Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sixers sign Cheeks to extension

By Bob Herpen

(The Phanatic Magazine) - The Philadelphia 76ers and head coach Maurice Cheeks agreed in principle to a contract extension, general manager Ed Stefanski announced Tuesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the current extension is an addition to the one Cheeks inked on February 20.

"Over the course of my time here, coach Cheeks and I have developed an excellent working relationship, one which I look forward to continuing with him as we move forward in an effort to achieve our collective goals," said Stefanski.

Cheeks led the Sixers to a 40-42 record in 2007-08, at one point winning 18 of 23 games in February and March, finishing third in the Atlantic Division and earning the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Philadelphia's first playoff appearance since 2005 ended in the first round with a six-game loss to the Detroit Pistons.

The 52-year-old Cheeks has yet to record a winning season in three years at the helm in Philadelphia, going a combined 113-133. He spent 3 1/2 seasons as head coach in Portland from 2001-2005 and guided the Blazers to record of 162-139 with a pair of playoff appearances.

"I just want to thank the 76ers organization, particularly Mr. Snider, Peter Luukko and Ed Stefanski, for continuing to provide this team with everything necessary to compete and achieve our goals," Cheeks said. "My focus remains the same as it was when I first arrived -- to do whatever it takes to help us win basketball games."

Cheeks played 15 seasons in the NBA, including his first 11 with Philadelphia, and retired in 1993 as the league's all-time steals leader. He was selected to the NBA's All-Defensive Team five times, played in four NBA All-Star Games and was a member of the Sixers' 1982-83 NBA championship team.

Before his stint as head coach in Portland, Cheeks was an assistant with the Sixers for seven seasons under head coaches John Lucas, Johnny Davis and Larry Brown.

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