Thunder Assistant Coach Maurice Cheeks Elected to Basketball Hall of Fame
Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Maurice Cheeks has been elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made Saturday morning in San Antonio, Texas, site of this year’s NCAA Men’s Final Four.
Cheeks spent 15 seasons in the NBA, 11 of those with the Philadelphia 76ers, and was a four-time All-Star, and a five-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive Team.
In 1983, he was the point guard on the Sixers team that won the NBA championship, with a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.
Cheeks is fifth on the NBA’s career list for steals and 13th in assists.
In his last 4 seasons in the NBA, Cheeks played with San Antonio, New York, Atlanta, and the New Jersey Nets.
Cheeks’ number 10 has been retired by the 76ers and earlier this season he was honored with a statue outside the Sixers’ practice facility.
Cheeks was present at the announcement Saturday morning, and told ESPN how he found out he had been elected.
Cheeks said he got a call on his Apple Watch and saw the text of the transcription, then walked over to Thunder general manager Sam Presti and head coach Billy Donovan, telling them the news and breaking down in tears as he did it.
The Thunder issued a statement on Cheeks’ election:
“We are thrilled to congratulate Maurice on his induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. This utmost honor is a testament to Mo’s tireless work ethic, love of the game and his innate ability to connect with teammates, coaches and the NBA family at large. A true winner in every sense of the word, he is not only a four-time All-Star, an NBA Champion and one of the most elite defenders in NBA history, but he’s also served as an ambassador to the game – always representing himself and the league with the highest level of grace and class. Basketball is better because of Maurice Cheeks, and the Thunder organization could not be more proud for him to receive the game’s highest distinction.”
Cheeks and the 12 other newly elected members will be officially enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, on September 7th.