Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mo Talk

I know everybody wants to talk about AI and how big the Nuggets game has become. But after reading Sixers talk on the net this week-end I found myself reflecting about Mo Cheeks. Suddenly people are talking about the Sixers and giving high praise to Mo. As the old saying goes ... your are never as bad as you look and you are never as good as you look. So Mo was never as bad a coach as the Sixers poor start would indicate nor is he as great a coach as he appears to be at the moment. The truth is somewhere in between. But the thing I am certain of is that he the right coach right now. Ed Stefanski seems to believe this as much as anybody. Despite the 1 year extension he may still dump Mo at seasons end. The extension was necessary if he wanted the see the players respond (nothing is less motivating than a lame duck coach). So Cheeks is the right coach to teach this young squad how to win in the NBA. Is he the right coach teach them how to win a championship?

I could not help but laugh as I recognized my friends in Jeff Glauser's open letter to Mo in the Phanatic Magazine. In "Dear Coach Cheeks I'm Sorry" Jeff reflects on the years Cheeks played for this storied franchise and the quiet role he played on the '82 championship team. How his quiet manner sometimes tricks you into believing that maybe he wasn't that good of a player ... maybe he's not that good of a coach. But now Jeff has renewed faith since the team is winning. Fickle?

Perhaps not ... Mo has a way of letting you believe whatever it is you wish. He was that good in '82. So good you hardly noticed. The highest praise for a guard. Its hard for people to comprehend how unselfish Mo is. This week-end I came across a story from a Chicago beat writer expressing that same sentiment about Cheeks (76ers coach Cheeks still handling out assists). In the story he describes in great detail one of my favorite Mo Cheeks moments. You remember the one were Mo comes to the aid of a young girl singing the national anthem to start Game 3 of the 2003 playoff series between the Portland and Dallas.

My favorites Mo Cheeks moment ... watching him dribble out the clock as the Sixers clinched the '82 title. He races down the lane and dunks the ball as time runs out.

I remember thinking ... "I never say him dunk before". Now we are all wondering ... "just how good is he"?

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