It’s a dream come true for former Detroit Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups. Mr. Big Shot will finally call the shots as he gets an opportunity to be an NBA head coach. Billups is currently an assistant coach under Tyronn Lue with the Los Angeles Clippers, but the Portland Trail Blazers are making a five-year commitment to Billups per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Billups had been the glue that bonded what continues to be a tight-knit group from the more recent ‘glory days’ Detroit Pistons of the 2000s. You don’t earn the nickname Mr. Big Shot for nothing, and when the game was on the line, there was no one else on the court you’d feel more comfortable with the ball in his hands than Billups.
The time was never right for the Detroit Pistons to hire Chauncey Billups, but he will finally get his shot elsewhere.
Before the Detroit Pistons hired current head coach Dwane Casey, Chauncey’s name continued to surface. It had been known Billups had a desire to patrol the sideline. Still, with Casey’s rich coaching resume and despite being a year removed and not winning the NBA Championship with Toronto, he certainly played a significant role in turning the organization around.
The Raptors moved on from Casey and promoted Nick Nurse basically hours after Casey had been awarded the NBA’s coach of the year.
After the Stan Van Gundy debacle in Detroit, I feel the organization needed stability on the sideline, and that is exactly what they’ve gotten in Casey. Unfortunately, the Detroit Pistons could not afford to take a chance on the inexperienced Billups. And, whether we want to believe it or not, I do feel like Billups would have been risking his overall reputation starting his coaching career off in the same city that made him a legend.
It’s no different than Steve Yzerman starting his managerial career off in Detroit. The Red Wings organization allowed Yzerman to test the water elsewhere, and after he built a juggernaut in Tampa Bay, brought the now proven GM home.
Just ask the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, how easy it is transitioning from a superstar to a head coach.
Thankfully Joe Dumars saw success as a GM, and the Billups-led Pistons won a title in 2004 because the one time Pistons great had plenty of swings and misses during his time in the organization’s front office, particularly in the draft.
Billups’ first order of business will be to try and calm the rough waters surrounding star Damian Lillard.
A Yahoo Sports report suggests Lillard wants out of Portland after team president Neil Olshey failed to interview anyone recommended to him by Lillard, and in today’s day and age, that is a big no-no whether you agree with it or not.
Lillard also feels the Trail Blazers have failed to surround him with enough talent to win an NBA Title. He’s been very loyal to Portland over the duration of his career, but it appears the soon-to-be 31-year old could be heading out the door in the coming weeks.
Lillard also mentioned that he had no idea about the past sexual assault allegations against Billups, which occurred in 1997.