Billy King Rumors
In his first interview since being dumped as Nets GM in January, Billy King tells two NBA beat writers he thinks he could have turned things around if he had been permitted to stay on, but says he does not “begrudge” ownership for wanting a “different voice” in shaping the team. Still, he admits to “bitter fieelings” King also seems to side with those who criticized the Nets for not interviewing any candidates of color for his old job, noting that the trend now is to hire executives from the “Spurs tree,” an apparent reference to the Nets decision to hire Sean Marks and Trajan Langdon.
Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News and Vincent Goodwill of the Comcast Sports Net in Chicago devoted most of the interview, conducted last week, to a discussion of how to increase African-Americans in NBA front offices, but at the end of the 40-minute discussion asked King about his departure from the Nets, billed at the time as a “reassignment.” Asked how he’s spending his time, King talked about how he’s looking forward to his next job. “I looked back at things that we done. You know you write up a plan,” said the 50-year-old King. “After I get back, here’s how I want to set up my staff and here’s how I want to do things differently. and you just network and stay in the mix.”
On the subject of African-Americans in NBA front offices, King echoed criticism of the Nets leveled by a number of writers and others –including Goodwill– that none of the eight finalists for King’s job were African American. (Seven were white, one Hispanic.) “Some of the younger assistant GMs don’t get the interviews,” King argued. “that’s what is more troubling, not the fact that they didn’t get hired but some of the guys like Scott Perry (Vice President/Assistant General Manager.of the Magic) have not got the interview and to me that’s whats more troubling.”
King also suggested that there may be a conspiracy between media and agents to label candidates, citing how Mark Jackson has been treated after being fired in Golden State. “I think what’s hard is when you have agendas, you have agendas in certain media types, or agents that represent coaches and GMs and they have agendas. they may plant stories, they put things out there and they keep perpetuating it,” King said.
Sources say Calipari is fading despite in-house support from Nets CEO Brett Yormark, and ex-Hawks GM Danny Ferry is no longer a viable candidate despite support from the reassigned Billy King. Bryan Colangelo is still in the picture, as are Nuggets assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas and Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas.