Chuck Daly, the greatest coach in Detroit Pistons' history, died over the weekend after a
long battle short agressive battle with cancer. He created the infamous Detroit Bad Boys style of basketball – which to some extent still continues today, almost two decades after he ended a 7-year career as the Pistons' head coach.
What a career it was. He took his teams to the NBA finals three times and won them twice. The second time, they called it a "Daly Double." I liked that. The Daly Double.
Daly was the man, always dressed to impress. His expensive suits and sophisticated demeanor earned him the name Daddy Rich.
He once said one of the most memorable things I've ever head an NBA coach say – "coaching an NBA team is like dealing with 12 CEOs." He was a master of motivation and strategy. His were teams where there was no one superstar. It was common ind Daly's Pistons days for six guys to score 15 points each.
That said, he certainly had some superstars to work with. Some of the exceptional players that Daly coached and brought together as one of the most gelled professional basketball units in history included;
- Isiah Thomas
- Joe Dumars
- Bill Laimbeer
- Mark Aguire
- Dennis Rodman
- Rick Mahorn
- John Salley
- John Edwards
- Vinnie Johnson
The players liked Daly and it showed in how well they all worked together. The dominance of the Daly Pistons lasted a few years until the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan, became too much for the Pistons and the era of the Bad Boys was over.
I remember Daly as a great coach, a great dresser, and a great leader. I've never really seen or read anyone saying anything bad about him. To me, that speaks volumes.
I enjoyed those great years of Pistons basketball, so very long ago. It was an exciting time.
Thanks Daddy Rich. RIP.