April 15, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Terry Foster

Piston Chauncey Billups practices for front office

Pistons guard Chauncey Billups is attractive as an executive because he's more than a basketball player. He's a businessman. (Clarence Tabb Jr. / Detroit News)

Auburn Hills Chauncey Billups began thinking about life after basketball in 2005.

After helping the Pistons win their first title in 15 years, the Pistons guard wanted to learn about the business side of the NBA. Life in the front office.

So Billups began sitting in on meetings with then-team president Joe Dumars and his assistants, Scott Perry and John Hammond.

Billups learned how to set up a draft room. He learned what executives looked for when evaluating talent.

Now, he believes hes ready to move into the front office.

Yeah, it is something I think I could do, Billups said.

And it could happen in Detroit.

Billups as bridge

The Pistons front office is in flux and needs to be cleaned out. That process began when Dumars was let go and given the title of consultant.

Now, the next generation of leadership needs to be addressed.

With a management team perceived to be a group of outsiders, hiring Billups makes sense he can serve as a bridge between the past and future of the organization.

And Billups can continue to grow as a front office leader under the new president that may eventually land Billups the job.

An advantage for Billups is hes a point guard. Hes the guy who not only runs a team on the court, but also evaluates his players along with opponents.

First I had to think about if I wanted to coach or if I wanted to do executive work, Billups said. I learned a lot. I kind of sat up under those guys and I gained a lot of experience.

Billups is attractive as an executive because hes more than a basketball player. Hes a businessman he co-owns 30 Wendys restaurants with former NBA player Junior Bridgeman.

'Know what works'

But, does Billups know talent? Yes. Can he run a team? Not yet, but he will learn.

Being a leader of a team, you have to know what works, Billups said.

You have to be able to evaluate talent, egos. Being a point guard and evaluating a team is a small snapshot I believe helps you put together a team.

Billups days as a player are behind him. The problem is, he still has the fire to get the Pistons back on track. He still wants to play and is willing to go through the trials of camp to do that.

But if the Pistons push to give him a job with a shirt and tie, Billups could be convinced to set aside his competitive playing nature.

Its funny, I was watching (basketball) the other day, and I miss playing basketball, said Billups, who is injured.

I miss competing, and that is the one thing that will never change whether it is this year or next year.

My desire to win will be great.

Either as a player or an executive.

terry.foster@detroitnews.com
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