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The night Maurice Cheeks’ top two players missed warmups, and he didn’t even know it

Yesterday, I covered Maurice Cheekshighest professional moment as a head coach. Today, let’s look at the lowest.

Allen Iverson and Chris Webber had been playing through injuries as Cheeks’ 76ers chased a playoff berth late in the 2005-06 season, but Philadelphia was eliminated before its penultimate game.

Picking up at Cheeks’ pregame news conference for that game, Associated Press:

Maurice Cheeks had just finished calling Allen Iverson the ultimate gamer, somene who always played hard and always gave his full effort for his teammates and fans.

 

That was before the Sixers coach was informed by a reporter about 55 minutes before Tuesday night’s tipoff against New Jersey that Philadelphia’s franchise player was not yet at the arena, and neither was Chris Webber.

So Cheeks left for the locker room, saw for himself the jerseys hanging in the locker, and returned to tell reporters the two were “not going to play tonight,” against New Jersey.

Jeff Schuler of The Morning Call

Cheeks didn’t bring up the subject with reporters until a TV reporter asked him, roughly an hour before game time, if he was aware that neither was in the building.

“You are expecting them to play tonight? You didn’t give them the night off or anything like that?” Cheeks was asked.

“I didn’t give them the night off, no,” answered Cheeks, who then left his office for almost two minutes to check into the situation.

“No, Allen and Chris are not going to play tonight,” Cheeks said upon his return, explaining their medical situation.

Asked if he made that decision because they weren’t there, Cheeks said “You know what? In practice today I didn’t know whether or not they were gonna play, and I assumed that they were gonna play, so I just made the decision they weren’t going to play.”

Associated Press:

[76ers president Billy] King said he knew at Tuesday morning’s shootaround that Iverson and Webber would be given the home finale off because of injuries. But King did expect the duo to be at the game. Iverson was to miss the game with an ankle injury, and Webber had a sore back.

“I’d like them to be here, hell yeah,” an agitated King said on the court about 45 minutes before tip. “They’re not and I’m going to take care of it.”

With reporters staked out awaiting the duo’s arrival, King walked by the horde minutes before tip and let loose with a profanity-laced rant when pressed again about their absence.

Associated Press:

coach Maurice Cheeks looked like a fool.

Then again, that was hard to do since neither King nor Cheeks ever talked to their stars to get an answer. Neither player spoke to the media.

“It makes me look like I’m not in control, which I am, but it makes me look like that,” Cheeks said. “I feel bad, not only for myself, but for our organization. It will be addressed and it will not happen again.”

Cheeks said he’d probably been “lax” this season in enforcing the time players needed to show up and that would be “cleaned up” next season. He also apologized to the fans.

“It’s unacceptable that they got here a little late,” Cheeks said.

Associated Press:

Cheeks never said Iverson or Webber was not going to play for the 20 minutes he talked to reporters before he was told they had not arrived at the Wachovia Center. He looked dejected when he returned and slumped in his seat, looking much like he did 11 days ago when he remained at the postgame press conference podium, ice bottle on his head, with the lights turned out.

When asked if he was disappointed in the duo, Cheeks said, “I’m done, man.”

Henry Abbott of TrueHoop summarized an article behind a pay wall thusly:

The way Celeste Whittaker tells it, first Cheeks didn’t know they weren’t there. Then he didn’t know how he was supposed to handle it. Then he pretended that it was his idea they wouldn’t play.

What a mess.

71 Comments

  • Jun 12, 201312:18 pm
    by Oracle

    Reply

    Wow.  Couldn’t even have had a trainer or assistant coach have told him?  Very poor organization and communication.

    • Jun 12, 201312:28 pm
      by XstreamINsanity

      Reply

      I agree.  I wouldn’t put that fully on the coach, though he does shoulder some responsibility.  Let Stuckey pull something like that and see what happens.  Man, Cheeks has had to deal with some attitudes.  Randolph (in his younger days), Rasheed, Iverson, Bonzi Wells.  I’m surprised he’s not bald.

      • Jun 12, 20135:14 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        Didn’t Curry, Kuester and Frank have to deal with some attitudes? Stuckey is still on the team, though. Nearly every coach has to deal with difficult attitudes. Cheeks was probably dealt a worse-than-average hand, but recently, the Pistons have also presented tough groups to coach.

  • Jun 12, 201312:30 pm
    by mshansky

    Reply

    What value is such passivity in helping young players improve and a franchise to REBUILD? 
    Frank did not succeed because he is a bad head coach.
    Cheeks will not succeed because he is a bad head coach. 

