Bombs and champions among former Detroit Pistons who became coaches

Jerry Stackhouse is but one former Pistons player to try his hand at coaching.
Jerry Stackhouse is but one former Pistons player to try his hand at coaching. / Johnnie Izquierdo/GettyImages
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Chauncey Billups

Things aren’t looking good for Chauncey Billups in his role as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. His tenure began in the summer of 2021 following a brief stop in L.A., where he served as an assistant under head coach Tyronn Lue. Whether Billups was brought to Portland to help star point guard Damian Lillard get over the hump in his quest to win a NBA championship or if the former Piston was brought aboard to oversee a rebuild is somewhat unclear. So far, he has failed to do either. It looks as if the Trail Blazers are going to finish this season with their worst record since Billups took over the reins, and it’s fair to wonder if he’s going to still be in charge when the 2024-’25 season tips off this fall.

Darvin Ham

Two former Pistons hold head coaching jobs in the NBA right now. One of them is Mr. Big Shot, Chauncey Billups, and the other one is Darvin Ham.

Ham is another player whose career was somewhat unheralded, but the explosive forward managed to carve out a small role on the 2004 championship team before later channeling his energy into coaching. Currently, Ham is the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, his first such role in the NBA. Other than a few stops around the league as an assistant, Ham was also head coach while with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, one of the NBA's developmental teams.

Rasheed Wallace

Rasheed Wallace was often touted for his high basketball IQ during his playing career, but his on-court temperament may not have been perceived as a plus on a coaching resume. Nevertheless, the Pistons opened the door to the coaching world when they hired him to be an assistant in 2013. He spent two years in that role before being cast aside when the regrettable Stan Van Gundy-era began.

In 2019, Wallace ended his coaching sabbatical when he took on his only head coaching position to date at Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina, not far from where he played his college ball. in 2021, 'Sheed moved on to Memphis where he joined Penny Hardaway's staff, spending one season as an assistant for the Tigers.