

          Put Westbrook and Durant together…Finals.  Take Westbrook away and Brooks doesn’t lead them their again….weird.  Players can obviously make up for less skilled coaches.  When the Lakers went on their streak to make the playoffs at the end of the season it was because Kobe was checking himself in and blocking out his coach.  They are all grown men that know the game..the best players have good basketball minds as well.
           
          How anyone could believe a coach is more important is beyond me.

  • Jun 12, 20139:57 am
    by danny

    Reply

    You know thats one persons opinion and by no means does that make it right.  I watch many Spurs games and pops wont know the starters at times too.  Not saying he will be pops but not all coaches are know every detail. 

  • Jun 12, 20139:59 am
    by Gil

    Reply

    So that’s a lot of opinion being touted as fact.  How did his assistant coaches know more than him, and when he didn’t listen, what was the result?  He got out coached on a nightly basis, but he has won half his games as coach, so that isn’t true at all.  He was a first time coach in Portland, so no doubt he made mistakes, but this writer is clearly just pushing his own angry opinion and not really writing an objective piece.  In my mind, this is all meaningless.  Mike Woodson, whom keeps getting mentioned as Dumars’ pick last time around but got vetoed, just finished his 8th season coaching, and his career win/loss is .465, compared to Cheeks’ eight season record of .498.  I’m not pretending to be all in for Cheeks as head coach, I was personally hoping for Larry Drew.  But all this hating on Cheeks as being the worst guy in the world as a coach, and a terrible choice for the Pistons, is really overblown.  But I’ll say this, if the Pistons, and by that I mean Gores, thinks he’s going to get a top ten coach to come to Detroit with Dumars’ reputation for hiring and firing coaches, he has lost his mind.  The best the Pistons can hope for here is a guy like Cheeks (a .500 coach) coming in here and clicking with the team and doing the best job of his career.  

    • Jun 12, 201310:06 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      That’s certainly not the best they can hope for. How about taking a chance on a guy who isn’t yet a big name .

      • Jun 12, 201310:12 am
        by Gil

        Reply

        Because the best guys, like say, Brian Shaw or Mike Budenholzer, can get better gigs.  So I stand by the argument that it is the best they can hope for.

        • Jun 12, 201310:28 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          And those guys are big names. I’d be happy to give someone like David Joerger a shot.

          There are a lot more people who would love an NBA head coach position than there are NBA teams.

          Better to take a chance on someone with upside than someone who will predictably be a below average but not atrocious coach. 

        • Jun 12, 201310:42 am
          by mike

          Reply

          This lame excuse needs to stop. Nets are hiring Kidd. LA is likely hiring Hollins after his 3rd interview. MEM is reported to be hiring Joerger. So where all these other better gigs that Shaw is going to choose over us?

          We could’ve had Shaw. We chose Cheeks instead.  

    • Jun 12, 201310:10 am
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      “So that’s a lot of opinion being touted as fact.”

      If that was being touted as fact, how did you ever decode it and recognize it as opinion? 

      • Jun 12, 201310:19 am
        by Gil

        Reply

        Well, okay, I guess you’re smarter than I am and I misread the whole thing.  Oh, man, the Pistons are screwed now, they just hired the next Kuester/Frank/Curry all mixed into one!

        C’mon.  The writer clearly was just venting about how much he hates Cheeks as a head coach, despite the fact that Cheeks was painfully average if you look at his career.  If you read the article fully without looking at stats, you would assume Cheeks only won 5 games a year.  When he says “never listened to assistant coaches who knew more than he did” he isn’t trying to be objective but he is trying to sound like what he is saying is true.  

        If you don’t like the hire, fine, that’s all good and you’re entitled to that opinion.  I don’t love the hire.  But all this hating just for the sake of hating is, in my opinion, lame.  The guy will coach here, and if we are to base his future on his past, he will win half his games and not make a difference in the playoffs against more elite coaches. 

        • Jun 12, 201310:44 am
          by mike

          Reply

          Did you ever stop to think maybe all these stories of Cheeks might just be because he’s a bad coach?

          If he were doing great things in the coaching world, ppl would be writing about them instead. But there is nothing great about him, so this is all there is to go on. 

          • Jun 12, 201311:35 am
            by Edgar

            100% true. We’re hearing nothing about his coaching acumen, his innovative playcalling, game management, etc. The positives we’re hearing is that he’s affable, players like him a lot, he’s experienced and that he was a successful player. All these things are great, but I’d rather hear the other stuff.

