76ers replace O'Brien with Cheeks

May 23, 2005 at 7:10 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, May 23 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia 76ers fired Coach Jim O'Brien on Monday and turned the job over to former assistant Maurice Cheeks.

Cheeks will be the 76ers 21st head coach. He takes over in Philadelphia after more than three seasons as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.

O'Brien, a 53year-old Philadelphia native, lasted one season in Philadelphia. He directed the 76ers to a 43-39 record.

O'Brien spent seven seasons in the Boston organization. He took over in Boston for Rick Pitino in January 2001 and had a head coaching record of 139-119 with the Celtics. He resigned as Celtics coach in January 2004.

Cheeks, 49, was fired as coach of the Trail Blazers March 2 after the club dropped 33 of its first 55 games. He was named Portland coach June 27, 2001 after seven years as an assistant in Philadelphia.

Cheeks was a four-time NBA All-Star during his 15-year playing career.

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