  • Jun 12, 201312:44 pm
    by sebastian

    Reply

    That was then. This is now! Cheeks is in totally different situation with a group of different professionals.
    And, enough of the Stuckey bashing, please? I believe that Stuckey will do well with Mo’ Cheeks as the Head Coach.
    Again, I wish that Rick Mahorn is added to Cheeks’ staff. Rick could help police sh!t any sort of unprofessional behavior that Cheeks may have experienced in Portland and/or Philly.

    • Jun 12, 201312:51 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Mahorn has 5 times the basketball brain that Cheeks does. I’d rather Dumars had just hired Mahorn.

      • Jun 12, 20131:16 pm
        by RyanK

        Reply

        Glad you were able to do the math on that…I was struggling with carrying the zero…  

        • Jun 12, 20131:47 pm
          by G

          Reply

          The zero being Cheeks

          • Jun 12, 20133:02 pm
            by patrick the troll

            Why do you think Mahorn has 0 basketball brians and yet still want joe to hire him? I don’t get it.

          • Jun 12, 20133:30 pm
            by G

            I said Cheeks was the zero, not Mahorn. 

          • Jun 12, 20133:41 pm
            by tarsier

            to be fair, that implies that mahorn is five times zero

          • Jun 12, 20134:24 pm
            by G

            I know, the math was really bad in that analogy (when do you ever carry a zero?), but I originally said Mahorn has 5 times the brain Cheeks has. Nothing about a zero. Anyway, enough of that.

          • Jun 13, 20137:32 am
            by patrick the troll

            yes, then you said cheeks was the zero, so 5 X 0 = 0 that’s first grade stuff.

          • Jun 13, 20138:04 am
            by G

            It seemed like a good line at the time, although I was fully aware of the mathmatical implications of my statement. This convo has gone off the rails.

          • Jun 13, 20139:48 am
            by tarsier

            in other words, this is being taken way too literally

      • Jun 12, 20131:55 pm
        by sebastian

        Reply

        Yo, “G”, I do believe you and I have finally agreed on something, regarding OUR Pistons.
        I, too, would have like to have seen Rick Mahorn, as the 33rd Head Coach of the Detroit Pistons.
        You are finally beginning to make some sense. (Just jiving, about you beginning to make sense. Your posts are usually quite insightful.)

        • Jun 12, 20132:24 pm
          by G

          Reply

          Thanks. I didn’t mention that there were about 5 or 6 guys I’d have like the Pistons to hire ahead of ‘horn, but he still would’ve been preferable to Cheeks.

    • Jun 12, 20133:09 pm
      by CityofKlompton

      Reply

      That fact that you still think Stuckey-bashing is unwarranted tells me all I need to know about whether I should even read your opinion on Cheeks.  I hope your post was sarcasm.

    • Jun 12, 20134:50 pm
      by T Casey

      Reply

      @ Sebastion
      Any reason why you think Stuckey will do better under Mo Cheeks?

  • Jun 12, 201312:46 pm
    by Crispus

    Reply

    I don’t know why this is still the main topic. Dan has presented a lot of evidence against Cheeks and a little bit for him. Most commenters know where they stand on Cheeks, and it is abundantly clear where Dan and Patrick stand. He’s hired, it’s done. No use crying over spilled Shaw. Let’s hear about the other offseason stuff, like oh, I don’t know, the draft and free agency.

    • Jun 12, 20135:17 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      The draft and free agency are weeks away. Don’t worry, we’re covering that, too. Cheeks was just hired, so we’re going to focus on that for a little bit.

  • Jun 12, 20131:12 pm
    by RyanK

    Reply

    Do all good players make good coaches?  Cheeks was a great player…obviously he knows how to play the game having won an NBA championship as a starting point guard.  

    I think there are still lingering effects of Billups, Hamilton, and Prince in the roster.  Bad attitudes…entitlement…lack of class.  The locker room issues have to go away before the team can improve.  I believe even those who don’t like the hire would agree Cheeks strong point is dealing with people.  Well he’s got some dealing to do here.

    Stuckey has worn out his welcome.  He has always had the CBill attitude without the CBill resume.   

    • Jun 12, 20136:01 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      “I believe even those who don’t like the hire would agree Cheeks strong point is dealing with people.”

      I definitely think it’s his strong point, but he’s had plenty of difficulties in that department, too. 

