When you mention the 2004 Detroit Pistons, you can’t forget about Chauncey Billups. As the point guard of the championship team, Billups was the leader on the court and kept that team together throughout the season.
Not only did he lead his team to a championship over the Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, but he was also the Finals MVP. Billups had a lot of success playing for multiple teams during his time in the league.
Chauncey Billups’ career
The Boston Celtics drafted Billups in the 1997 NBA draft at No. 3. The point guard bounced around a few teams early on in his career playing for the Celtics, the Toronto Raptors, the Denver Nuggets, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. During the 2002-2003 season, he found his home playing for the Detroit Pistons. As a member of the Pistons, Billups saw his game improve a lot.
At 6’3 202 pounds, Billups was a physical guard who can post up on the block. He also was a high-volume shooter. He currently sits at No. 16 in made 3-pointers at 1,830. After one year with the Pistons, Billups found himself playing in the NBA Finals the next year. During the 2003-04 season, Billups averaged 16.9 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.5 rebounds. In the playoffs that season, he averaged 16.4 points and 5.9 assists.
During his career, he made the playoffs 11 straight times. He made the All-Star team five consecutive seasons from 2006-2010. He also found himself on the All-NBA Second Team (2006), All-NBA Third Team (2007, 2009), and the NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2005, 2006). Billups was an all-around good player. He could guard multiple positions on defense and knew how to make the right decisions on offense.
“Mr. Big Shot”
During his time in Detroit, Billups had the nickname “Mr. Big Shot.” That nickname fit him well because when it was crunch time, and the team needed a big shot, Billups would come through. Whether it was the playoffs or the regular season, Billups hit some big baskets during his career.
One big shot that he hit was during the 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New Jersey Nets. With the Pistons down by three with 2.9 seconds left in the game, Billups hit a half-court shot to send the game into overtime. The Pistons would eventually lose the game, but that was one big moment for “Mr. Big Shot.” The Pistons would defeat the Nets 4-3 en route to a championship that year.
The Pistons retired Billups’ jersey in February of 2016, and he will go down as one of the best Pistons in the history of the organization.
What is Billups doing now?
After playing 17 seasons in the league, Billups is still involved in the game of basketball, though he’s no longer on the court. He joined ESPN during the 2014-15 season as a studio analyst on Sportscenter. The next season he would join NBA Countdown as a studio analyst on Wednesdays. In 2019 Billups became the game analyst for the LA Clippers.
With his experience in the league, Billups provides a lot of insight and an excellent in-depth breakdown of the game. Maybe one day he will hear his name called for the Hall of Fame.