After a few days of lingering rumors, the Detroit Pistons have officially announced that their next head coach will be Oklahoma City assistant Maurice Cheeks.
The Pistons will be Cheeks’ third head coaching stint, and prior to being the assistant to Scott Brooks in OKC, Cheeks was the head coach of the Portland Trailblazers (or Jailblazers as they were commonly referred as) and the Philadelphia 76ers where he acquired a career head coaching record of 284-286 in six seasons. In those six seasons, Cheeks reached the playoffs three times and has never gotten his team out of the first-round.
According to sources, former Portland coach Nate McMillan was the other finalist for the Detroit job, but owner Tom Gores and president of basketball operations, Joe Dumars, felt that Cheeks was the best way to go for the future.
As a player, Cheeks was a four-time NBA All-Star, NBA Champion (1983) and a four-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection. Cheeks could be a great help to Pistons point guard Brandon Knight due to his former success at the position. Cheeks has been a great help in the emergence of OKC superstar point guard Russell Westbrook, and Pistons fans are hoping he can help bring similar improvements to Knight’s game.
Cheeks is the Pistons fourth coach in six seasons, and hopefully his playing experience combined with his previous experience as a head coach and assistant can help revive Detroit Pistons basketball.