  • Jun 12, 20131:14 pm
    by Cry babies

    Reply

    This is lame. I think I am done get me info here

    • Jun 12, 20131:19 pm
      by RyanK

      Reply

      Dan has reached a level of obnoxiousness that makes George Blaha smell like a piston heckler.  It’s very bad the commentary in here has dropped to this level.  

    • Jun 13, 20139:54 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Ok, that’s fine. But what’s the point of posting it? DO you expect the writers to change their tune in order to appease you? Do you hope to start some sort of movement amongst the readers to boycott the site? If not, why take the time to write that you’re leaving?

  • Jun 12, 20131:32 pm
    by The Golden Child

    Reply

    Wow. Dude, did you know that once, Mo Cheeks totally made a human mistake and like didn’t even know it! What a terrible future coach for our unknown team roster! Dan…dude…I’m with the commenter who is kind of like, wow, dude is hired, we know you hate him, move on! btw Dan, who did you want that we realistically could have gotten? And what would you have dug up about Chuck Daily the day we hired him? Did he make some mistakes in Cleveland? Or at any of his other stops? You are dominating Piston Powered with the number of articles you are writing but they are kind of pointless and negative. e.g. Isiah Thomas had the most magical playoff run! Yes, I know. I watched it with my own eyes. And THAT is old news too! Why bring it up now? 
    Then again, this is kind of fun ragging on you Dan. It is like I get to observe your work and then pick out all the stuff I don’t like and write about it over and over! Is THAT fun for YOU to read? Do you feel it is fair for fans to observe all the mistakes you make in your articles? This is an interesting philosophical thing I think: You are running down what you don’t like, and we are running you down for downing on things that we do like. So it is kind of a Namaste`full circle! Except with negativity and unhappiness as the mutually shared, cycling gift.
    To any and all Trolls on this message board, I just want to say, kisses and I love you! Your trolling ways make me happy and feel warm and safe inside. Thank you : )

    • Jun 12, 20133:03 pm
      by danny

      Reply

      HAHAHAHA You are too funny glad you post on this site!

    • Jun 12, 20135:38 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      “Wow. Dude, did you know that once, Mo Cheeks totally made a human mistake and like didn’t even know it! What a terrible future coach for our unknown team roster!”

      When did I say this mistake would make Cheeks a terrible coach for the Pistons? You’re the one making that leap, not me. 

      “Dan…dude…I’m with the commenter who is kind of like, wow, dude is hired, we know you hate him, move on! btw “

      You act like Pistons fans know everything about Cheeks’ coaching history and doesn’t want to learn anything more about his track record.

      “Dan, who did you want that we realistically could have gotten?”

      I would’ve liked, but not loved, McMillan, though I’m not certain the Pistons could have gotten him. I also would’ve preferred taking the slow route and hoping musical chairs left Karl, Hollins or Shaw on the market and willing to come to Detroit. Otherwise, I would’ve preferred a promising assistant who comes with higher upside, though the perception of greater risk.

      “And what would you have dug up about Chuck Daily the day we hired him?

      I would have written that Daly hasn’t shown many, or maybe any, positives as an NBA head coach. But because he coached just 41 games as a team’s third of four coaches during a single season, that’s not a reliable sample. There could be all kinds of positives he didn’t have an opportunity to show. It’s like he coached eight seasons or anything. He coached 41 games, and although a 9-32 record is a negative indicator, it’s nowhere close to conclusive.

      You are dominating Piston Powered with the number of articles you are writing but they are kind of pointless and negative. e.g. Isiah Thomas had the most magical playoff run! Yes, I know. I watched it with my own eyes. And THAT is old news too! Why bring it up now? 

      Because ESPN just ranked every playoff run in recent history

      “Do you feel it is fair for fans to observe all the mistakes you make in your articles?”
       
      Absolutely.

      • Jun 12, 20136:37 pm
        by The Golden Child

        Reply

        “Wow. Dude, did you know that once, Mo Cheeks totally made a human mistake and like didn’t even know it! What a terrible future coach for our unknown team roster!”
         
        When did I say this mistake would make Cheeks a terrible coach for the Pistons? You’re the one making that leap, not me.
        My response: I guess when you write an article (part of a series of articles really) pointing out the negative aspects of this coach it paints a picture that seems negative. I have yet to see you write “I think Mo is a good hire for this team.” Write so many articles about his weaknesses and it appears to me that you think he is a terrible hire. I may have drawn the wrong conclusion.
         
