The Pacers‘ initial list of candidates for their head coaching vacancy featured 14 names, but apparently it was still unfinished. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski adds another name to that list, reporting that former NBA point guard Chauncey Billups has emerged as a candidate for the Indiana job.
According to Wojnarowski, Billups and Pacers officials recently engaged in talks about the position and plan to discuss it further. Woj points out that Billups fits the profile of some past Pacers coaching hires, such as Larry Bird and Isiah Thomas — Bird and Thomas were former Finals MVPs – like Billups – who were hired without any previous coaching experience in large part due to their leadership abilities as players.
A report last week indicated that Billups was interested in pursuing an NBA head coaching job and that teams had begun doing their homework on the former Piston, researching his candidacy.
Although Billups lacks coaching experience, NBA teams have a history of hiring former point guards who don’t have any past experience as assistants. Steve Nash is the latest example, but Doc Rivers, Steve Kerr, Mark Jackson, Jason Kidd, and Thomas are others who fit the bill.
The Pacers’ management team wants to get to know Billups, evaluate his preparedness for the job, and explore how they’d work together to build a coaching staff, writes Wojnarowski. According to Woj, people around the league have long believed that Billups would land a significant role with an NBA organization due to his leadership style and “basketball savvy.” It remains to be seen if he and the Pacers will be the right fit for one another.