Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 6/6/13
Maurice Cheeks is the leading contender to replace Lawrence Frank as head coach of the Detroit Pistons, according to a media report. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday night that owner Tom Gores and team president Joe Dumars had reached a consensus on hiring the 56-year-old Cheeks over the other top candidate, Nate McMillan. Cheeks, now an assistant coach for Oklahoma City, has had two previous stints as a head coach. He took over the Portland job in 2001 from Mike Dunleavy and went 99-65 in his first two seasons with a roster including Rasheed Wallace, Scottie Pippen and a young Zach Randolph. However, the team lost in the first round of each year's postseason. Unfortunately for Cheeks, this was the heights of Portland's "Jail Blazers" era, and the team dropped to 41-41 in Cheeks' third year. In the 2004-05 season, with the team plagued by more legal issues, Cheeks was fired after a 22-33 start. The next season, he replaced Jim O'Brien as the coach of the 76ers -- the franchise where he had played the first 11 years of his 15-season career. He missed the playoffs in his first two seasons, going 73-91, but the team improved to 40-42 in 2007-08 and qualified as the Eastern Conference's seventh seed. The Sixers, led by Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller, lost to the Pistons in six games in the first round of what became Detroit's final run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Philadelphia started the next season 9-14, and Cheeks was fired in favor of Tony DiLeo. Cheeks joined Scott Brooks in Oklahoma City and has helped the team to three division titles and a Western Conference title in 2012.
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