College - West Texas State
HEAD COACH - DETROIT PISTONS
Maurice “Mo” Cheeks was named the 29th head coach in Pistons franchise history on June 10, 2013 bringing with him more than 30-plus years of NBA experience to the job. Cheeks joins the Pistons after serving the last four seasons as an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder where he helped guide the team to a 212-100 (.707) record, four playoff appearances and an NBA Finals appearance in 2012.
Prior to joining the Thunder, Cheeks spent three-plus seasons as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. During the 2006-07 season, his first with Philadelphia, he guided the team to a 38-44 record and fell just two wins shy of reaching the postseason. In 2006-07, Cheeks rallied the Sixers from a 5-19 start of the season to finish 35-47 on the season. Philadelphia increased its win percentage to .519 in games played from January through April, compared to a .267 win percentage during the first two months of the season. It marked the biggest improvement in the NBA by any team during that span. The Sixers also went 18-11 (.621) after the All-Star break, which ranked as the eighth-best winning percentage after the break.
Cheeks led Philadelphia to one of the greatest in-season turnarounds in NBA history during the 2007-08 season. On February 4, 2008, the Sixers were 18-30 then went on to win 18 of their next 23 games, becoming only the sixth team in NBA history to go over .500 after being at least 12 games below .500 at some point in the same season. They were only the second team in the previous 20 years to accomplish that feat. The Sixers finished the season with a 40-42 record and reached the postseason for the first time since 2005.
Prior to the Sixers, Cheeks spent three-plus seasons as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers (2001-05). During his time in Portland, he posted a 162-139 (.538) mark, accounting for the fourth-highest win total in Blazers history. He coached the team to a .500 or better record in three-of-four seasons at the helm. He also helped the Blazers reach the NBA Playoffs twice, and his 2002-03 squad tied for second in the Pacific Division with a 50-32 record.
Before joining Portland, Cheeks spent seven seasons as an assistant coach for the Sixers, working under head coaches John Lucas (1994-96), Johnny Davis (1996-97), and former Pistons head coach Larry Brown (1997-2001). In 2000-01 under Brown, Cheeks helped guide the 76ers to a record of 56-26 (.683) and a trip to the NBA Finals.
The 57-year-old Cheeks played 15 seasons in the NBA, the first 11 with Philadelphia, before stints with San Antonio, New York, Atlanta and New Jersey. He retired in 1993 as the league’s all-time steals leader and currently ranks fifth all-time (2,310) on that list. He’s one of only 11 players in NBA history to record 2,000 steals and ranks 11th all-time in NBA history with 7,392 assists. Cheeks led the Sixers in assists in each of his 11 seasons and also topped the team in steals in each of his first 10 years.
A key member of the Sixers’ 1983 NBA Championship team, he was selected to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team five times (First Team: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986; Second Team: 1987) and played in four All-Star games (1983, 1986, 1987, 1988). Cheeks compiled career averages of 11.1 points, 6.7 assists and 2.1 steals in 1,101 games while shooting .523 from the field and .793 from the free throw line. A favorite in Philadelphia, Cheeks is one of seven former Sixers players to have his number retired by the club (No. 10). A native of Chicago, he began his coaching career with the Quad City Thunder of the CBA. In his only season with Quad City, Cheeks helped guide the club to the CBA Championship.
The 1978 West Texas State (currently West Texas A&M) graduate was a four-year starter and three-time MVP in college. He finished his collegiate career third on the Buffs’ all-time scoring list, averaging 16.8 points per game and shooting 56.8 percent from the field as a senior. Cheeks was selected in the second round of the 1978 NBA Draft (36th overall) by the Sixers.