After originally flying under the radar as a Detroit Pistons coaching candidate, Mo Cheeks has been granted a second interview with the team, reports Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:
Evidently, Mo Cheeks impressed someone during a recent phone interview with the Detroit Pistons.
The Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach and former head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers will have second interview with the Pistons today, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
Marc Stein reported Cheeks' scheduled interview last night, but did not mention that it was Cheeks' second interview:
OKC Thunder assistant Mo Cheeks, I'm told, will be next to interview for Pistons' head coaching vacancy, which happens Wednesday— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 22, 2013
On the surface, Cheeks looks like yet another retread coach. He's won more games than he's lost just twice over parts of eight seasons as head coach, both coming in his first two years on the job after inheriting a 50-win team from Mike Dunleavy. He's advanced to the playoffs three times but has never won a playoff series.
That said, even if he's rarely enjoyed a great deal of success, his teams were usually competent. Expectations were never high given the talent he worked with in Philadelphia, and he usually had those teams hovering around .500. And while his .498 career winning percentage (284-286) isn't much to get excited about, the Pistons haven't had enjoyed that much success in a season since 2008.
Cheeks has spent the last four years as Scott Brooks' lead assistant in Oklahoma City, during which time the Thunder have emerged as one of the NBA's elite teams. He's been credited with helping mentor OKC's young guards, which is a nice reputation to have considering Russell Westbrook and James Harden's development the last few years.
As a former NBA point guard, Cheeks made four All-Star teams and four first-team All-Defensive teams, helping lead the 76ers to a title in 1983. He still ranks fifth in league history in steals and 11th in assists. He's been a finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame the last three years.