Maurice Cheeks Rumors
Darnell Mayberry: The Thunder has added Mo Cheeks to its coaching staff, The Oklahoman has learned. Billy Donovan now has two former NBA head coaches on staff. With Mo Cheeks, Monty Williams and Anthony Grant, first-year Thunder coach Billy Donovan will have three former head coaches at his side.
Marc Stein: Maurice Cheeks addendum: Cheeks’ good relationship with Russ Westbrook after his first OKC stint would make him handy aide to Billy Donovan: 1 more rumor
Adrian Wojnarowski: Yahoo Sources: Another ex-head coach and past Oklahoma City assistant emerging as a possible candidate for Billy Donovan’s staff: Mo Cheeks.
Jonathan Abrams: Called Mo Cheeks for a recent story. Asked if I could ask ?s off record for background. He straight up said, ‘no.’ Gotta respect that.
A week later, in practice, things came to a head. “I came down on a 3-on-1 and hit pull-up 15-footer off the glass and [Cheeks] stopped practice,” says Barnes. “He yells, ‘What are you doing? What are you shooting the ball for? You know that’s not your job, you gotta pass the ball!’” Barnes was shocked “What? But I made the shot.” Said Cheeks: “That’s why you don’t play.’” And then, Barnes says, he lost it. “I was going to chase him down and whoop his ass, so I took off after him and AI grabbed me and I got through him and Chris [Webber] grabbed me and bearhugged me and I said to Mo, ‘You’re lucky.’” Says Barnes now: “I hated Mo Cheeks. He was a dick.”
Philly is also where Barnes learned that it’s a star’s league. At the time, he was the 12th man, clinging to a job. As Barnes tells it, he was working with shooting coach Buzz Braman after practice, hoping to smooth out a hitch in his shot, when Sixers head coach Mo Cheeks walked by. “I don’t see why you’re working on your shot,” Cheeks said. “You’re not going to get to shoot here.” Barnes fumed, but said nothing.
Remember the time Patterson fined Darius Miles $150,000 and publicly scolded the small forward for berating his coach in a film session? I do. So does then-coach Maurice Cheeks. Because that act of support for Cheeks was followed by a back-room deal between Patterson and Miles in which the small forward would receive every penny of the fine back, plus interest. When I informed Cheeks of the arrangement, he said, “I might as well pack my bags.”
While the Nets have yet to announce who will be part of Hollins’ coaching staff, one likely option will be Henry Bibby, a longtime Hollins assistant in Memphis who spent last season working under Maurice Cheeks with the Pistons. Other names that have been reported as possibilities for Hollins’ staff include former Suns, Sonics and Kings coach Paul Westphal, Lakers assistant Johnny Davis — a teammate of Hollins on the 1977 champion Trail Blazers and a former assistant on his staff in Memphis — and current Nets assistant Joe Prunty.
Ramona Shelburne: If anything moves of Lue, Gentry and Eastman are why coaches like to work for Doc. Keep an eye on Mo Cheeks as a candidate now
Gores fired Dumars’ hand-picked coach, Maurice Cheeks, after just 50 games, making it one of the top-five quickest firings in the last 20 years. After Dumars tried to save Cheeks’ job, according to an NBA source. It became clear the two sides, bound together by circumstance, were headed for divorce.
You played with the Blazers for the most part of your career. Those Blazer teams had tons of talent but at the end it seems something was missing to get to the top. DA: Cohesiveness. You need a coach to bring everyone together, and at the time Maurice Cheeks just started coaching… You see now, he just got fired recently from Detroit. That’s the whole point, you can’t have a coach not prepared for that. Cheeks is a great guy, but coaching is a different animal. You have to know that.
Internally, he admitted, has been different. “You give a coach a half-a-season, with new faces and new chemistry, that’s not enough time, I don’t think,” Jennings said, referring to Cheeks, who was fired with a 21-29 record on Feb. 9 after consecutive wins the previous two nights. “I felt like he was basically in a losing situation. We were winning. Now we’re playing like the old Pistons were in the beginning, I feel like.”
Jennings made it clear Friday he doesn’t like his cards. It would be “kind of embarrassing” to miss the playoffs with the retooled roster this season, he said, and the dismissal of Cheeks after 50 games continues to affect him more than his teammates, he acknowledged. “To be honest, I don’t think the team is probably tripping,” about the Cheeks firing, Jennings said. “I feel like it’s still the same. It’s still the same. Not much has really changed, if you asked me.”
Peter Vecsey: Source reveals Cheeks was doomed when Josh went 2 Dumars & wanted Mo fired & Billups went w him. Denials f Love, Flip & Minny media at 11
There is one spot where Mike Woodson could land, once he’s shown the door at Madison Square Garden. Woodson could end up on Larry Brown’s bench, down in Dallas at SMU. And he can take a seat right next to another former NBA head coach and Brown loyalist, Maurice Cheeks. “Larry will always help out his guys,” joked one Eastern Conference executive. “Mo’s available and Woody might be next!”
10 Feb 14
Drummond and Gores communicate every couple of weeks about things, the player said, and seeing the franchise player unhappy probably didn’t go over well with the owner. Within a couple of days, Gores was in southeast Michigan, and the process of dismissal began to take shape.
One player later said the problem was that Drummond did exactly what he thought he was supposed to do and Cheeks didn’t understand that it was a product of miscommunication, not defiance.
The Pistons have perfected the blueprint for insurrection. Some players privately pouted while others openly pounced on Cheeks. When backup point guard Will Bynum unabashedly got in Cheeks’ face at Orlando last week, it was only a matter of time before the Pistons served up another head coaching sacrifice under the guise of demanding better performance.
Maurice Cheeks was fired Sunday by Detroit, because he’s got an owner who paid a lot of money for Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings last summer and thinks his team should be far better than it is. So Cheeks was the first coach to walk the plank this NBA season. “You know what happens when you get the first firing,’’ said one Western Conference executive after hearing the news on Cheeks. “Now the floodgates will open. All it takes is for that first guy to get fired. Now we’re sure to see some more coaches go. It always works that way.”
In a league where coaches are losing their jobs at a higher rate than ever, Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks have been in the minority as a consistent and successful organization. Cuban has employed just three coaches in his 14 years of ownership, while Joe Dumars and the Detroit Pistons have hired 10 in that same span. With news breaking Friday of the firing of Mo Cheeks, Cuban discussed the challenges of managing an NBA franchise. “Hiring a head coach is the hardest thing to do in professional sports, by far,” Cuban told CLNS Radio. “There is nothing else even close and so you just never know until you know.