PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Maurice Cheeks and the Philadelphia 76ers are expected to finalize a contract extension Wednesday, a vote of confidence for the popular coach as the team makes a playoff push.
A person familiar with the situation spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because final details of the contract had yet to be resolved.
The Sixers have not reached the playoffs in Cheeks' first two full seasons and they entered Wednesday night's game against New York holding the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Cheeks, in the final season of a three-year deal, is 96-122 with the Sixers.
The Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer also reported Wednesday that a deal was close.
A four-time All-Star point guard during 15 seasons in the NBA, Cheeks was a fan favorite on Philly teams that also included Julius ``Dr. J'' Erving and Moses Malone. Cheeks helped lead the Sixers to the NBA title in 1983, the last time any of Philadelphia's four major pro teams won a championship.
Cheeks was an assistant under three coaches from 1994-2001, and was part of Larry Brown's staff when the Sixers went to the NBA finals in 2001.
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