In the close season, it is understandable that some players will think about their career and what their hopes are for the new season. Most players will be energised or find a renewed sense of spirit to look forward to the new campaign, but sometimes, players will look within themselves and realise that the fire is gone.
Sometimes these players need to take a rest or a break, that allows them to forget about basketball for a while before coming back refreshed and recharged for the new season. There are also times though when a player knows that they are better off dropping out of the game and this is the situation with Chauncey Billups.
Billups has announced his retirement after a 17 year career, a career which saw him being names the MVP for the Finals when the Detroit Pistons took the NBA Championship in 2004. It is not as though this is the only moment of glory that Billups can look back on, but when you are regarded as the most effective player when your team wins the Championship, it is certainly something to be proud of.
Injuries sometimes prevent you from going on
Chauncey undertook a number of interviews after the interview, all of which stated that his mind and desire is still willing to play on but he knows that he hasn’t been too healthy for three years. This has impacted on the way that he is able to play and when it gets to this stage, it is sometimes best to listen to what your body is telling you. After 17 years at the top, it is not as though you can’t say he had a great time in the NBA but sometimes you have to be honest with yourself and your likelihood of success. There is also the fact that many players would hate to feel as though they were embarrassing themselves while playing or not giving full value to the fans, coaches and team-mates.
Once the decision was announced, plenty of players took to social media to wish Chauncey well, and to share some of their memories of him. Chris Paul spoke very highly of Billups on Instagram, and the general sentiment of Billups being an excellent player and an excellent man was notable in all of the testimonials being offered to him.
Billups was limited to minimal game time in his last season
Billups appeared in just 19 games for the Pistons in the season that just finished. He underwent surgery in February and although he was expected to be out of action for around two to three weeks, he never manages to return before the end of the season. This means that there was a low point to the end of Billups career, as you would always prefer to go out on a high in front of your fans, but when time and injuries catch up with you, there is not a lot that you can do.
Billups was giving his knee this summer to respond and feel stronger, but he admits himself that this hasn’t happened. When he was on court last season, it wasn’t the classic style of Billups performance so even during the previous season he probably knew that this moment was coming.
Billups has been a fine servant for the Detroit Pistons but he has played for a number of teams in his time in the NBA. He has played for the Los Angeles Clippers, the New York Knicks, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Denver Nuggets, the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics. There will be plenty of NBA fans across the country, and the world, raising a glass to celebrate the achievements and career of Billups this week and weekend. With an NBA Championship and two international gold medals, at the FIBA Americas Championship back in 2007 and at the FIBA World Championship in 2010, Billups has tasted success at the highest level and he bows out knowing he had a great career.