        “Dan…dude…I’m with the commenter who is kind of like, wow, dude is hired, we know you hate him, move on! btw “
         
        You act like Pistons fans know everything about Cheeks’ coaching history and doesn’t want to learn anything more about his track record.
        My response: Ouch. Happy to learn more about him. Please, read up on his history and share it with us. Tell us of the ups and downs. You may not be aware of how negatively your work can come across. Pistons fans come to this site because they usually want to know the latest information. I don’t know man, I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. But are you fishing with the bait you like or the bait the fish like? ie it is a good idea to know your audience. If so many readers react negatively to your tone or story angles then maybe there is a reason?
        But here is another possibility: The fans are worried about their team. They are looking for informed people to present information in a positive light. They want to understand more. Maybe they want to feel all is not hopeless and lost? When you author negatively toned articles that seem to say “don’t like this coach, his good points are weak and his bad points are terrible” the reader gets completely discouraged. Just sayin’
         
         
        “Dan, who did you want that we realistically could have gotten?”
         
        I would’ve liked, but not loved, McMillan, though I’m not certain the Pistons could have gotten him. I also would’ve preferred taking the slow route and hoping musical chairs left Karl, Hollins or Shaw on the market and willing to come to Detroit. Otherwise, I would’ve preferred a promising assistant who comes with higher upside, though the perception of greater risk.
        My Replay: I don’t think Karl is the right guy, and there are a ton of stories of him being combative with management, that is the last thing we need. Hollins also has some emotional temper problems according to some stories I’ve read recently. Shaw is cool, but waiting on him would have been tough and he is unproven as a head coach. McMillan, I don’t know, I thought I liked him for a minute too and would have accepted him as a legit hire…but wasn’t thrilled with his resume’. I noticed Cheeks came out of nowhere all of a sudden and fans didn’t have a chance to learn about him as he went through the process. Maybe that negatively impacted perceptions of him. I think emotional volatility should be a rule-out for the pistons coaches at this stage of the game. A doug Collins type will whip you into shape but lose the team within a year or two.
         
        “And what would you have dug up about Chuck Daily the day we hired him?
         
        I would have written that Daly hasn’t shown many, or maybe any, positives as an NBA head coach. But because he coached just 41 games as a team’s third of four coaches during a single season, that’s not a reliable sample. There could be all kinds of positives he didn’t have an opportunity to show. It’s like he coached eight seasons or anything. He coached 41 games, and although a 9-32 record is a negative indicator, it’s nowhere close to conclusive.
        My response: I like that analysis. Seems fair and true. It also shouldn’t preclude hope (the flavor pistons fans want from your articles, I think. Just my opinion…ps., please write more in that tone, I enjoy it.)
         
        You are dominating Piston Powered with the number of articles you are writing but they are kind of pointless and negative. e.g. Isiah Thomas had the most magical playoff run! Yes, I know. I watched it with my own eyes. And THAT is old news too! Why bring it up now? 
         
        Because ESPN just ranked every playoff run in recent history
        My Response: Yeah, I kind of mixed my points I was trying to make. I really don’t mind fluff pieces about our past glory. I think it just makes me wistful for those old days. I was kind of talking out of my butt on that one.
         
        “Do you feel it is fair for fans to observe all the mistakes you make in your articles?”
         
        Absolutely.
        My response: in all fairness, writing for a huge audience of super-passionate people can’t be easy. I can tell you are working hard at it. And you shouldn’t feel pressured to change what you value just because people get on you about it. But we can all improve at what we do and maybe if you continue to develop yoru style and work a little more in the positive vein without nec. becoming a kool-aid vendor, the fans will be more engaged with your work and spend less time hacking on your approach. I mean that with genuine respect, you are a Pistons-Brother after-all.

        • Jun 12, 20137:29 pm
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          “I guess when you write an article (part of a series of articles really) pointing out the negative aspects of this coach it paints a picture that seems negative. I have yet to see you write “I think Mo is a good hire for this team.” Write so many articles about his weaknesses and it appears to me that you think he is a terrible hire. I may have drawn the wrong conclusion.”

          I’m writing about every aspect of Cheeks I find relevant. Most of that happens to be negative, because that’s what his track record lends itself to. You won’t see me write “I think Mo is a good hire for this team” because I don’t believe that, but I also won’t ignore his positives either.

          “I don’t think Karl is the right guy, and there are a ton of stories of him being combative with management, that is the last thing we need. Hollins also has some emotional temper problems according to some stories I’ve read recently.”

          If the Pistons had hired Karl or Hollins and I had been critical of the hire, would you be in the comments agreeing with me?

