Another hit for the city of Detroit

May 9, 2009

"I said hit him below the knees, Dennis! The knees!!"

"I said hit him below the knees, Dennis! The knees!!"

Things seem to be getting worse for Detroit and its citizens. After losing Pistons owner Bill Davidson and legendary pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fydrich in the past several weeks, Motown lost another of its sons after the passing of Chuck Daly, who guided the Pistons to back-to-back titles in the early 90s during the Bad Boys days. He passed at age 78 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Daly was not a Detroit native, nor was he born in state, but Michiganders claimed him as their own. He was a Midwestern-bred man who embraced the blue-coller work ethic that the city was known for. From all accounts, Daly was a class-act individual known for the ability to coach different personalities and dressing in snazzy courtside attire. Some of my first memories as a sports fan where the awesome playoff series between Michael Jordan’s Bulls and Daly’s Pistons in the late 80s and early 90s. One of the biggest subplots in today’s NBA playoffs is the rough play and flagrant fouls occurring an almost a nightly basis, but if you look back at those playoff series almost 20 years ago, today’s chippiness is child’s play comparitively. I was a Bulls fan back in that time (who wasn’t??), and I despised the Bad Boys and their brutish tactics. Anyone remember Dennis Rodman pushing Scottie Pippen into a television camera and giving Pippen a concussion? I don’t even think Rodman was ejected from that game. Daly dominated the Bulls then, and in turn he was given the reigns to the 1992 Olympic basketball team, deemed the “Dream Team” and the most dominant basketball team ever assembled. Joining Daly on the team was his shooting guard Joe Dumars, now the president of the Pistons franchise. Daly retired from basketball as the Pistons’ all-time winningest coach and was the only coach at the time to win an NBA title and an Olympic gold medal. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame and was named one of the league’s top 10 coaches of all-time as well. He is one of the most-famed Detroit sports figures of the past half-century and his legend will be remembered for many years to come. Rest in Peace, Chuck. You will be missed.

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