Regner: Next Pistons coach should be Billups
FEB 09, 2014 4:45p ET
Now that the Mo Cheeks Era has officially ended in Detroit, the Pistons are once again looking for a head coach.
Eight men have coached them since Joe Dumars began calling the shots. And you have to wonder if Dumars might be next to go, with Pistons owner Tom Gores apparently calling the shots here now.
"This is a young team and we knew there would be growing pains, but we can be patient only as long as there is progress," Gores said in a statement after Sunday's firing of Cheeks.
That's why this next coaching hire is critically important for Dumars -- and why he should hire Chauncey Billups. Mr. Big Shot deserves a shot at trying to turn this franchise around.
Why Chauncey? Why not? They've tried almost everything else.
Honestly, it's simple: He's been coaching this team on and off the court for years.
According to many people who are much more familiar with the Pistons than me, Billups was the player who kept the team together, even during their 2004 championship run under Larry Brown.
Billups was the voice of reason and made sure the Pistons players, despite their dissatisfaction with their head coach, stayed focused. And it's not a coincidence that the franchise began to crumble after Billups was traded.
When Cheeks was hired, his upside was that he was a former point guard who the Pistons would respect and someone who could refine the skills of Detroit's guards.
That lasted all of 10 minutes or so. Cheeks lost this team almost from Day 1.
Billups is well respected around the league. His play, attitude and professionalism have earned him an exceptional reputation that will play well in Detroit. And, as previously stated, he can coach.
Billups isn't the player he once was, but he would bring stability to the Pistons as their head coach. Players will want to play for him, and fans will accept him. It will also appease Gores, who seems to love his stars.
Instead of naming an interim coach, make Billups a player-coach. Better yet, Billups should retire now and become the coach.
Unfortunately, the Pistons aren't going to tear up the NBA this season. However, if Billups becomes their next coach, recapturing their Glory Days will be much closer today than they've been in almost a decade.