          “ It also shouldn’t preclude hope (the flavor pistons fans want from your articles, I think. Just my opinion…ps., please write more in that tone, I enjoy it.)”

          The quality of what the Pistons do determines my tone, not vice versa. 

  • Jun 12, 20131:36 pm
    by hoophabit

    Reply

    I have to agree with the “enough already” points made.  Cheeks is now our coach and some like it and some don’t.  This is supposed to be a Piston fan site.  Undermining our new coach at every turn grows tiresome.  I don’t know if he’ll work out, but I’ll be rooting for him because I’m a Piston fan.  This article almost seems gratuitous.  I think this incident says a lot more about the players involved than the coach and GM.  I like a coach who tries to support his players, and of course it’s a lot better if that is reciprocated.  I’m not saying we need to be all Pollyanna about the whole thing, but he’s our coach now so a little benefit of the doubt might be in order.

    • Jun 12, 20131:46 pm
      by The Golden Child

      Reply

      Solid point, Hoophabit: This is a fan site. As in, a site for fans, people who like and are into something. Perhaps Dan needs to start a Hater-site? Some place where people who are against something can endlessly rant about it?
      And if the main point of this article is that a coach was unable to wrangle Allen Iverson and that is unforgivable then my response is “Bwahahahahahaha!” Who has ever been able to control Iverson in any way, shape or form? Larry Brown seemed to do it for a while but basically he gave AI the ball and built a team around a short-guard going 1-v-5 on a large number of plays per game. Sooooo…yeah, Dan, we’re gonna need you to come in on Saaaaaaaturday…..and Sunday toooooo. Yeeeeeaaaaaah. That would be great.

      • Jun 12, 20131:50 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        It’s for fans of the Pistons, not fans of Cheeks. Much like I bet Cavs fan sites were full of vitriol for LBJ after he left.

        • Jun 12, 20132:12 pm
          by GEORGIO

          Reply

          Cheeks is a Piston now so how about let’s judge him on how he carries out his Piston’s duties, not something that happened years ago.

          • Jun 12, 20136:03 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            How about we examine his record, highs, lows, strengths and weaknesses so we have some idea what to expect from him as the Pistons’ coach?

        • Jun 12, 20132:17 pm
          by Crispus

          Reply

          This makes little sense, as Cheeks is joining the Pistons, not leaving them, and the bashing is continuing into his tenure as PISTONS HEAD COACH.

          There’s a difference between “We don’t want him, please don’t hire him” and “We hired him, now let’s cut him down before a single game is played”. To keep demeaning the coach like this is akin to the Obama Birther Movement. Does anyone here really want to be the Orly Taitz or Donald Trump of the Piston Powered blog?

          • Jun 12, 20132:22 pm
            by G

            When I saw Cheeks’ name in the mix, I hoped it was just a courtesy. This hire is a shit sandwich, and now you’re telling me I have to like it? Bullshit.

          • Jun 12, 20132:37 pm
            by tarsier

            Ok, then. You got me, it was a poor comparison. Think of it more like the BG and CV signings. They were stupid, and so was this hire. And I will complain about it because I don’t like it when Pistons management does stupid things.

          • Jun 12, 20132:48 pm
            by sebastian

            G, tarsier, et al., Mo’ will be quick to avoid the tomatoes and eggs that you guys will be lobbing towards him at tomorro’s press conference.

          • Jun 12, 20133:37 pm
            by G

            At this point I’m pissed about the hire. I hope I’m wrong, but this feels like a low point to me. and possibly the end of Dumars’ tenure as GM. Am I rooting for Cheeks to fail? Absolutely not. But don’t tell me that I have to love it now that Cheeks is a Piston.

            It’s like when one of your friends marries a girl who brings out the worst in him. You hope it won’t end in divorce, but you know it will, and you feel like shit the whole wedding so you get hammered. That’s what the press conference will be like tomorrow.

          • Jun 12, 20133:38 pm
            by G

            Except nobody gets laid.

          • Jun 12, 20136:08 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            “There’s a difference between “We don’t want him, please don’t hire him” and “We hired him, now let’s cut him down before a single game is played”.”

            How about, “We hired him, so now let’s invest time into learning about him”? 

    • Jun 12, 20135:50 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Since when do you get to decide what this site is?

