What a career it was
Today, Chauncey Billups announces his official retirement from the NBA. The University of Colorado alumni was drafted with the 3rd pick in the 1997 draft by the Boston Celtics, and after brief stints in Boston, Toronto, Denver and Minnesota, he finally found a home in Detroit where he spent 6 of the best years of his career, including winning an NBA Finals MVP award in 2004 en route to winning a championship with the Pistons over the Lakers.
In his heyday, Billups was known to be an elite point guard, and a clutch one, earning him the nickname Mr. Big Shot. He was a defensive specialist, which explains his being named to the All-Defensive Second Team twice, not to mention being voted an All-Star 5 times, and an All-Pro once, in 2006. In his career, Billups averaged just over 15 points and 5 assists per game, but that doesn’t speak to his leadership abilities and clutch tendencies, often coming through late in games when all else appeared to be lost.
Despite the uprising of the latest crop of elite point guards in the NBA, such as Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard and more, one thing’s for sure. They just don’t make ’em like Chauncey Billups any more. He had this to say about his decision to call it quits.
It’s just time. I know when it’s time. My mind and my desire is still strong. I just can’t ignore the fact that I haven’t been healthy for three years. I can try again and get to a point where I think I can go, but I just can’t sustain. Me not being able to play the way that I can play, that’s when you kind of know it’s that time.