Pistons Hire Former Blazers Coach Maurice Cheeks As Next Head Coach

Stephen Dunn

Former Portland Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks has agreed to serve as the next coach of the Detroit Pistons.

The Detroit Pistons announced Monday that former Portland Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks has been hired to serve as their next head coach.

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has named Maurice Cheeks as head coach, signing him to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Cheeks brings more than 30-plus years of NBA experience to the job and becomes the 29th head coach in Detroit franchise history. He will be formally introduced to the Detroit media later this week.

"We're pleased to welcome Maurice Cheeks to the Pistons organization," Dumars said. "The leadership and player development qualities he brings as a former player and coach blends nicely with the roster we are building for the future. He's won an NBA championship, coached in two NBA Finals as an assistant coach and mentored some of the top young players in the NBA."

"After spending some time with Maurice, I was very impressed not only with his basketball knowledge but his communication and leadership skills," said Pistons owner Tom Gores. "We are very excited to have someone of his experience and talent help take this franchise into the future."

Marc Stein of ESPN.com first reported the agreement.

Former All-Star point guard Maurice Cheeks is getting his third shot as an NBA head coach.

Cheeks, an assistant in Oklahoma City for the past four seasons, on Monday formally agreed to take over as coach of the Detroit Pistons as the replacement for the ousted Lawrence Frank, according to sources close to the process.

Cheeks, 56, coached the Blazers for three-plus seasons from 2001-2005, posting a record of 162-139 (.538). The Blazers parted ways with Cheeks during the 2004-05 season and turned the coaching job over to Kevin Pritchard on an interim basis for the rest of the season. Cheeks twice guided the Blazers to the postseason but never advanced out of the first round of the playoffs.

After leaving the Blazers, Cheeks went on to coach the Philadelphia 76ers for three-plus seasons. He was fired during the middle of the 2008-2009 season and now holds a career coaching record of 284-286 (.498). Philadelphia made the playoffs one time under Cheeks' watch but did not advance out of the first round.

Cheeks was then hired as an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder under coach on Scott Brooks in 2009 and held that post through the end of the 2012-13 season.

Former Blazers coach Nate McMillan was also linked to the Pistons job.

Cheeks was a four-time All-Star as a player and holds career averages of 11.1 points, 6.7 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. He played 15 seasons with the 76ers, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and New Jersey Nets. Cheeks won a title as a member of the 1982-83 76ers.

PS Thanks to cavejunctionblazer who got there first in the FanShots.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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