  • Jun 12, 20132:32 pm
    by Gordbrown

    Reply

    I have some thoughts and they are perhaps mixed and I’m still working through them and some attendant emotions. But here’s some things.
    First, my preferred candidate was Shaw and I was hoping the team was waiting for him. We’ll never know what happened there but we have Cheeks so that’s that. I certainly know that I didn’t want anything to do with George Karl but also know there was long standing bad blood between Karl and the Pistons (part of why I didn’t want him) so there was never any real danger of that. The criticism of the site as being too negative I think is really being overdone. To me it is nothing more than good journalism. Crossing my fingers but I am appreciative of any information, good (and there has been some), bad or indifferent.
    I should also say that I’m a charter member of the Stuckey slappy club. More than anything else, it was Stuckey’s deterioration this season that was the reason that I wanted Frank fired. Actually there were two parts to that. At one point this season before the Pistons went into full tank mode (trading Prince for Calderon is to me the definition of tanking and the results of that demonstrate the point) the Pistons led the league in blowing double digit leads. That tells me that the problem wasn’t the raw talent and that coaching was a not insignificant part of the problem.
    But to return to the first point, let’s look at Stuckey’s season. He got off to a bad start (as did the team) in large part because of a number of nagging problems that were affecting his play. If there were any valid criticism of Stuckey, its that he does seem to have trouble staying on the court and he gets sick or otherwise has a lot of small physical issues that do affect his performance. That said until this season Stuckey had generally been on an upward career arc.
    My real issue is that he legitimately tried to demonstrate some leadership by saying that Singler was on a roll (which was true) and didn’t deserve to get bumped when Stuckey came off injury. Of course, Singler didn’t stay on a roll forever, but Frank seemed to resent Stuckey’s request and spent the rest of the season taking it out on him – de-emphasizing him in the offense and not moving him back as a starter unless forced. Frank also used Stuckey as his main backup 3 for a big chunk of the season and that experiment worked in maybe one game. Is it any wonder that Stuckey’s season was lost? Plus the best point guard play I saw all season was at the end when Stuckey took over (with the obvious caveats of weak competition, small sample size and so forth). If Cheeks can get Stuckey back on track (and I don’t think it would be that hard) then that would be a positive improvement that will add wins.
    Finally, I think Knight’s natural position is as first guard off the bench. I hope that’s something Cheek’s convince Dumars of and that’s one reason why he was hired. Perhaps that’s dreaming, but what is the off season for if we can’t do that?

    • Jun 12, 20132:43 pm
      by sebastian

      Reply

      Gordbrown, I share your comments about Stuckey and the potential return to steady play by him going forward. I, also, like the idea of B. Knight being the first guard off the bench.
      Given this line of thinking: I think that WE should draft KCP with the #8 Pick and start this kid.
      KCP appears to be a legit 2-way player at the SG position, who can get his own shot by putting the ball on the floor,; he has range on his jumper; and will be big and quick enough to guard the position. Also, pairing Stuckey with a legit player like KCP will help to cover up any shortcomings that Stuckey has.
      I think that Stuckey as the starting PG, KCP as the starting SG, and B. Knight as the 6th-man, will make for a lethal 3-guard rotation.
      Now, with some of the cap-space, Joe needs to make a hard run at Josh Smith.

    • Jun 12, 20136:32 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      “I am appreciative of any information, good (and there has been some), bad or indifferent.”

      Glad to hear that.

      “At one point this season before the Pistons went into full tank mode (trading Prince for Calderon is to me the definition of tanking and the results of that demonstrate the point)”

      Calderon is better than Prince, though screwing up the team’s positional balance, as that trade did, certainly hurt in the short term. But the biggest issues that influenced the record were Calderon’s and Drummond’s injuries, not the trade itself.

      “the Pistons led the league in blowing double digit leads.”

      Did you see that information anywhere? I wanted to write in more depth about that, but I couldn’t find that information anywhere, and tabulating would be extremely time-consuming.

      “Frank also used Stuckey as his main backup 3 for a big chunk of the season and that experiment worked in maybe one game. Is it any wonder that Stuckey’s season was lost?”

      In fairness to Frank, Stuckey might have been Detroit’s best option as the backup small forward, depending when Middleton became ready to contribute. That said, both the Pistons and Stuckey were so bad when he played small forward, accelerating Middleton’s growth by giving him minutes before he seemed ready certainly would have been preferable.

      If Cheeks can get Stuckey back on track (and I don’t think it would be that hard)

      I think it would be hard for Cheeks to do. Stuckey has shown the same tendencies under multiple coaches. At a certain point, it’s up to him to address and fix his focus issues.

