Tag Archives: Philadelphia 76ers

No end to Cheeks’s classiness

71797411JG_D040738006A 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.

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Another coach bites the dust

mauricecheeks_ncOnly a week removed from Randy Wittman’s firing in Minnesota, another NBA coach has been sent packing.

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Maurice Cheeks, by far one of the classiest coaches in the NBA, was  fired today– from a team seemingly on the rise. Assistant general manager Tony DiLeo will be interim head coach for the rest of the season.

Is it just me, or is it becoming extremely difficuilt to keep up with all the coach firings in recent weeks? Along with college football, the NHL and the NBA there is enough material for this blog to simply be a clipboard of which poor coach will be axed next. And the common argument made in most cases is that coaches increased salary upped expectations on the playing field, but I happen to think many coaches aren’t receiving a fair shot.

Cheeks, on the other hand, was given ample time. I still don’t believe his firing was warranted at this juncture, as I feel about many of the coaches recently let go. Cheeks is, hands down, the classiest coach in the league, his team made a trade for Elton Brand, have Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller and Louis Williams, and are only a couple of moves away from major contention in the Eastern Conference of the NBA. Lets not forget, the Philadelphia 76ers made the playoffs last year without Elton Brand, however brief their stint in postseason play was.

Sure, 9-14 isn’t exactly what was expected from a team that showed glimpses of potential late last season. But the NBA season is a marathon, and I believe the 76ers pulled the cord at the wrong time.

Over the past couple of years, Cheeks’ job security has been the subject of many stories. His teams were struggling, inexperienced and far younger than most of their opponents. To pull the plug, maybe two, three years ago would have been fine. But why now, when his team seems to be turning a corner in a conference that isn’t obviously weaker than its western counterpart.

Cheeks will get back on his feet and find another coaching job in no time. Too bad he’ll be moving into the spot of another coach, who will probably experience an unwarranted firing himself.

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