  • Jun 12, 201310:13 am
    by G

    Reply

    Wow. I thought Cheeks was basically the same as L. Frank, but he may be worse. Let’s wait & see if he learned anything since the last time he was fired…

  • Jun 12, 201310:17 am
    by MG

    Reply

    what good coach wants to coach our pistons? They know they will get fired before it starts. Joe D or whoever is up to this, reallMaltese things bad. We have to settle for some bad coaches and try to find the best in them! 

  • Jun 12, 201310:22 am
    by Gareth Masters

    Reply

    Thing is there are only 30 NBA head coaching positions – there are clearly MORE than 30 credible head coaches out there. Supply is much lower than demand so how can any team really end up with coaches such as Cheeks on the basis that they are being turned down by those that believe they can get a better gig? How can any non-NBA head coach turn down an NBA head coach role?

    • Jun 12, 201310:26 am
      by Gil

      Reply

      Well, because taking a bad job up front in your career as a head coach can kill your ability to have a long term career as a head coach.  If the first job you take is the Pistons, and they have a terrible year and you get fired, even if you were prepared and a good coach, you may not get a second chance.  If you just jump at your first offer, and it is coaching the Bobcats next season, do you think you have a good chance of 1. Winning a title of 2. Getting another chance when you’re fired after a couple 20 win seasons?

      • Jun 12, 201310:29 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        There are a lot of guys who will take that risk because getting another head coach position in the next 5 years is not a guarantee.

        • Jun 12, 201310:33 am
          by Gil

          Reply

          Yeah, but are those “a lot of guys” really going to be good?  Mike Budenholzer didn’t take a job for a lesser team.  Brian Shaw certainly hasn’t yet.  So are we talking about the assistants and others that are projected to be good head coaches, or are we just talking about anyone that wants to coach?  Because they tried it with Curry and Kuester, both of whom were thought to be guys that were warranted to be head coach material, and it didn’t work.  

          • Jun 12, 201311:12 am
            by tarsier

            That’s fine. You sign them to short, cheap deals. If they are obviously unable to do the job, you cut ties and try again. Not optimal, but eventually you’ll probably find a keeper.

            The NBA rewards extreme competence or incompetence. Repeatedly trotting out mediocrity is the worst option. 

      • Jun 12, 201310:31 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Besides, given Detroit’s revolving door, look how good a guy could look if he managed to stick around for a bit longer. Which is highly possible given that Detroit is probably on the rise anyway with a team full of young guys and a bunch of cap room.

        I don’t know if Detroit is a particularly desirable coaching gig right now, but it has all the makings of a great resume builder. 

        • Jun 12, 201310:36 am
          by Gil

          Reply

          It certainly helped Kuester and Curry’s resume.  The national consensus is that Detroit is one of the worst places to be a head coach, mainly because of team management’s reputation.  Look, I love the Pistons and I’m hoping for the best here, but the elite coaches don’t want to come here and the young guys that want to become the next wave aren’t considering Detroit because of the last several years of head coaches.  That’s just how it’s perceived out there, according to all the articles being published.

          • Jun 12, 201311:16 am
            by tarsier

            Did Kuester and Curry have Drummond, Monroe, and whatever FAs the Pistons can get with gobs of cap space?

            Yeah, the job still won’t help a terrible coach. But it is a great opportunity for someone to show his (perhaps I’m being closed-minded but I’m assuming there were no females being considered for the job) competence: they have underachieved for years, but have significant young talent and should have an influx  of somewhat better players for this coming season. People don’t tend to remember those extenuating circumstances unless a superstar is involved. They remember how much the team improved after a guy shows up.

  • Jun 12, 201311:10 am
    by frankie d

    Reply

    While i may not agree with his harsh conclusion, the facts he cites ring true.
    Just impossible to describe how disappointing  it is to know that cheeks is going to be the guy on the sidelines for the next couple of years.

    • Jun 12, 201312:36 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Three years, or until he gets fired. I’m guessing 2 years, and both Dumars & Cheeks get shown the door.

  • Jun 12, 201311:21 am
    by XstreamINsanity

    Reply

    Someone holding a grudge?

    From Wikipedia regarding Dwight Jaynes:

    Jaynes has been highly critical of the management of the NBA‘s Portland Trail Blazers franchise under the ownership of Paul Allen, particularly over the hiring and performance of Maurice Cheeks as head coach

    • Jun 13, 201311:35 am
      by G

      Reply

      Cause-Effect relationship? Does it mean he’s not reporting the truth? I’m not sure if Cheeks was objectively the worst coach Portland had since Jaynes followed the team, but it’s entirely possible. He gets a lot of the Jailblazer stink on him due to how he ran the team.

  • Jun 12, 201311:30 am
    by Gil

    Reply

    Actually, Kuester had Monroe and also had the results of the last time the Pistons had “gobs of cap space.” That was also his last year as a head coach.

