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.
Even as a Lakers fan during the Showtime Era days, Detroit Pistons head coach Chuck Daly earned my respect. Not only could he match Pat Riley coaching move for coaching move, but he could also match him designer suit for designer suit. Plus, he seemed like he could either drink you under a table, or throw you through one. And his teams were a reflection of this, winning back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990.
So it pains me to report the following: the DETROIT FREE-PRESS says that Daly has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His family is asking for privacy and haven’t given further details of his condition, with a family spokesperson saying that “when he was coaching, Chuck was always known as the Prince of Pessimism. Right now, Chuck Daly is the King of Optimism.”
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Tags: Adrian Peterson
, Anquan Boldin
, Baylor Bears
, Brandon Marshall
, Bruce Bowen
, Chuck Daly
, Gene Upshaw
, Isiah Thomas
, Jay Cutler
, John Elway
, Matt Leinart
, The Masters
, Washington Nationals