Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups won a title with the 2004 Pistons and are now trying to do the same as NBA executives.
The Detroit Pistons have been unable to regain the prominence that their 2004 NBA Championship team enjoyed. With a solid nucleus of very good players, who had even better chemistry on the court, Detroit advanced to six straight Eastern Conference Finals from 2003-08.
They’ve only made the playoffs three times in the past 11 years and all have been first-round exits.
Take Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups for instance. Both are rising stars as NBA executives and Detroit could have secured both of them and had two championship foundation pieces leading the team into the next century.
Instead, the Memphis Grizzlies have decided to put a large portion of their front office decision making in the hands of Prince.
Former NBA champion Tayshaun Prince has been promoted to VP of Basketball Affairs of the Memphis Grizzlies.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 27, 2019
Now he’ll be handling crucial basketball decisions for a Grizzlies team that’s still searching for its first NBA Championship.
Billups is considered a potential future Hall of Famer and Pistons legend who was the floor general and intellectual leader for those physically imposing Pistons team of the mid-to late-2000’s.
The former guard has 17 years of basketball experience and finished his career as a five-time All-Star who played eight seasons as a member of the Pistons. Billups’ name has been rumored as a front office prospect for a few years now. In 2017, he turned down a “lowball” financial offer to assume Cleveland’s GM position.
Now, the Minnesota Timberwolves have identified the current ESPN analyst as a potential candidate for the main front-office job.
Chauncey Billups will be Minnesota’s final interview on Monday in search for a new President of Basketball Operations, league sources tell ESPN. Denver’s Calvin Booth, Brooklyn’s Trajan Langdon and Houston’s Gersson Rosas have already met with team officials.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 29, 2019
Billups is the last candidate to be interviewed and the least experienced executive, but there’s no denying his vast hoops knowledge.
The Wolves have nothing to lose. The old method of hiring isn’t working as the franchise has made the playoffs just once in the last 15 years since Kevin Garnett led them to the Conference Finals and then bounced to greener pastures and NBA championship glory with Boston.
Minnesota brass is willing to try anything to find a recipe for success, so they might be picking from the old Motown tree, same as Memphis, in an attempt to capture some championship glory. Infusing some new blood into the NBA executive pool might shake things up for both stagnant clubs and bring a different perspective to each organization.
When it came to intelligence, strength,basketball savvy and teamwork, the 2004 Pistons are among the best to ever do it.