Maurice Cheeks (complete name – Maurice Edward Cheeks) is an American former professional basketball player who helped Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA Championship in 1983.
Maurice, who averaged 6.7 assists and 11.1 points per game for his career, ranks 13th in assists and 5th in steals in league history.
After retirement, Cheeks became an NBA coach. In 2001, Maurice accepted the job as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.
He was born on September 8, 1956, in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Maurice grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes, a public housing project that is located in Bronzeville on the South Side of Chicago.
He attended DuSable High School. From 1974 to 1978, Cheeks attended West Texas State University.
The Philadelphia 76ers is an American professional basketball team which is based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The team has won three NBA championships.
The Philadelphia 76ers have had numerous starts playing for them, including:
- Allen Iverson;
- Wilt Chamberlain;
- Charles Barkley;
- Hal Greer;
- Moses Malone;
- Andrew Toney;
- Julius Erving;
- Billy Cunningham.
After college, he was picked in the 2nd round of the 1978 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played there for 11 years.
During his rookie year, he averaged almost 30 minutes of playing time, with 5.3 assists and 8.4 points per game.
Maurice helped the Philadelphia 76ers to 3 trips to the NBA Finals in a 4-year span in the early 1980s as well as an NBA championship in 1983.
He retired from the NBA in 1993.
After retirement, Maurice spent one-year coaching for the Continental Basketball Association’s Quad City Thunder.
In 1994, he was appointed the Philadelphia 76ers assistant head coach. Maurice coached under head coaches:
- Larry Brown;
- Johnny Davis;
- John Lucas.
In 2005, Cheeks was named as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite his losing record as a coach, on February 20, 2007, the Philadelphia 76ers extended his contract for one year.
After two years, Maurice was hired as an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On June 10, 2013, he was appointed the head coach of the Detroit Pistons.
In the follow-up year, Cheeks was dismissed from his position of head coach of the Detroit Pistons.
In 2015, Maurice was appointed as an assistant coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In 2018, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He declared on the night when he was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
“Thank you to the committee for thinking enough of my contribution to the sport to select me for such an honor.”
Cheeks has one daughter, named -Maura Cheeks.
Maurice Cheeks is 6′ 1″ (1.85 m) tall.
“We’re working. Everything we do is not going to be perfect. We just have to keep fighting.”
”Allen is one of the few guys who can tolerate a lot of pain, and at game time you know he really wants to play.”
“The essence of this game is they played harder than we did. Our energy was great [Wednesday] night. Tonight, our energy was low.”
”We just have to endure it and somehow find a way to change it.”
“All the emotion is gone now. This was not the way I wanted get the season started.”
On the night of April 25, 2003, at the Rose Garden, before the game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Thunder, Natalie Gilbert, a 13-year-old 8th-grade winner of a promotion walked out to the center court to perform in front of 20,000 fans the National Anthem.
Unfortunately, Natalie Gilbert had forgotten the words to the song she was about to perform.
Then, from her right, Maurice approached and said – “Come on, come on.” After, Maurice began to feed Gilbert the lines: “… twilight’s last gleaming …”
Both received a standing ovation after the song was over.
After the game, Maurice declared:
“Once I really saw what I did, I couldn’t believe I did it.”
“He was my guardian angel. He’s a very selfless man.”
In 2015, his friend Moses Malone had been found dead in a Norfolk, Va. hotel.
During an interview, Cheeks confessed:
“He was a good, good guy. That’s why it hit our hearts so hard.”
Maurice Cheeks – Net Worth
Cheeks earned most of his wealth from playing as a professional basketball player. He played for 15 years in the NBA with the 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, and San Antonio Spurs.
During his long career, Maurice was known for his work ethic, his consistent play, his ability to handle the ball, and his speed.
Maurice still ranks 5th in league history in steals and 11th in assists.
From 2001-05, Mo served as the coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, and from 2005-08 he coached the 76ers. Additionally, Cheeks was the lead assistant in Oklahoma City Thunder.