During his playing days with the Detroit Pistons, Chauncey Billups lead the team to two NBA Finals and an NBA championship (in 2004) and was known for his clutch performances. The team retired his No. 1 jersey two years ago and, since his playing days, Billups has embarked on a career as an NBA analyst for ESPN.
He was in the running for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ GM job last summer, but pulled out of that chase and has remained in his TV gig. Yesterday, The New York Times‘ Marc Stein reported via Twitter that the Pistons had “expressed interest in hiring Billups to work in tandem with Arn Tellem in a totally revamped front office.”
Detroit has expressed interest in hiring the former Pistons star Chauncey Billups to work in tandem with Arn Tellem in a totally revamped front office, according to league sources
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 20, 2018
Billups and the Pistons, however, both say that is not true. Current Detroit coach and team president Stan Van Gundy also shot down the talk yesterday. Here’s more from the Detroit Free Press:
Van Gundy, the Detroit Pistons’ president and head coach, spoke with reporters on Tuesday, the same day Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the franchise was interested in bringing in former star Chauncey Billups to work with team vice chairman Arn Tellem in a “revamped front office.”
“(Pistons owner Tom Gores) will make a decision at the end of the year,” Van Gundy said before the Pistons faced the Suns in Phoenix. “The reports don’t mean a damn thing. The only thing that matters is the decision Tom makes at the end of the year and that doesn’t matter right now. It only matters at the end of the year so the only thing that matters right now is trying to win a game tonight.”
Pistons spokesman Mark Barnhill called Stein’s report “False” in a one-word text message to the Free Press on Tuesday. Barnhill later said, “Stan is in charge, and we’ll sit down with him after the last game to review this season and start preparing for the next one. We all want the same thing: To win.”
On Tuesday afternoon, on ESPN’s “The Jump” show, Billups addressed the report.
“It’s 100 percent false,” he said, flanked by host Rachel Nichols and fellow panelist and former NBA player Stephen Jackson. “I haven’t spoken to anybody about (it).
“It’s unfair for something like that to come out. … It’s unfortunate.”
* * *