Maurice Cheeks – Well-Deserved Contract Extension

Maurice CheeksThat’s right well-deserved

Maurice Cheeks received a 1-year contract extension, with an option for a 2nd year, that will finally put to bed the speculation he wouldn’t be back coaching the Sixers next season.  In the final year of his contract, the team playing sub .500 ball, and a new president & GM on board, many believed Cheeks would be on his way out or actively asking for him to be out like this guy

It was thought Ed Stefanski would want to bring in his own coach to lead the Sixers rebuilding effort, as it turns out that man is Mo.  Stefanski clearly recognized the positives Cheeks has brought to this young team and the value he has for the organization.   After the announcing the contract extension Stefanski had this to say about Cheeks,

“Since my arrival, I have been evaluating every aspect of the organization and I believe that Coach Cheeks deserves a great deal of credit for developing our players, putting them in a position to succeed and showing improvement every day.  Coach Cheeks has done a very good job of installing an up-tempo brand of basketball that puts this team in a position to succeed on a nightly basis and we are excited about the future under his direction.”

We, as fans, are quick to call for a coach’s head when our team struggles for an extended period of time.  More often than not the real source of the problem is a lack of overall talent and/or crapshoot collection of players that clearly don’t work well together.  These have been the true reasons our Sixers haven’t won more, even during the Allen Iverson era.

Cheeks has this relatively young team playing hard every night.  They have improved over the course of the season.  And you can clearly see the development in players such as Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams.  Is it just me, or has Samuel Dalembert been playing Maurice Cheekssmarter basketball and having one of his best seasons?  I attribute much of that largely to Mo. 

I think Stefanski expects to make significant moves this summer in free agency and the draft that will equip Maurice Cheeks with enough talent to compete at a much higher level.  This 1-year extension is essentially saying, “Mo you have done a great job with what you had to work with.  Now it’s time for you take the next step and lead a more talented Sixers team against the big boys in the Eastern Conference next year.” A try-out if you will.

If the team vastly improves their record next season, I see a long-term deal in Maurice Cheek’s future.  And I am rooting for just that.  Who else would you want to be the face of the current Sixers franchise then a well-respected and loved Sixers great from the past?

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5 Responses

  1. Not possible to critize this move, the season is already half over and it’s time to start thinking about who will coach next year and most importantly it’s only for ONE year. Billy would have given him a 6 or 7 year deal.

  2. Ok ok you win, last night he did do a real good job, grant it, it was against the woeful Knicks but he managed to get 9 guys 20 minutes or more.

    One final note, I will disagree with your comment here;

    “The reason the team was nicknamed the “Jailblazers” and why they enevitably fell apart. I don’t hold Mo responsible for that at all.”

    How can you not hold the coach, the leader responsible for his teams actions? It was his starting point guard and PF that were caught smoking weed numerous times. Also Zach Randolph and Ruben Patterson got in a fight during practice, with Randolph sucker punching his teammate in the jaw. Yea this was an epic team of screw-ups, but come on you have to have some control over your team. Hence where the “decline” started.

    I believe he has that here, some respect that was not given to him from the misfit squad in Portland.

  3. Brian – Simple these are well-paid, spoiled grown men. Not kids like in college basketball. NBA coaches aren’t really paid to babysit, make immature men grow up or scold these guys like parents for actions off the court. Sure you fine, bench or suspend them, or try and talk some sense into them, but thats about all you can do. It had nothing to do with those clowns not respecting Mo as a coach, rather they didn’t respect themselves, their families, their teammates or the entire organization and city they played for by doing the things they did.

    Fact of the matter people always want to blame coaches for everything and it’s unjust and far from reality. It’s about players. Winning is about the players first and foremost, Doc Rivers says it all the time now. The reason the Celts struggled they didn’t have enough good players, now that they are winning Rivers gives all the credit to the players. If a coach makes bad decisions during the game or can’t seem to motivate talent to play to their capabilities, get on him then. Not when a knuckle head smokes pot in his free time or gets in trouble with the law.

  4. […] in the second game of their last 12 back-to-back situations.  This is huge to me and shows why Mo deserved that extension.  The other, Andre Iguodala showed he can step up and take over a game in stretches against a good […]

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