      Finally, I think Knight’s natural position is as first guard off the bench. I hope that’s something Cheek’s convince Dumars of and that’s one reason why he was hired.

      That might be Knight’s best position, but for that to happen, the Pistons will need two guards better than him under contract to start next season. They don’t have that right now, though they’ll certainly have a chance to get there during the offseason.

      • Jun 12, 201310:11 pm
        by Gordbrown

        Reply

        Up until recently I lived in Toronto. I know Calderon. His injuries were entirely predictable and to be expected. Also the gap between losing Prince and Calderon first suiting up was not inconsiderable resulting in a couple of losses. Finally, I would argue (debatable point but stay with me) the whole Prince situation was that you can lose with cheaper players than what Prince provided. The main argument I heard over and over was that Prince helps you win enough games to lose draft position but not enough to make the playoffs. Insofar as Prince stands in the way of the development of his successors that`s an issue too. But if you have to use Stuckey at the three, the team has certainly taken a step backward. The bigger point was that Frank`s distribution of minutes all season long was ridiculous and I would argue one of the reasons why he deserved to be fired. Radio guys (living in Canada I didn’t have tv this season) actually quoted statistics on blown leads but not sure of the date. I sort of assumed the point that starting SG would be addressed in the off season, hopefully using cap space to find someone who can be a threat from three point range, especially in the corner (wink).

  • Jun 12, 20132:45 pm
    by labatts

    Reply

    I guess I will echo othe people’s thoughts here.  I did not like this hire.  Heck, I’ll take it further (as some probably know): I did not think that Dumars really deserved another shot.  The only thing that could have made the coaching search not look like a circus is if the Pistons actually hired “The Triangle”.

    They didn’t, Dumars is still here, and we have a “nice guy” as a coach.  So, now, being a Pistons fan, what can I really do except hope that everything works out for the best.  Obviously, Cheeks made mistakes in the past; otherwise, he wouldn’t have been available.  Lets just hope he learned from his mistakes (Dumars, too).
     

  • Jun 12, 20132:49 pm
    by sebastian

    Reply

    Meant to type: “… tomorrow’s press conference.”

  • Jun 12, 20132:53 pm
    by Tony J

    Reply

    Here’s just my take after thinking about this.

    People are calling for Dumars head before and now after this coaching hire. Who’s to say the new GM comes in and agree’s with Gores that Mo Cheeks is the guy? Would you becalling for the new GM’s head as well? The grass is not always greener on the other side. Not to say that Dumar doesn’t deserve to be on the hot seat but honestly, do you really expect a new GM to come in and make us automatic title contenders? No. Again, Dumars should be on the hot seat but don’t just think that by firing him the team will be good again. 

    As for Joe not bringing in a top name coach, who’s to say he hasn’t had conversations with top coaches and A) They don’t want to work here or B) they have a different vision then what the front office has. It won’t help the team at all if management and the coach has different views on the team. Look at Lionell Hollins in Memphis. Good coach yes, took the team to the WCF yes but Memphis parted ways with him because he believed that management was wrong by getting rid of Rudy Gay. You can’t have that type of division. Maybe Cheeks and Dumars agree on the way the team is headed and both have a similar view on how to use the team. So stop with all the “there are better options crap” because unless you were in those meetings, you never know what could have been said or mentioned.

    Heres the best to Detroit next season.     

    • Jun 12, 20133:03 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Part of Joe’s job is to hire a good coach. If he can’t convince a good coach to come to Detroit, that’s another reason to fire him and hire someone who can.

      • Jun 12, 20134:03 pm
        by Tony J

        Reply

        True but again, what if the good coaches did not have the same view on the team as Dumars and Gores did. I would’ve loved a headlining coach but we are not sure what was said in the meetings.

        • Jun 12, 20134:32 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          What do you mean by “view on the team”? The coach’s job is development and winning games. I doubt any candidates would disagree on those points.

          Who cares if he has a different idea about whether to go fast or slow, big or small, or whatever else. Detroit has always professed giving the coach a lot of autonomy in that. 

    • Jun 12, 20133:28 pm
      by labatts

      Reply

      Suffice it to say that we agree to disagree about Dumars and varing shades of grass.  Having said that, I think the argument is pointless.  So in the end we agree:  

      Heres the best to Detroit next season.

      • Jun 12, 20133:46 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Wait, you don’t think that Gores should hire a GM who can actually get a decent coach to come to Detroit?

