March 6, 2009, - 5:05 pm

Chuck Daly: Pray For One of Sports’ Classiest Coaches

By Debbie Schlussel
As kids, my little brother and I were always big fans of Chuck Daly. We are twelve years apart and we had, among other things, our fandom of the Detroit Pistons in common. The legendary Detroit Pistons head coach–who led the Pistons “Bad Boys” to two back-to-back NBA championshipa–was always a nice guy and class act, in an industry filled with headcases, including on the coaching side. And he also coached the U.S. Olympic Basketball Team known as “The Dream Team” to win the Gold Medal.
Today, we learned that this true gentleman has been stricken with pancreatic cancer, the cancer which is quickly fatal for all but 5% of cases. As readers know, I lost someone near and dear to me to this horrible disease from which few live past five years and most live only months after diagnosis.
Chuck Daly was a coaches’ coach, with old-fashioned values you don’t much see in today’s pro coaches. When my brother and I met him in various settings, he was always down to earth and kind. And remember, this is the guy who had to simultaneously deal with the egos of Dennis Rodman, John Salley, and Isiah Thomas. (Yes, Bill Laimbeer played for him, too, but he wasn’t a problem child, just a “Bad Boy” who played his role.)


Pray for Chuck Daly, Legendary Coach & Class Act

Sadly, Chuck Daly is apparently in Stage Four of the cancer. But you never know. Sometimes, miracles happen.
I pray for Chuck Daly’s recovery and hope that he is comforted and does not suffer.
I’ve met few nicer, classier people in pro sports (and I used to be a sports agent, so I’ve met many).
Chuck Daly is the walking definition of a mensch, and I wish him much energy and strength in this fight for his life.

4 Responses

Chuck Daly is the man. He is the epitome of role model, and I think Webster’s Dictionary cross references Mr. Daly as well.
We can only hope that Chuck is able to come up with one more big clutch win, we’re pulling for him as we did throughout the 80’s and early 90’s.

trewsdetroit on March 6, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Yo, DS(T)*
My name is Kyle Yancy and I visit your site often, OK, 2-3 times a day. Anywhoz, I have/had Stage 3B Colon cancer and after surgery, I chose NOT to do chemo and radiation, simply because in situations where the cancer moves, they can be somewhat useless and have been known to cause more virulent cancers later on.
Instead, I’m being treated by a wonderful doctor in NYC by the name of Nicholas J. Gonzalez, MD. His phone number is 212 213 3337 and his web address is His specialty is pancreatic cancer patients and he’s had GREAT success treating them naturally. I encourage you greatly to pass this information on to Coach Daly.
BTW, to prove I visit often: I can’t remember which posting it was, but one of the lines in the post was “there was more anticipation between Electric Bugaloo 1 and Electric Bugaloo 2”.
*DS(T): as in Grandmaster D.S.T. Ya’ know I had to throw in an 80’s in there, righ’?

KyleNYC on March 6, 2009 at 11:39 pm

I remember Chuck when he was an assistant to Billy Cunningham who coached the 76ers back in the 80s. Truly a class gentleman and my best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Marc in south FL

Marc on March 7, 2009 at 8:46 am

Watching the Bulls and Pistons spar in the late 80s and 90s was on par with Celtics v. Lakers. Wow, those were great memories. Daly was a class act and drew up the ‘Jordan Rules’ that contained MJ from scoring his 40 points a night. I thought he was one step ahead of Phil Jackson in the coaching realm. Ultimately as the Pistons aged and Jordan ascended to his peak the Bulls moved forward.
Daly utilized his bench as good as anyone at the time. His 1 through 9 players were interchangeable. I hope he makes it through and recovers. He is an asset to the NBA. The league needs more Dalys. He is also is a great sport announcer analyst.

californiascreaming on March 8, 2009 at 11:51 am

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