A rash of firings have happened in the NBA season, with eight coaches being shown the door before All-Star Weekend. None have gone before the public to give thanks as Cheeks did in a recent press conference.
Only three days removed from his firing, former Philadelphia 76ers head coach Maurice Cheeks held a press conference to thank the media and fans. He also used to time to absorb the blaim for his team’s slow start, which is unheard of in many coaching, or professional sports, circles, for that matter.
The classiest coach in basketball continued to lay on the charm that marked his all-star career and stellar coaching stay in Philly.
“Sometimes being fired is one of the things that entails being a head coach,” he said. “”In my case, it was the coach.”
Or a team full of millionaires who underachieved — not to mention the acquisition of an all star in Elton Brad who his new team needed time to become accustomed to, and he the team. The potential-filled team got off to a 9-14 start, leading to Cheeks’s firing.
The time spent as head coach weren’t the only years in Philly for Cheeks, he was a player for more 15 years in which he was a four-time all star. His jersey was retired by the 76ers in 1995. Cheeks said there was no way he’d up and leave the city of Philadelphia.
“I think it would have been selfish for me to just pick up and leave and go and not show my appreciation to the people that have supported me,” he said. “I pretty much grew up in this town.”
Cheeks also said he was in favor of staying with the organization, although he has not been approached by the 76ers for any position thus far.
“I’ve been a part of this town a long time and I don’t plan on going anywhere,” he said. “If the opportunity is there for me to be in the organization, I’m more than happy to do that.”
Cheeks is a great man, whom did a great job in his time in Philly. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be sorely missed by the 76ers.