Blazers extend Cheeks’ contract
Portland, OR (Sports Network) – The Portland Trail Blazers and head coach
Maurice Cheeks agreed on a contract extension Thursday. Terms of the deal were
not disclosed, but the team has scheduled a press conference for 8:00 p.m.
Cheeks, who has just the 2003-04 season remaining on his current pact, took
the reigns in Portland in June of 2001. He has coached the Blazers to a 103-68
in his two-plus seasons, including a 4-3 record this year.
Portland was 50-32 last season and nearly pulled off an astounding comeback
against Dallas in the first round of the playoffs. The Mavs, poised for a
sweep, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the series before the Blazers won three
straight and forced a Game 7.
Dallas won that final game, however, and eliminated Portland from the
Cheeks, a 15-year veteran of the NBA, began his coaching career as an
assistant in the CBA, where he led the Quad City Thunder to the league
championship in 1993-94. He then returned to the NBA and was hired by the
76ers as an assistant, a position he held for seven years.
The 47-year-old Cheeks is credited with the development of All-Star guard
Allen Iverson and helped coach the 76ers to the 2001 NBA Finals.
A four-time NBA All-Star, he was selected by Philadelphia in the second round
of the 1978 draft. Cheeks then became the 76ers starting point guard, starring
on the 1983 NBA championship team.