As most people probably know, legendary and Hall of Fame basketball coach Chuck Daly sadly passed away yesterday at the young age of 78 due to his battle with pancreatic cancer. He was the coach of the two-time champion "bad boys," also known as the Detroit Pistons, as well as a coach with Cleveland Cavaliers, New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic. Adding onto that, he coached the 1992 USA Olympic Gold Medal "Dream Team" (which is argued as one of the best assembled basketball teams ever) and as a matter of fact, was an assistant for the 76ers under Billy Cunningham during the late-70s and the beginning part of the early-80s. He left Philadelphia to become the coach of Cleveland before the 1983 championship season. Oh yeah, there's more. He coached Penn for seven seasons as well as other colleges. He was the coach of Penn for one of there more successful eras, if not their most succesful and took them to the NCAA tournament numerous times. He is somewhat of a a local guy too since he was born in St. Mary's, PA.
Considered one of the best coaches of all time, Daly is more recognized for stuff other than basketball. He touched so many people in and outside of the game. Players connected with him and he could weal, deal and mix together a wide range of personalities and egos to create something special. Former Piston John Salley nicknamed him "Daddy Rich" for his custom tailored suits. He was a competitor and a wonderful human being. If you haven't noticed, announcers and coaches throughout the playoffs have been wearing "C.D." pins on their clothes to acknowledge Daly while he was in his battle with cancer. That's what he meant to everyone. It's sad to see him go, but his memory and spirit will live on forever as one of the greatest basketball minds, coaches and overall human beings on and off the court at all times. Rest in peace Chuck Daly and thank you for what you did and are doing to this great game.