Maurice Cheeks hired to helm Pistons

Updated: June 11, 2013, 11:16 AM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

Former All-Star point guard Maurice Cheeks is getting his third shot as an NBA head coach.

Cheeks, an assistant in Oklahoma City for the past four seasons, on Monday formally agreed to take over as coach of the Detroit Pistons, replacing Lawrence Frank, the team announced Monday.

"After spending some time with Maurice, I was very impressed not only with his basketball knowledge but his communication and leadership skills," Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement. "We are very excited to have someone of his experience and talent help take this franchise into the future."

ESPN.com reported on June 2 that a third interview in Detroit, after two previous meetings with Gores, appeared to nudge him ahead of co-finalist Nate McMillan.

Cheeks has posted a career mark of 284-286 in stints coaching the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers, with three first-round playoff exits in his six full seasons as a head coach.

Besides former Portland and Seattle coach McMillan, the Pistons interviewed Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew, former Phoenix Suns interim coach Lindsey Hunter, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer, and New York Knicks assistant Darrell Walker.

The Pistons announced in May that former coach Phil Jackson, a longtime friend of Gores, was acting as a consultant during the search. But the hiring of Cheeks came without Jackson's favored candidate -- Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw -- ever interviewing for the job.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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