Billy King Rumors
Billy King: Wow, I am at a loss for words. I just heard of the passing of @theobserver, Rick Bonnell. Longtime beat writer for the @Charlotte Hornets. Rick was a great friend who I met while he covered Duke during my playing days. A great writer and a gentle soul. Overall just a great guy. RIP Rick.
According to NBA insider Matt Sulivan, it was none other than Nets former general manager Billy King who made the revelation about Brooklyn’s plans to swoop in on Durant following their blockbuster trade for KG and Pierce: “The focus was Durant,” King said (h/t Lee Tran of Fadeaway World). “It wasn’t LeBron, it was: Do EVERYTHING we can to put ourselves in position to get Durant… I was in a position where he saw me—and knew. You just make sure that, if you do everything right, they take notice. “We had done a great job with the branding and opening, and if we can be a playoff team, we can get on national TV, and when it came time, we would be able to get in the conversation.”
Former general manager Billy King joined The Audacy NBA Show with Ryan McDonough and he explained what the Sixers would have to do to try and protect Iverson: When he was injured and we knew he couldn’t play we used to hide his jersey. Because he would come to the locker room looking for his jersey, we’d lock it somewhere so he couldn’t get it…. One time, in New York, he found his jersey but didn’t have any shoes. He was trying to send the ball boy to the Foot Locker around the corner. He said ‘just give me a pair of their Reeboks. I can play in those.’ Then he pointed to an attendant, ‘what size are you, just give me those shoes,’ because he wanted to play so bad.
Mr. Smallwood grew up in Odenton, where he played high school soccer and baseball, and he was a 1987 graduate of the University of Maryland. He came to the Daily News in 1994 from the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle, after having also worked at the Roanoke (Va.) Times. At the Daily News and then at the Inquirer after the staffs merged, he often wrote about college and NBA basketball, particularly during the Sixers’ Allen Iverson era. “Anytime he was interviewing you and asking questions, it was like a friend asking you,” former Sixers general manager Billy King said. “If you tried to B.S. him, he would give you that ‘Oh, come on, Billy, you know that’s not true.’ You couldn’t lie to him, because he had that look. He critiqued you with compassion.”
Billy King: I first met B.J. Johnson in 1982 at UVA with Ralph Sampson. He remained a friend since that day. His basketball knowledge and love for the game was unmatched. Hard to believe he is gone. He will be missed. RIP B.J.
You’re one of the judges with Wes Wilcox, who will go to Sacramento as an assistant GM. Did working with the contestants make you want to work in a front office again, and were you close at any point to returning to the league? Billy King: I’d love to get back in. It’s something that when you’re away from it, you have a chance to reflect on your mistakes, and so you say if I get back in, whether it’s as an assistant GM or as a GM, I would do things a little differently. I’m anxious to get back in. I told the contestants, if I get a job tomorrow, I’d call one or two of you right away because I’d want you on my staff just because I thought their energy level, knowledge, and composure was so impressive.
After the show’s finale, what’s next for you? Are you consulting with any teams? Billy King: I’ve talked to a few teams, and I’m going to continue to talk to them. I’ve talked to the league with Adam Silver about some ideas I have in how I can assist them. I co-host a radio show here in Philadelphia once a week. My goal is to try to get back in the league and help. I feel that I’ve been blessed to be around Donnie Walsh, Larry Brown, Rod Thorn, and different guys in the league. I’d like to continue to give what I’ve learned from different people to help. I know I can help a team. That’s my goal to get back in some capacity.