Chauncey Billups says that he knew Kyrie Irving was unhappy when Billups interviewed for the Cavaliers‘ GM position last month, passes along Brian Windhorst of ESPN. On Tuesday, Billups gave an interview on the Vic Lombardi Show on Altitude Sports 950 AM in Denver, in which he provided his opinion on Irving’s trade request and explained why he turned down an offer to be Cleveland’s general manager.
Billups, on Irving: “[Irving’s trade request] didn’t surprise me. I knew as [the Cavs] were doing their due diligence on me I was doing the same thing on them. “I knew so much about the situation that the rest of the world doesn’t know. But it’s unfortunate, man, because [Irving is] a special talent. So much of what he’s been able to accomplish on and off the floor has been as the beneficiary of having LeBron James. You’re getting everything you want. You get all the shots you want, you’re playing for a great coach who’s letting you go to work, when the game is on the line they’re coming to you, you’re playing on TV every week. To me, I don’t get it. Everybody has their own desires. Maybe he wants to be Russell Westbrook and go try to win the MVP and get all the shots. That’s the only sense I can make of it, and to me that doesn’t make sense.”
Billups, on turning down the Cavaliers GM offer: “The whole LeBron leaving the next year, to be honest that didn’t bother me that much. “Here’s why: When you have an opportunity to really put something together and put your imprint on it — rebuilding is a beautiful thing if [they’re] going to have the patience with you. What bothered me more than if LeBron left or not was that I didn’t think they had great assets if you have to do a rebuild. It was more that than Bron. Bron and I have always had an amazing relationship.
Billups goes on to say, “It was a great process. That team is a great team, a lot of expectations, lot of pressure involved with that team. But I didn’t mind that. That’s kind of been my entire career, the stress and pressure. At the end, in my spirit, it just didn’t quite feel like it was the right time at the end. It was one of those gut things. So I took myself out of consideration. I felt good about it. Dan and I talked afterwards and I thanked him for giving me such a good opportunity. … We will remain friends. I don’t need the job. I love my life. I love this ESPN thing; it’s been fun. And I’ll just wait until it feels right.”