Portland and Philadelphia his failings as a tactician were legendary. He was noted for being routinely out-coached, having a poor understanding of his own roster and spending a tremendous amount of time sitting on the bench attempting to grimly stare his team to victory. His mind-numbingly poor play calling skills were also a problem as his teams invariably contested for the league lead in turnovers immediately after a timeout. Okay so if he's not much of an X's and O's guy, he must be a master motivator right? Not so fast folks, there's actually very little evidence that Cheeks can motivate anyone to do anything at all. He couldn't motivate the Blazers to stay out of jail. He couldn't motivate Wallace and Stoudamire to avoid smoking pot during the season. He couldn't motivate Zach Randolph to keep his weight down and avoid breaking Rueben Patterson's eye socket during practice; despite the two men being teammates! During his time as coach of the Blazers he did manage to motivate both Bonzi Wells and Darius Miles to utter profanities in his direction. In Philly, he was so motivating that the Sixers managed to finish with a better record both the year before he was hired and the year during which he was fired after compiling a 9-14 record to begin the season. By the end of his time with the team, a 76ers huddle looked like a scene from The Breakfast Club; with slouched players staring up at the scoreboard, off into the crowd or just ignoring the coach's existence altogether. In other words: the second coming of Red Auerbach, Cheeks is not.
expected the Pistons to make the postseason in 2012; although he backed away from providing Dumars and then-coach Frank with an ultimatum to do so or else. While a burning desire to win is a wonderful trait in a team owner the statement suggested that Gores knew little if anything about basketball; not even their own immediate families could have looked at last year's roster and envisioned a playoff berth. When the team predictably finished with a lottery pick in the draft, Frank was fired and Gores once again began rumbling about the need to win now.
disheveled appearance, reputation in the league and celebrity lifestyle it's hard to get the impression that Gores is a particularly stable owner. He clearly likes the attention owning the team grants him and takes every opportunity to speak at length to reporters about his plans for the franchise. Unfortunately, Gores seems to open his mouth long before he's really decided what those plans actually are. This has lead to unfortunate gaffes such as promising a quick resolution to the Piston's coaching search before taking weeks and weeks to actually resolve the issue, for example. He's also displayed a penchant for ridiculous theatrics; it was Gores who promised to spend big, it was Gores who emasculated Dumars by bringing in Phil Jackson as an unpaid adviser during the team's latest coaching search. Since the end of the season, Gores has done nothing but make the franchise look foolish and turn up the pressure on Dumars to work miracles with a Pistons team that is nowhere near contention. In the final analysis it seems more than reasonable to suggest that it was this pressure on Dumars that ultimately lead him to hire a "never-was" like Cheeks. No established NBA coach of any repute would be willing to take over a franchise with both this poor a roster and an owner who seemingly has no connection to reality when it comes to assessing his own team. The logical approach then would be hire some kind of Euro League wizard or College ball innovator to begin a bold (and lengthy) re-imagining of the entire franchise. Unfortunately for Dumars, that would be admitting to an impatient Gores that the team is nowhere near contending and that admission would likely cost Joe his job.
- Sportsball Chic