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Though he turned down an opportunity to do so last summer, Chauncey Billups still wants to run an NBA team.
Billups, a former standout point guard best known for his days with the Detroit Pistons, says he still has the desire to become a team executive, a roll that didn’t happen last summer after having talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“My desire is to one day run a team, be in a front office and try to build a champion,” Billups said during an interview with the Associated Press. “I know that I will, and I know I’m going to do a good job. When that opportunity presents itself, and it’s a good opportunity, I’ll be ready to go.”
The Pistons revamped their organization since last season ended. Head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy was fired and replaced by former Toronto coach Dwane Casey. Ed Stafanski joined the team as a senior executive.
“I thought Stan did a good job. Stan is a very good coach, but sometimes you just need a new voice,” Billups said. “Coach Casey, obviously, has been a very good coach the last few years. He’s really ascended to the top of the ranks in the league.
“Whatever happened in Toronto presented an opportunity for him to come here.”
Casey was fired by the Raptors after being eliminated in the playoffs by LeBron James and the Cavaliers for a third consecutive season. He was later announced as the NBA Coach of the Year.
Detroit, a franchise which Billups has obvious ties would have seemed to be a good fit. However, it didn’t work out that way.
He led the Pistons to the NBA title in 2004 while they were playing in The Palace of Auburn Hills. They moved to Little Caesars Arena before the 2017-18 seasons.
“It’s always good to be here. Everybody knows how much I love the city, love the fans,” he said. “Obviously, I never had the opportunity to play in this building. I wish we would have. I wish we played in the city when we were here.
“But The Palace was good to us. The city was good to us, the fans. So it’s always good to be back here. I’m such a big Pistons fan. … I’m excited for the team for next year. The East is wide open, and I’m excited for the team. New coach, new everything.”