Chauncey Billups, an NBA champion and all-time great with the Detroit Pistons, wants to be the head coach of an NBA franchise. It’s been well known ever since Billups hung up his sneakers that he wanted back into the NBA fold in some capacity. He had previously expressed interest in an NBA general manager role but had also been highly thought of as a coaching candidate.
He didn’t, however, have any interest in toiling away on the back benches of a franchise or in a lower-level executive role as he worked his way up through the system. Nope. If he couldn’t get the premier post, he was more than happy to continue his second career as a highly paid television analyst for ESPN and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Whether coincidence or not, shortly after the NBA world was shocked by the announcement that former point guard Steve Nash had signed on as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports wrote that Billups was interested in a head coach position. Nash has never coached at any level though he spent the past few years as a special adviser to the Golden State Warriors.
Billups, 43, has toyed with the idea of leading a team from the sidelines since retiring in 2014, but now it appears he’s fully invested in making the jump a reality, sources said.
Teams have now begun the process of researching Billups’ candidacy, sources said.
In 2012, general managers selected Billups as the active player who would one day make the best head coach.
There are currently head coaching vacancies in Philadelphia (though Ty Lue is reportedly close to signing to fill the role), New Orleans, Indiana and Chicago.
There is not currently an opening in Detroit, though incumbent coach Dwane Casey, entering the third year of his five-year contract, is now being asked to coach a rebuilding team after signing on to a “playoff contender.”
Casey is a good players coach and mentor so if he doesn’t mind the losses that are and will continue to be piling up, he could see his entire contract through. If, however, the Pistons or Casey decide there is no longer a fit, the Pistons would be in prime position to give an untested and popular former star a shot in the head chair.
Would it be a good idea? I have no idea. But I’ll be rooting for Chauncey, because he rules.