Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups
Billups during his tenure with the Denver Nuggets
No. 4   New York Knicks
Point Guard
Personal information
Date of birth September 25, 1976 (1976-09-25) (age 35)
Place of birth Denver, Colorado
Nationality American
High school George Washington HS (Denver, Colorado)
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
College Colorado
NBA Draft 1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Pro career 1997–present
Career history
1997–1998 Boston Celtics
19981999 Toronto Raptors
19992000 Denver Nuggets
20002002 Minnesota Timberwolves
20022008 Detroit Pistons
2008–2011 Denver Nuggets
2011–present New York Knicks
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Chauncey Ray Billups (born September 25, 1976, in Denver, Colorado) is an American professional basketball point guard for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has also played for Team USA. Billups won the NBA Finals MVP in 2004, helping the Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals,[1] and was given the nickname "Mr. Big Shot" for making late-game shots with Detroit.[2] A five-time NBA All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection, he was chosen third overall in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics, and has also played for the Toronto Raptors, the Denver Nuggets, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Billups played college basketball at the University of Colorado, where he was honored in 2004 as the fifth player to have his jersey (number 4) retired.


High school

Billups attended Denver's George Washington High School, where he was a four-time All-State first team pick, Colorado Mr. Basketball three times, and Colorado Player of the Year as a sophomore and as a junior. He was selected to the 1995 McDonald's All-American Team but did not play due to a shoulder injury, an injury that he would have a problem with off and on throughout his early career.


Billups attended but did not graduate from the University of Colorado, having been drafted after his sophomore year. At Colorado, Billups averaged 18.5 points per game over his two seasons. In the 1996–97 season he was named to the Big 12 Conference First Team and the Basketball Times All-American First Team. That same year Billups led the Buffaloes to their first NCAA tournament victory in over thirty years, 80–62 over Indiana.

NBA career

Early years

Drafted third overall in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics, Billups was traded to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Kenny Anderson midway through his first season. Billups then played for the Denver Nuggets, who traded him to the Orlando Magic. He was on the injured list until season's end and never played a game for Orlando (he was included on the season-ending team photo, wearing jersey number 2).

Billups was signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves as a back-up to then Point guard Terrell Brandon. Billups replaced the injured Brandon and had a breakthrough 2001–02 season.

Detroit Pistons

Billups playing for the Pistons against the Washington Wizards in 2008.
Billups with the Pistons.

In June 2002, Billups signed with the Detroit Pistons as a free agent to be the team's new starting point guard.[3] When he signed with the Pistons, he was forced to take the number 1 because number 4 was retired in honor of Joe Dumars. Billups quickly earned respect from Pistons fans and colleagues for his tenacious defense and clutch shooting. He helped Detroit win the 2004 NBA Finals over the Los Angeles Lakers, four games to one. He averaged 21 points and 5.2 assists per game during the series to earn the NBA Finals MVP Award.

The following season, Billups was named to the 2005 NBA Second All-Defensive Team, along with teammate Tayshaun Prince, while teammate and co-captain of the Pistons Ben Wallace took home the Defensive Player of the Year Award. The Pistons reached the NBA finals but lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

In 2006, Billups was co-captain of the team. Although he captained the Pistons to a franchise best 64–18 record, they failed to make it to the NBA Finals for the first time in three years. He also led the league in assist-to-turnover ratio.

On July 11, 2007, Billups signed a $46 million, four-year contract with the Pistons (which includes a team option for a fifth year at $14 million).[4] He had been an unrestricted free agent for several days after he opted out of the previous contract, which he had signed in 2002.

During game three of a playoff series against the Orlando Magic, Billups pulled a hamstring after going for a ball. He missed game four, but the Pistons defeated the Magic, 90–89, to take a 3–1 series lead when Tayshaun Prince hit the game-winning shot with 8.9 seconds left.

Through his six years with Detroit, Billups made six straight conference championship series, two NBA finals, and won an NBA Championship. He was an All-Star three times, made the all-NBA team twice and All-Defensive second team twice.

