Chuck Daly won’t ever be known as the greatest basketball coach of all-time, but he’s definitely one of the best. He led the Pistons to a pair of titles and delayed the long reign of Michael Jordan. He installed a defensive identity that helped forge the identity of Detroit basketball and Detroit itself. And he coached the Dream Team. That’s right, not the second bogus Dream Team or the subsequent Team USA squads stocked with NBA stars. The original Dream Team, with MJ, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Barkley and co.
(The hair changed color, but the style didn’t.)
Daly passed early Saturday morning from pancreatic cancer, losing a battle he’d been fighting for months. The NBA wasted little time in announcing that they’d honor his memory with “CD” pins on the lapels of all coaches’ jackets during the playoffs. They NBA Coaches Association is also creating the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, which tells you just about all you need to know about how other coaches feel about Daly.