      • Jun 12, 20134:06 pm
        by Tony J

        Reply

        Yeah. Detroits success is all that matters in the end. Whether Joe is GM or not and whether Cheeks is coach or not, I just want this team to succeed!!!! haha

  • Jun 12, 20133:07 pm
    by danny

    Reply

    I can’t wait till we lose our first game and then everyone explains what they thought was wrong.  Everyone is jsut used to complaining I suppose.

    • Jun 12, 20133:36 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      The team doesn’t offer much else to talk about. When the organization seems to actively make bad moves from ownership to the coach, fans are rightfully upset. When the team blows big leads or fails to compete against comparably talented opponents, fans are rightfully upset. We love this team. We want to talk about it and share. Unfortunately, the team the last several years has only given us bad things to talk about. 

  • Jun 12, 20133:14 pm
    by Aaron Mannicci

    Reply

    Now, I love this website and its my go to site for Pistons news and anything about Detroit Basketball. But I’d like to see you guys at least show some of the bright spots in his coaching career other than the one you did yesterday. He’s our coach now and we should all at least show him SOME support. 

    Yea, he seems like a too-laid back coach but I’m sure that he’s learned from his past two stints as a head coach. Give the guy some time 

    • Jun 12, 20133:39 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Hopefully he got smarter too.

      • Jun 12, 20134:15 pm
        by Gordbrown

        Reply

        I don’t think it’s an issue of smarter. As a player Cheeks was very smart. I think its more a question of work ethic. The main charge against seems to be he was lazy and perpetually unprepared. Of course, the thing people always said about Frank was that he was so hard working and always so well-prepared. That certainly didn’t translate into wins. So I’m willing to suspend judgement until I see the results.

        • Jun 13, 201311:30 am
          by G

          Reply

          He did a lot of things that made me question his overall intelligence.  There are multiple kinds of intelligence. One kind is physical, knowing how to move, where things are going to be, etc. This comes from instincts, practice, ability, and memory. Cheeks had that as a player. It takes another kind of intelligence to be an effective coach, and several instances in Cheeks’ coaching career it looked like he was lacking in that area.

          Part of being smarter is knowing when you need to put more work in, spending more time on game prep. People who did well in school studied more. You get the idea. 

  • Jun 12, 20134:11 pm
    by Drew

    Reply

    This whole site is armchair GM-ing and armchair coaching. FA signings and trades are what really matters this off season.   The reason the Pistons did not have a chance for a big name coach with experience and/or potential was because we have a terrible reputation as a franchise and as a team.   I am not saying that Mo Cheeks was a terrible hire, it is mediocre.  however, no one here, not even Dan, knows why McMillan was not hired.  There should be a reason why McMillan’s name is no longer as hot and sought after as a couple weeks ago.  Think about it.  And I am sure Brian Shaw did not want to coach in Detroit, Phil Jackson does not matter because Brian Shaw is not an idiot he is not going to coach for Detroit over Clippers just because Phil Jackson.   

  • Jun 12, 20134:45 pm
    by picknroll

    Reply

    This is the best Piston website in my opinion, however, I don’t always agree with the material in the articles either.  There is no need to get angry and write posts to put the writer down.  We all have opinions and they are all different.  Just try to enjoy the dialogue that these articles create with other Piston fans!  

  • Jun 12, 20134:56 pm
    by TDP

    Reply

    To be fair, I was also grossly unprofessional circa 2005-06.

  • Jun 12, 20134:58 pm
    by Mel

    Reply

    Funny, Mahorn backs up Cheeks as Pistons Coach.

  • Jun 12, 20136:28 pm
    by mshansky

    Reply

    I thought, perhaps naively, that even though detroit would not be a prime destination for top-tier coaching candidates, Gores would use his vast wealth to “lure” someone decent here. He apparently is not into spending much. If he cant open his wallet enough to hire a coach when there is no “salary cap” for coaches, will we get another twofer in the free agent signings: two stiffs (ala BG abd CV) as opposed to an impact player.
    As to the defenders of the hire and critics of Mr Feldman, all I can say is that unless you promise to spend your OWN money  and put your tush in a seat to see these utterly uninteresting, unentertaining, talent-deprived wimps, giveit a rest….your inaction speaks volumes as to how you really feel….

  • Jun 13, 20136:05 am
    by Grizz

    Reply

    I thought I was OK with Cheeks .. compared to the last 3 stooges .. Now I am not so sure .. At least Piston fans should feel a little trepidation … this is another excellent article at Pistonpowered .. Good journalism .. cuz I have not seen ANY negative stories anywhere else ..

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