Return to Denver

On November 3, 2008, Billups was traded to the Denver Nuggets, along with Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb, for Allen Iverson.[5] Billups chose the number 7 jersey to honor Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, since two of his other favorite numbers, 1 and 4, were already worn by J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin, respectively.[6] He played his first game of the Nuggets' 2008–09 season on November 7, 2008. He recorded 15 points, four rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes of play in a 108–105 Nuggets' home win.[7] He finished the season averaging 17.7 ppg, and 6.4 apg.

With Billups and Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets accomplished a number of franchise milestones. Their 54–28 record matched the most wins the franchise had gotten since their induction in the NBA, their 27–14 start was also a record for wins in the first half of a season. This also marked the first time in the franchise's history the team had gotten 50 wins in back-to-back seasons. They led the Northwest division for much of the season, eventually winning the division and gaining the number two seed in the Western Conference, matching the highest the team had ever been seeded for the playoffs. In the first round, they defeated the New Orleans Hornets in 5 games, which included a record-equaling 58-point margin-of-victory. Billups also set a Nuggets franchise record with the most 3 pointers in a playoff game with 8, and his 19 3-pointers in total is also a Nuggets record for 3s made in a playoff series. Billups averaged 22.6 ppg, 7.4 apg, and 3.8 3PM in that series. In his first year with the Nuggets, Billups led them back to the NBA Conference Finals for the first time since 1985. This was Billups' 7th straight conference finals. He joined Magic Johnson, Michael Cooper, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kurt Rambis as the only players to accomplish this feat since the Boston Celtics of the 1950s and 1960s led by Bill Russell.

For the 2009–10 season, Billups reverted to wearing No. 1, the same number he wore with the Detroit Pistons. Teammate J.R. Smith, who had previously worn No. 1 since being acquired by the Nuggets in 2006, changed to the No. 5 jersey.[8] On November 27, 2009, in the Nuggets' 128–125 win over the New York Knicks, Billups scored 32 points while teammate Carmelo Anthony scored 50. This made them only the third duo in NBA history to score at least 30 and 50 points respectively. On February 5, 2010, Billups set a career high in points with a 39 point performance in a road win over the Los Angeles Lakers with 27 of them coming from 9 three-pointers.

New York Knicks

Despite publicly professing his desire to finish his career in hometown Denver and retire as a Nugget, Billups was traded to the New York Knicks on February 22, 2011[9] as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal. Billups was "collateral damage"—as more than one sportswriter put it—of Carmelo Anthony's desire to play in New York and the Nuggets' desire to trade Anthony before he became a free agent.[10] "Oh it was hard, hardest thing I've ever had to do," Billups said. "I had to tell my girls that daddy was traded, that he was leaving to play across the country. I told them it wasn't my choice, that nothing could be done about it. I had to go. It wasn't a happy scene."[11]

Billups suffered a knee injury while playing against the Celtics in Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. The injury would keep Billups sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs.[12]

Shortly after the Knicks were dismissed from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, Billups mentioned he would love to return to the Knicks next season. “I would love the opportunity to really try it up with these guys,” Billups said. “Not like play 30 games after a trade, like really have a season. Have an opportunity to really get a fair shake with these guys. I would love to."[13]

All-star appearances

In 2006, Billups was selected to play in the 2006 NBA All-Star Game as a reserve for the Eastern Conference, along with former teammates Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace. Pistons head coach Flip Saunders coached the Eastern Conference squad and put all four Pistons in the game when the east was falling behind; they were able to get the Eastern All-Star team back in the game.

During the 2006 NBA All-Star Weekend, Billups participated in the Three-point Shootout contest. He was eliminated in the first round of the contest after scoring 12 points.

In the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, Billups was chosen as a reserve, along with teammate Richard Hamilton, for the Eastern Conference, despite an injury that kept Billups out of five games early on in the season. Billups also took part in the Shooting Stars Competition alongside former Piston and Detroit Shock head coach Bill Laimbeer and Shock star Swin Cash. Team Detroit won the competition with Billups hitting the final half-court shot.

