Over the years, veteran guard Chauncey Billups has had a solid career for a handful of teams. Now 36 and currently playing with the Los Angeles Clippers, it appears as if Billups’ career is coming to an abrupt end in his 15th season. Billups should retire with no regrets, a potential Hall of Fame induction and a future as a coach ahead of him.
Billups came into the NBA as the third overall pick in 1997 by the Boston Celtics and bounced around to three teams in his first five seasons before settling with the Detroit Pistons, where his “Mr. Big Shot” nickname was born. Billups quickly became the leader of the Pistons for six seasons, earning three All-Star bids, two All-NBA selections and two All-Defensive team selections all while averaging 17 points, 6.3 assists and shooting .400 from the three-point line. Billups also was the star of the Pistons team that won an NBA championship in 2003-2004, with Billups being named Finals MVP for his efforts.
While Billups best and most notable seasons came with the Pistons Billups was just just as productive — if not more — with the Denver Nuggets for a couple seasons. Billups teamed with Carmelo Anthony to lead a Nuggets team to the playoffs before again being traded, this time to the New York Knicks. After being amnestied by New York Billups was claimed by the Clippers, but he has only been able to appear in 39 games over two seasons with Los Angeles due to multiple injuries.
Despite just average overall career statistics, Chauncey Billups will go down as one of the most solid and heady point guards of his era. Billups was never afraid to take (and make) the big shot, pick up the opposing team’s most dangerous perimeter scorer or sacrifice his own offense for the better of the team. These are just a few of the reasons why if Billups does indeed to hang it up after this season, he should do so with his head held high knowing that he was one of the best during his time in the NBA.