Chauncey Billups aka Mr. Big Shot is getting his first shot — as an NBA head coach.
The current Los Angeles Clippers assistant has been hired by the Portland Trailblazers following an interview process that came down to Big Shot and the very overrated and outdated Mike D’Antoni.
Blazers superstar Damian Lillard gave Billups a glowing recommendation and even sat in during the interview process.
Billups, a five-time All-Star during his playing career is working out the contract details and will become the new “Leader of Men” in “RIP City.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 26, 2021
An agreement was reached on Friday night and a long-term deal is being put in place.
Billups will assume duties with the Blazers once the season for the Clippers ends. They currently trail the Suns (2-1) in the Western Conference Finals, but are coming off a big Game 3 win to inject some life into them.
Billups was hired by Tyronn Lue in November 2020, after serving six years as an NBA studio analyst on ESPN and NBA Countdown.
The NBA now has 10 Black coaches, the most since 2012-13, when they had 14 to start the season.
The Blazers were looking to replace Terry Stotts whose teams made it to the postseason in eight of his nine seasons, but only one conference finals.
The 44-year old Billups played 17 seasons in the NBA from 1997-2014, after being drafted third overall by the Boston Celtics out of Colorado.
He was traded several times early in his career and regarded as something of a disappointment, but later hit his stride with the Detroit Pistons, including leading them to an NBA title in 2004 over a Lakers team trying to four-peat.
Ben Wallace wins the No. 1 pick, Devin Booker wears a Rip Hamilton mask and Chauncey Billups gets a head coaching job.
The influence of the 2004 Pistons lives on. https://t.co/l9MdvzUCBv
— Chris Vannini 🇮🇹🏴 (@ChrisVannini) June 26, 2021
He was named Finals MVP for his efforts. He also had a rebirth in Denver playing alongside Carmelo Anthony from 2008-11.
The well-traveled Denver native also played for the Timberwolves, Clippers, and Knicks and finished out his playing career with a second stint in the “Motor City.”
In Portland he’ll take over a team led by the potent scoring tandem of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, with whom Billups has a great relationship with already.
The team went 42-30 this past season, good enough for the sixth seed in the Western conference playoffs but fizzled out in six games.
Billups’ hiring continues to shed light on the Black candidate, who is finally getting a fair shake to an extent as it pertains to becoming a head coach.
Jason Kidd was hired by the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday bringing his career full circle. He was drafted by the team, helped them win an NBA Championship over the Dream Team Heat in 2011 and now he returns as their head coach.
Black coaches have also stolen the spotlight in the NBA Playoffs as we have three Black coaches leading their respective teams in the NBA’s final four.
Hats off to Monty Willams, Nate McMillan and Tyronn Lue.
Getting two Black head coaching hires in a 24-hour timeframe is a huge step in the right direction but there’s still so much more that needs to be done.