Share this story

Chauncey’s chance to become new Hawks GM looks bright

Chauncey Billups

Many had thought Chauncey Billups would soon become a head coach in the NBA.

The former champion and now broadcaster could be working with a new job soon. No, not as a bench tactician.

A crucial interview has been set up between Billups and the Atlanta Hawks and if something positive comes out, he could be the new General Manager of the team.

That spot was left open after Mike Budenholzer stepped down from his dual role as coach and GM of the team.

Of course, there are also person of interest other than Billups, but he is a surprise inclusion, a uncharacteristically longshot if we may say so.

The Hawks have already interviewed Washington Wizards vice president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard and Golden State assistant general manager Travis Schlenk.

Billups, 40, is inexperienced in the executive role but one of his main attributes as a former player was his team leadership.

A five-time All-Star, he played for Boston, Toronto, Denver, Minnesota, Detroit, New York and the LA Clippers as a wily point guard during his 17 seasons in the league.

In 2004, he won the NBA Finals MVP award after helping the Pistons defeat the LA Lakers in the Finals.

He earned the nickname “Mr. Big Shot’’ for making heroic, late-game shots for the Pistons.

While not busy with his broadcasting job, the former Nuggets star is the captain of the Killer 3s team in the “Big 3’’ league among former NBA greats and players organized by rapper and actor Ice Cube. His teammates include Stephen Jackson (co-captain), Reggie Evans, Larry Hughes and Brian Cook.

Should Billups pass the interview and gets hired, his first duty could be to deal mainly on the unrestricted free agency of Paul Millsap, for years the Hawks main man.

Billups has turned down an offer to become one of the highest-paid assistant coaches in the league when the Orlando Magic pursued his services in June 2016.

The Minnesota Timberwolves also offered the associate head coach position for the team in the 2015-16 season.

But Chauncey has stressed coaching has never been really his forte.

And digging deeper, it is believed he does not want to oversee a rebuilding process for fear of being eventually fired.

In a recent interview with the Denver Post, he said: “One of my fears about being in a front office, not a fear but a reservation, is maybe I don’t have that kind of day-to-day influence and impact on a guy like I’m used to.’’

Instead, the calling of the front office seems to be tops on his agenda.

And in the end, could it be Billups ringing the bell as new Hawks GM?

See Also