Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chuck Daly, 1930-2009. R.I.P.

Former basketball coach Chuck Daly died today from pancreatic cancer. He was 78.

Daly is best remembered for two things. First, for guiding the Detroit Pistons to back to back NBA championships in 1989 and 1990 with teams that included Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn, John Salley and Dennis Rodman (before he started wearing dresses). Because of their aggressive play, the Pistons were simply known as "The Bad Boys."

In 1992, Daly coached the Dream Team to an Olympic Gold Medal at the Barcelona Olympics. That team included the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley and Karl Malone.

Some could make the case that anyone could have coached the team to a gold medal with that assemblage of talent. However, Larry Bird would disagree. Bird said, "Chuck did a good job of keeping us together. It wasn't about who scored the most points. It was about one thing: winning the gold medal."

Daly's coaching career, however, began inauspiciously. His first NBA head coaching job was with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1981. He was fired mid-way through the season after the team compiled a 9-32 record. Needless to say, the Cavaliers were a long way from LeBron James. However, in his remaining 13 seasons as a head coach Daly's teams only missed the playoffs once

After leaving the Pistons, Daly would later coach the New Jersey Nets for two seasons before retiring. Four years after the leaving the Nets, the Orlando Magic lured him out of retirement and he coached them for two seasons. Daly was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994.

1 comment:

coffee fan said...

Chuck Daly is/was Hall of Fame material, no doubt; he will be missed