Billy King is back in Philadelphia, only this time he has to wake up a lot earlier.
King, the former president and general manager of the Sixers, has joined the WIP Morning Show to co-host alongside Angelo Cataldi once or twice a week. That means he has to adjust his morning routine, after longtime producer Joe Wechter told King he had to be at the station before 5 a.m.
“I said, ‘Wait a minute, that’s not what Spike [Eskin] said,’ " King joked on Tuesday’s show.
King’s role is similar to that of NBC Sports analyst and former Flyers right-winger Keith Jones, who co-hosts the entire four-hour show once or twice a week alongside Cataldi, Rhea Hughes, and Al Morganti. King is expected to make his first co-hosting appearance in the next week or two.
The addition of King helps bolster WIP’s coverage of the Sixers at a time when expectations are high for the team, and through the roof for stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. 97.5 The Fanatic once again has radio rights to broadcast Sixers games, but WIP has a larger radio audience, and King will have the opportunity to branch out and discuss other sports and topics, including the Eagles.
“The great Billy King will be in studio,” Cataldi told listeners Tuesday morning. “And then he’ll probably rethink the thing and never come back.”
King joined the Sixers in 1997, and was quickly promoted to general manager in 1998. He added president to his titled in 2003, but was ultimately fired in 2007 amid the team’s rebuilding woes. He was replaced by former Nets general manager Ed Stefanski.
“The timing of it was a surprise more than anything," King told the Inquirer at the time. “I don’t look at this as being the fall guy. I look at it as they had a decision to make.”
King was then hired in 2010 as the general manager of the Nets, where he lasted until 2016, when he was replaced by former San Antonio Spurs general manager Sean Marks. Since then he’s appeared as a basketball expert on numerous TV and radio shows, and is an NBA draft analyst for CBS Sports.
The move comes after WIP parted ways with former Eagles defender Hollis Thomas, who also co-hosted alongside Cataldi occasionally. Thomas was fired by the station after failing to attend a pre-scheduled promotion event and over his involvement with the Green Legion Radio podcast.