Right move honouring Daly

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

Basketball's past often gets overlooked by today's me-first generation of money-driven hoopsters.

Trailblazers, the people who helped build the foundation for today's immense riches, aren't mentioned often or barely receive their due recognition.

That is why the NBA Coaches' Association deserves credit for taking yesterday's step of honouring Chuck Daly, the coach of the original Dream Team and the person many acknowledge as a pioneer.

The timing of the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award comes at a time when the NBA's post-season is poised to tip off, but also at a time when Daly is battling for his life having been diagnosed with cancer.

Daly was known as Daddy Rich because of his exquisite taste in clothes when he roamed the sidelines.

The moniker also extended into his wallet after Daly led the Detroit Pistons, better known as the Bad Boys when physical contact was as much a part of the game as today's high-flying dunksters, to back-to-back NBA titles.

Daly touched many lives and his ongoing battle has inspired many.

Dallas Mavericks head coach and president of the league's coaches association Rick Carlisle and executive director Michael Goldberg announced that coaches throughout the post-season will wear a lapel pin emblazoned with the "CD" initials as a show of support for Daly, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February.

Moreover, the coaching association also announced that it is developing the "Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award" to honour a current or former NBA head coach or assistant.

"I am pleased to announce that the NBCA is dedicating the 2009 NBA playoffs to Chuck Daly and we all send our thoughts and best wishes to him and his family," Carlisle said.

Daly, 78, is a hall of famer who recognized Dennis Rodman's defensive skills.

Daly gave Isiah Thomas complete control of a Pistons squad that physically and mentally beat teams by bending the rules and playing on the extreme edge.

Daly's first NBA gig was way back in 1981 in Cleveland, where he led the Cavs to a 9-32 record after replacing Bob Kloppenburg, who years later would join the Raptors as an assistant.

Daly's ties to Toronto are found with Bob Zuffelato, a day-oner with the Raptors who continues to serve as a scout.

When Daly wrapped up his college career at Boston College, it was Zuffelato who filled Daly's shoes.

Nash is all a-Twitter

Today's modern-day communication allows players to deliver unfiltered messages without some media maven running interference.

As soon as the curtain fell on the Phoenix Suns, Steve Nash forwarded his thoughts via Twitter.

"I can't believe our season's over. Crazy! I hope we'll be back and if so I know we'll be better."

During an end-of-season interview, Suns GM Steve Kerr hinted that he'd like to give Nash an extension, but so much will depend on the financial whims of owner Robert Sarver.

"Steve's the face of the franchise," Kerr said. "He's one of the top point guards in the league still, one of the greatest of all time. He hasn't really showed signs, to me, of slowing down."

A player who has slowed down is Shaquille O'Neal, who wants out and thinks he'll be moved to New Orleans for Tyson Chandler.

No worries for V.C.

Vince Carter has two years left paying him $33.6 million US.

Little wonder he isn't fretting over his future with the New Jersey Nets.

A subject of trade rumours for most of the season, the speculation will intensify during the coming off-season.

"I don't worry about it," Carter said.

"I'm prepared for whatever. If it (a trade) happens, it happens. If not, I'll still be here after the season. I plan on coming in and working out like normal."


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