Five-time NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups has appeared as a candidate in the Indiana Pacers coaching search, sources told ESPN.
As the Pacers begin preliminary interviews with a number of candidates, Billups and Pacers employees have recently committed and plan to hold additional job interviews, sources said Wednesday.
Bilaps, 43, fits into the historical profile of former Pacers coaches Larry Bird and Isia Thomas: MVPs in the NBA Finals are considered the leaders of men’s general teams hired without coaching experience.
Pacers President Kevin Pritchard and general manager Chad Buchanan did not run Pacers in the 2000s, but legendary CEO Donnie Walsh hired those employees and remained on staff ̵
Clippers assistant Ty Lue has discussed with Billups the possibility of him joining Lue as his best assistant coach if he starts working as a head coach this season, sources said. But Pacers offers a unique opportunity for Billups, given that this is not a job – unlike Philadelphia and New Orleans – for which Lue is emerging as a candidate.
Billups himself has served as a graduate school for several of the NBA’s best guards in recent years, including two in the Eastern Conference semifinals – Kyle Lowry of Toronto and Marcus Smart of Boston – who value every credit period spent with Billups. their careers growth and evolution.
The Brooklyn Nets hire Steve Nash, a contemporary of Billups, with no professional coaching experience, but he has the advantage of a long-standing relationship with the Nets GM Sean Marks. In recent years, Billups have built ties with the Pacers’ title of Victor Oladipo and Malcolm Brogden, but have not conducted a search for the Pacers.
For the Pacers and Billups management team, there will be a process of getting to know each other in these interviews and discussing the depth of Billups’ readiness for the job — and how they would work together to build coaches around him. Billups’ strength of personality, leadership style, and understanding of basketball have long led many NBA executives to believe it was only a matter of time before Billups was given a significant role in an organization, but so far he has been looking for the right form.
The Pacers are a multi-year playoff team that is fighting forward after the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs after four consecutive years of expulsion — in the hope that they can find a coach who can also build a player development program to show growth from within.
The Pacers fired coach Nate McMillan recently after four consecutive trips to the playoffs – and four exits from the first round.
Billups was the MVP of the 2004 NBA Finals for the Detroit Pistons, winning the NBA title and advancing to the finals again in 2005 before losing a seven-game streak to the San Antonio Spurs. Billups was a five-time All-Star and four-time member of the All-Defensive teams in the league. He played a significant role with successful teams during stops in Denver, New York and the LA Clippers later in his career.