Billups was selected to play as a reserve in the 2008 NBA All-Star Game, along with teammates Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace, an injury replacement. Billups was the only Nugget to be selected to the 2009 NBA All-Star Game.

Billups was chosen as the replacement by David Stern for injured New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul at the 2010 NBA All-Star Game.[14]

NBA Statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
NBA Championship

Regular season

1997–98 Boston 51 44 25.4 .390 .339 .817 2.2 4.3 1.5 .0 11.1
1997–98 Toronto 29 26 31.7 .349 .316 .919 2.7 3.3 1.0 .1 11.3
1998–99 Denver 45 41 33.1 .386 .362 .913 2.1 3.8 1.3 .3 13.9
1999–00 Denver 13 5 23.5 .337 .171 .841 2.6 3.0 .8 .2 8.6
2000–01 Minnesota 77 33 23.2 .422 .376 .842 2.1 3.4 .7 .1 9.3
2001–02 Minnesota 82 54 28.7 .423 .394 .885 2.8 5.5 .8 .2 12.5
2002–03 Detroit 74 74 31.4 .421 .392 .878 3.7 3.9 .9 .2 16.2
2003–04 Detroit 78 78 35.4 .394 .388 .878 3.5 5.7 1.1 .1 16.9
2004–05 Detroit 80 80 35.8 .442 .426 .898 3.4 5.8 1.0 .1 16.5
2005–06 Detroit 81 81 36.1 .418 .433 .894 3.1 8.6 .9 .1 18.5
2006–07 Detroit 70 70 36.2 .427 .345 .883 3.4 7.2 1.2 .2 17.0
2007–08 Detroit 78 78 32.3 .448 .401 .918 2.7 6.8 1.3 .2 17.0
2008–09 Detroit 2 2 35.0 .333 .286 .918 5.0 7.5 1.5 .5 12.5
2008–09 Denver 77 77 35.3 .420 .410 .900 3.0 6.4 1.2 .2 17.9
2009–10 Denver 73 73 34.1 .418 .386 .910 3.1 5.6 1.1 .1 19.5
2010–11 Denver 51 51 32.3 .438 .441 .923 2.5 5.3 1.0 .2 16.5
2010–11 New York 21 21 31.6 .403 .328 .902 3.1 5.5 .9 .1 17.5
Career 982 888 32.3 .417 .389 .894 2.9 5.6 1.0 .2 15.5
All-Star 5 0 19.0 .455 .320 .750 2.2 5.0 .4 .0 10.2


2001 Minnesota 3 0 8.7 .167 .000 1.000 1.7 .7 .0 .0 1.0
2002 Minnesota 3 3 44.7 .451 .400 .700 5.0 5.7 1.0 .3 22.0
2003 Detroit 14 14 34.6 .374 .310 .933 3.4 4.7 .6 .1 18.0
2004 Detroit 23 23 38.3 .385 .346 .890 3.0 5.9 1.4 .1 16.4
2005 Detroit 25 25 39.4 .428 .349 .893 4.3 6.5 1.0 .2 18.7
2006 Detroit 18 18 39.2 .406 .340 .905 3.4 6.5 1.2 .1 17.9
2007 Detroit 16 16 40.6 .435 .389 .832 3.3 5.7 1.2 .1 18.6
2008 Detroit 15 15 32.0 .401 .375 .832 2.9 5.5 .8 .1 16.1
2009 Denver 16 16 38.7 .457 .468 .906 3.8 6.8 1.2 .2 20.6
2010 Denver 6 6 34.5 .446 .355 .881 2.3 6.3 1.0 .5 20.6
2011 New York 1 1 35.0 .273 .333 1.000 2.0 4.0 .0 .0 10.0
Career 140 137 37.2 .413 .367 .881 3.4 5.9 1.0 .2 17.8

National team

Medal record
Competitor for  United States
FIBA Americas Championship
Gold 2007 Las Vegas Team Competition
FIBA World Championship
Gold 2010 Turkey Team competition

