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Why Maurice Cheeks has coached games without a shoe

Maurice Cheeks has gout, and he did an interview to explain the conditions he faces and give people an opportunity to better understand the disorder. Matt Schneiderman of Everyday Health (hat tip: Bill Shea of Crain’s Detroit Business):

He was suffering from an acute attack of gout, a type of arthritis. Gout is caused by an accumulation of sodium urate crystals in the joints that occurs when there is an abnormally high level of uric acid in the body. Long associated with status and wealth — the condition used to be called “the disease of kings” — gout is actually the most common type of inflammatory arthritis in men over 40. Though it typically affects the large joint of the big toe, gout can also strike the instep, ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows, resulting in sudden and sharp pain, tenderness, redness, stiffness, and swelling. The pain can be excruciating: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most painful, most gout patients rate an attack as at least a 9 — on a par with childbirth or a long bone fracture. Often linked to high blood pressure and heart disease, gout can be managed with diet and lifestyle adjustments and controlled with medications. Monitoring and treatment diminish the chances of painful attacks and long-term joint damage.

EverydayHealth: And you experienced more attacks?

Maurice Cheeks: When I left Portland for Philadelphia I had another bout, but it wasn’t as severe as the first. But earlier this year, I had another attack. The swelling was so severe that I couldn’t get my shoe on, so I was coaching from the sidelines wearing just one shoe. I put on quite a show, coaching the next five games without a shoe on!

EverydayHealth: What did you tell your players who asked you about it?

Maurice Cheeks: The players thought I got hurt playing, and I had no time to explain gout to them. They didn’t know the severity of my condition because I had never told them about it.

EverydayHealth: Did you face any misperceptions coming from them or from reporters?

Maurice Cheeks: I was asked about it a lot. There’s a humorous aspect to gout, and there was an assumption that I had brought it on myself. A lot of people laughed, seeing me on the sidelines without my shoe on. But it’s not a laughing matter. It’s a very serious problem with long-term effects. And it is very, very painful. I cannot adequately express the pain.

Good for Cheeks for sharing his story, no doubt informative and inspiring to those who are dealing with similar issues.


  • Jun 12, 20134:16 pm
    by Motor City X


    Dan feldman you’re suck a HATER wow!?

  • Jun 12, 20134:17 pm
    by Crispus


    The guy I sit next to at work has gout. He’s had to change his diet and take medication and such.

  • Jun 12, 20134:27 pm
    by mike


    lol I defended you in the other thread for all these negative posts, but now you’re just trolling with this stuff about gout. haha



    • Jun 12, 20135:12 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      How is this trolling?

      • Jun 12, 20138:15 pm
        by mike


        Because him having gout has nothing to do with anything relating to basketball. 

        • Jun 12, 20138:24 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          Neither does him helping a girl sing the national anthem. But these things give us more perspective on the man who will be coaching the Pistons next season.

          • Jun 13, 201312:50 am
            by mike

            I get all the other stories as the singing shows his character, I just don’t see how knowing about his gout says anything about what kind of man he is, good or bad.

            I like that you are posting the negative side of Cheeks though. Its needed to balance all the sunshine and rainbows coming from the rest of the local media. I just didn’t see the point of posting this one in particular, as there;s nothing really negative or positive about it. No big deal though, keep doing what you’re doing. peace

          • Jun 13, 20138:02 am
            by Dan Feldman

            “I just didn’t see the point of posting this one in particular, as there;s nothing really negative or positive about it.”

            I’m not looking for things about Cheeks that fit neatly into a positive box or negative box. I’m looking for items that are interesting and/or telling. 

          • Jun 13, 20139:45 am
            by tarsier

            Mike, you’re the one who’s making out the fact that Cheeks has gout to be a negative thing. One could just as easily argue that his working through it is a positive thing.

            Personally, I see it as wholly neutral. Also irrelevant. But so were the stories before about Austin Daye planking. Who cares? Daye was a Piston. Now Cheeks is. This is a Pistons fan site. So we get articles about relevant and irrelevant things concerning Pistons. 

  • Jun 12, 20134:52 pm
    by TDP


    So it’s finally gout.  We’ve been toed the troof.

  • Jun 12, 20135:01 pm


    When I think Cheeks all can think about is …. How many really Good Nba coaches that are currently avialble …it drives me crazy that we can even lure a good coach to Detroit 

  • Jun 12, 201310:23 pm
    by CLG


    Cheeks helping a girl, tells us a lot about the type of person he is.  A medical condition that a person is suffering from tells us nothing of his charecteristics!  It doesn’t even give us perspective, come on man.  That is like saying he has IBS and us knowing this gives us great insight on the future coach of the Pistons.  Comparing the two is a bit of a stretch.  Had he battled cancer and beat it, you have courage, will power, and determination.  Him having and discussing gout gives us no perspective on him at all.

    • Jun 13, 201312:08 am
      by Dan Feldman


      “Had he battled cancer and beat it, you have courage, will power, and determination.” But coaching through extreme pain doesn’t say anything about him? A willingness to share his struggle with others who may be afflicted doesn’t say anything about him?


      • Jun 13, 20135:44 pm
        by CLG


        Oh that is what you were getting at?  I couldn’t grasp the concept of your point with your writing.  To answer your question, No it doesn’t.  People work in pain all of the time, such is life.  I’m also sure that he didn’t call someone to set up the interview.  More likely people kept bugging him so he decided to talk about it.  Don’t worry I won’t bug you any more I’m done reading your articles.

  • Jun 13, 201312:44 am
    by Jay


    Anyone else see this??

  • Aug 21, 201310:00 pm
    by ????


    Really a great article in the early days before looking for a very long period of time has not been queried, your article is very happy to solve my problem.

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