For a little while there it seemed like the Cleveland Cavaliers were onto something when courting Chauncey Billups to replace David Griffin in their front office as GM. The man known as Mr. Big Shot is one of the most well-respected former NBA players to retire within the last ten years, and he still gets mad love from current and former players and coaches.
Additionally, his intelligence and insightful basketball mind are easily discernible amid the droning of your average sports news network talking heads. Yep, it looked like it was almost a done deal until Billups told them to take it and stick it where the sun don’t shine.
There was initially a bunch of speculation concerning this decision, but now it has become clear: the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted to give Chauncey a cash poor deal.
Dan Gilbert offered Chauncey Billups a subprime loan.
According to ESPN, the Cavs final offer was a $2 million annual salary, which was a step up from the $1.5 million he was initially offered. Some may cram to understand why anybody would turn down a million dollar gig but NBA general managers average somewhere around $4 million per year. That means Billups’ deal would have only amounted to 50 percent of the league average for the same position.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, black men make 22 percent less than their white male counterparts on average in the United States. However, this particular scenario appears to have had more to do with owner Dan Gilbert’s Scrooge McDuck tendencies rather than race. Former GM David Griffin made less than $2 million a year and was let go after the two sides failed to negotiate a new contract.
“I have great respect for Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and I greatly appreciate the discussions we had regarding their organization,” Billups told ESPN after turning down Cleveland’s offer and withdrawing his name from consideration. “As I have conveyed before, ultimately I would like to lead a team’s basketball operation and be a part of a successful franchise. But presently, the timing just isn’t right to delve into that role in Cleveland. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on broadcasting and my other business endeavors.”