On March 5, 2006, Billups was selected to be a part of the 2006–2008 USA Men's Senior National Team program developed to restore Team USA back to the top of the basketball world after disappointments in the 2002 FIBA World Championship and the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.[15] After missing out in the 2006 FIBA World Championship due to personal reasons, on August 20, 2007, Billups was selected to be a part of Team USA that competed at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, a qualifying tournament for the Beijing Olympics.[16] Coming off the bench, he along with the other new members of the team including All Star Kobe Bryant helped USA go unbeaten at the tournament held in Las Vegas and earn a spot at next Summer Olympics. On June 17, 2008, Billups announced he would not compete for a spot to be on the Olympic squad stating family reasons though he did say "they'll be fine. And when they win the gold, I'll feel like I had a big hand in regaining our dominance because of what we did last summer."[17] During the tournament, Team USA went unbeaten on their way to their first gold medal since the 2000 Olympics, defeating Spain in the final.[18]

Personal life

Billups has a wife, Piper, and three daughters, Cydney, Ciara and Cenaiya.[19] His good friend, NBA player Kevin Garnett, is the godfather to Billups's second daughter Ciara. His younger brother, Rodney, was a Point guard for the University of Denver[20] and was recently drafted in the NBA D-League.[21] He is the first cousin of running back LenDale White.[22]

Billups wore the #4 in college and at times during his professional career because he idolized former Pistons guard Joe Dumars, the Pistons President of Basketball Operations during his time at Detroit.[23] His favorite NFL team is the Denver Broncos.[22]

Billups is featured on the cover of the video game NBA Ballers: Phenom and is the player's mentor.

On June 16, 2008, Billups appeared at Joe Louis Arena for a Barack Obama rally.[24]

See also

  • List of National Basketball Association career assists leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career 3-point scoring leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff assists leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff 3-point scoring leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff free throw scoring leaders


  1. ^ Aschburner, Steve (November 3, 2008). "Back home after trade, Billups has something to prove with Nuggets". Sports Illustrated. 
  2. ^ Friend, Tom (May 11, 2009). "The Disposable Superstar". Outside the Lines ( 
  3. ^ "Pistons Sign Free Agent Guard Chauncey Billups". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. July 17, 2002. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  4. ^ ESPN – Pistons keep Billups with four-year, $46M deal – NBA
  5. ^ Hochman, Benjamin (November 3, 2008). "Nuggets ship Iverson to Detroit for Billups". Denver Post. 
  6. ^ Graham, Pat (November 7, 2008). "No place like home for Denver native Billups". Associated Press. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Denver Nuggets official website
  9. ^ "Knicks Acquire Four-Time All-Star Carmelo Anthony". 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Carmelo Tends to Garden of Good and Evil". FanHouse. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  12. ^ Prada, Mike. "Chauncey Billups Could Miss Game 2 Of Celtics Vs. Knicks With Strained Knee". Blog article. SB nation. Retrieved 10/21/2010. 
  13. ^ Begley, Ian. "Chauncey Billups: I want to come back". ESPN. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "Billups to replace Paul in 2010 NBA All-Star Game". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Feb 3, 2010. 
  15. ^ Team USA 2006–08 Announced
  16. ^ USA Men's Team Announced For FIBA Americas Championship
  17. ^ Citing family reasons, Billups pulls out of consideration for Beijing
  18. ^ US hoops back on top, beats Spain for gold medal
  19. ^ Fantasy Basketball Breaking News –
  20. ^ #1 in College Sports
  21. ^ NBA Development League: NBA Development League Announces 2006 Draft Results
  22. ^ a b "Five Things You Didn't Know About Chauncey Billups". June 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-21. 
  23. ^ PISTONS: FSN SPOTLIGHT – Chauncey Billups
  24. ^ Billups Makes Surprise Appearance for Obama || | WXYZ-TV / Detroit | Detroit News, Weather, Sports and More

External links

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  • 2009 NBA Playoffs — The 2009 NBA Playoffs was the postseason for the National Basketball Association s 2008–09 season. The playoffs started on April 18, 2009 with ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV broadcasting the games in the United States. Eight teams from each of the… …   Wikipedia

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