Pistons introduce Maurice Cheeks as new head coach - KMSP-TV

Pistons introduce Maurice Cheeks as new head coach

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) -

The Detroit Pistons officially introduced Maurice Cheeks as their new head coach on Thursday.

Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement that he was very impressed with Cheeks' basketball knowledge as well as his communication and leadership skills. "We are very excited to have someone of his experience and talent help take this franchise into the future," said Gores.

Cheeks stressed hard work and accountability during his introductory press conference, also saying that the Pistons have a lot of young talent.

Detroit is building around it's nucleus of young talent including, Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight to go along with the No. 8 pick overall in the NBA draft later this month.

"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," Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said in a statement. "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."

The 56-year-old Cheeks spent the past four seasons as an Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach. The Chicago native was a four-time All-Star over 15 seasons in the NBA, helping the Sixers win a championship in 1983.

Cheeks' previous head coaching experience was with the Portland Trailblazers and Philadelphia 76ers where he compiled a record of 284-286 in the regular season and 5-11 during three postseason's.

Detroit fired Lawrence Frank in April, a day after finishing 29-53. Frank was 54-94 in two seasons with the Pistons.

Cheeks becomes the franchise's fourth coach in six seasons -- following Frank, John Kuester and Michael Curry -- and ninth since the 1999-2000 season.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report

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