    Curry had Rip, McDyess and Prince when they were younger and more effective, and also had Stuckey when most thought he would be an excellent player.  And Curry had Afflalo, Maxiell and Amir Johnson.  AND a player named Rasheed Wallace.  

    Neither of these coaches had terrible lineups, as far as talent goes, although Kuester did deal with the last free agent fiasco.  So how did hiring a guy with no previous coaching experience work then?  

    Again, I’m not thrilled about Cheeks, but I’m not hating on him like so many people want to do.  Hell, even Chuck Daly was only 9-32 when he was hired by the Pistons.  Maybe he should never have been given another chance either.  We don’t know if the Cheeks hire will be good or bad.  Give the guy a chance before you bury him.   

    • Jun 12, 201311:40 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Kuester did have Monroe. For one season. And those gobs of cap space produced no benefits. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I’m assuming that won’t happen again. Curry was just awful. Who he had was going to be irrelevant.

      As I said, if someone’s a bad coach, having the opportunity won’t turn him into a good one. But if someone is a good coach who just hasn’t been afforded the chance to display that, there is a great platform in Motown.

      Chuck Daly was 9-32 when hired. So he’d had one chance. Cheeks has had a bunch. That’s an enormous difference. 

      • Jun 12, 201312:07 pm
        by Gil

        Reply

        “Kuester did have Monroe. For one season. And those gobs of cap space produced no benefits.”
        Thank you for proving my point. 

        • Jun 12, 201312:31 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          How does that prove your point? A bad coach can look bad even with something to work with, and Kue didn’t have much. A coach coming in this season would have a whole lot more. If he’s a bad coach, he can still manage to look bad. But do you think someone’s going to turn down a head coaching offer because he doesn’t trust his own caching ability and he thinks his incompetence will be broadcast to the masses?

  • Jun 12, 201311:47 am
    by RyanK

    Reply

    Must be Mo Cheeks didn’t give him the interviews he wanted…either that or he’s just a miserable person.  Doesn’t make a lot of sense to go after someone like this and write things that seem extremely far fetched unless there are bad feelings involved.  

    • Jun 12, 201312:48 pm
      by G

      Reply

      How about Cheeks just has a history of being a terrible coach? A long history of it, actually. It actually reminds me a little of when the Raiders re-hired Art Shell. There was plenty of evidence that he was incompetent before, and the job getting more complicated didn’t help. I’m not optimistic about Cheeks, and these old articles are reaffirming that insecurity.

    • Jun 12, 201312:58 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Btw, the article wasn’t really written in a vindictive, vengeful tone (read some of Chris Sheridan’s stuff if you want examples of a writer that isn’t above petty stuff), so I doubt that was the case.

  • Jun 13, 20138:40 am
    by Count that baby and a foul

    Reply

    “From the time of the franchise’s inception, in order of “rule”:
    Roland Todd: 41-97 (.297)
    Stu Inman: 6-20 (.231)
    Jack McCloskey: 48-116 (.293)
    Lenny Wilkens: 75-89 (.457)
    Jack Ramsay: 453-367 (.552)
    Mike Schuler: 127-84 (.602)
    Rick Adelman: 291-154 (.654)
    P.J. Carlesimo: 137-109 (.557)
    Mike Dunleavy: 190-106 (.642)
    Maurice Cheeks: 162-139 (.538)
    Kevin Pritchard: 5-22 (.185)
    Nate McMillan: 266-269 (.497)
    Kaleb Canales: 8-15 (.348)
    Terry Stotts: 33-49 (.402)
    Of 14 coaches, Cheeks ranks 9th worst record wise in the history of the Trail Blazers. Or, I’d prefer to state it as 6th best. Does roster have anything to do with it? Absolutely. For two of those years Cheeks was there, his best player was Wallace. The next two, Randolph. Though these two eventually went on to play better elsewhere and “calm down” personality wise, I’d definitely say Cheeks wasn’t the worst coach in their history. Maybe recent history? It was his first head coaching gig, and I think he did fine with what he had.
    I am however going to look into those other things, such as being to have the standings explained, etc. But honestly, reading that column, my thought was Drew Sharp wrote it. Every city has one I guess.”

    by   XstreamINsanity over on piston powered

    • Jun 13, 201311:41 am
      by G

      Reply

      I’m afraid record is a poor indicator of how good a coach is. Dunleavy has a fantastic record, not the greatest coach. Wilkens was a phenomenal coach, sub-.500 record. Unfortunately the data doesn’t exist to objectively evaluate coaches, and really the only way to do it well is watch old games, read old articles, and formulate your own opinion.

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