Earlier this summer, former NBA star and current TV analyst Chauncey Billups interviewed for the Cavaliers’ GM job but later pulled out, saying that the “timing wasn’t right.” The Cavs eventually promoted Koby Altman into the position, and the team is in the midst of a disastrous offseason with Kyrie Irving asking to be traded and LeBron reportedly unhappy.
Even if the Cavs have made three straight Finals and currently employ the best living basketball player, steering clear of working for a paranoid asshole like Dan Gilbert is never a bad career move. Billups went on the Vic Lombardi show in Denver today to explain why he passed on the gig. Interestingly, he said that he’d heard about Kyrie Irving wanting out before his desire became public knowledge:
You’re getting everything you want. You’re getting all the shots you want, you’re playing for a great coach, when the game is on the line they’re coming to you, you’re playing on national 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 thing sense I can make of it, and to me that doesn’t make sense.
Irving’s discontent is not, however, why Billups chose not to join the team. Nor did it come down to LeBron’s reported ambivalence about rejoining the Cavs next offseason. Billups says he passed on the job because the Cavs’ cupboard is so bare that the eventual rebuild will be far too difficult a task:
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 the [owner] is going to have the patience with you. What bothered me more than if LeBron left or not was 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 hinted that he may eventually take a GM job, and that he’ll just “wait until it feels right.”