Chauncey Billups, who played in five NBA All-Star Games and won a championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004, is reportedly ready to pursue head coaching opportunities as early as this offseason, according to a report.
Per Yahoo Sports‘ Chris Haynes, the 43-year-old Billups has considered directing a team from the sidelines at various junctures since his farewell tour with Detroit in 2014. Now, according to Haynes’ sources, the former player known in league circles as “Mr. Big Shot” for his history of late-game heroics is finally ready and willing to make the jump to the coaching ranks.
As relayed last month by The Inquisitr, it had previously been believed that Billups would perhaps spend a year or two as a proverbial understudy before seeking his own post. Specifically, it was reported that he was interested in joining former Cleveland Cavaliers headman Tyronn Lue’s next staff as associate head coach; Lue is said to be a top candidate for several currently open jobs.
And while a year of on-the-job training may have helped Billups in a potential transition from the broadcast booth — where he has been since shortly after his retirement — to an NBA bench, it may not be necessary for actually facilitating the move.
According to Haynes, multiple teams have already begun to investigate Billups as a potential head coaching candidate. Furthermore, the high basketball IQ that Billups exhibited as a player and his innate ability to connect with and command the respect of others involved with the game holds sway with executives around the association.
In 2017, he was considered a top candidate for the Cavs’ open general manager job before he withdrew himself from consideration. The team went on to promote Koby Altman to the post, but Billups remained a sought-after commodity.
Moreover, several teams have shown a willingness in recent years to take fliers on former point high-level point guards without previous experience as coaches. Derek Fisher, Jason Kidd and Steve Kerr, for example, were all hired despite their relative inexperience. The latter proved to be a winning acquisition for the Golden State Warriors, as Kerr proceeded to direct the franchise to three out of the last five league titles.
On Thursday, former NBA MVP Steve Nash joined the list, inking a four-year pact to coach the Brooklyn Nets.
As a player, Billups appeared in 1,043 games for seven different teams — most notably the Pistons and the Denver Nuggets — averaging just over 15 points and five assists per contest, while making 39 percent of his shots attempted from three-point range.