The 76ers did the Curly Shuffle over the weekend and say "nyuk, nyuk, nyuk" to Mo Cheeks, firing him as head coach. Do I like the move? No. But then I don't like it when people die, either, and both these things tend to be inevitable, only that the career lifespan of an NBA coach is typically a lot shorter.
But I think Cheeks got an especially raw deal here in Philly. His relatively short coaching tenure had three distinct periods. 1) The Iverson era, where Cheeks wasn't really able to control A.I. -- but then who has? (And I won't even mention Chris Webber). Then, he was handed a team with a huge element of rookies and untested or not-reaching-their-potential players and asked to see what he could do -- and in my opinion Cheeks worked wonders, reaching the playoffs and stealing two games from the Pistons with a team that should have been fighting for a high lottery pick. Then, management made some moves, especially signing Elton Brand, that altered the chemistry of the team but so far, after just one-fourth of the season, have actually taken it a step backward.
The NBA being what it is, they're stuck with their player moves, for the most part. But it's easy to fire the coach. So Mo is now less. I don't know if it makes the Sixers any better. But I do know Maurice Cheeks was a class act in a sporting world where that kind of character should be cherished. He will be missed.