Chauncey Billups RumorsAll NBA Players
Height: 6-3 / 1.91
Weight:201 lbs. / 91.6 kg.
Height: 6-3 / 1.91
Weight:201 lbs. / 91.6 kg.
While James was a local basketball star in Akron, Ohio, at that time, he was largely unknown to the rest of the nation when he came to play in a tournament for the AAU Oakland Soldiers in 2000. The Soldiers were founded in 1990 in the Oakland suburb of Richmond. Twenty-five years later, it has now grown into an AAU powerhouse with alumni that include James, Chauncey Billups, Brandon Jennings, Leon Powe, Aaron Gordon, Chuck Hayes, Jabari Brown, Kendrick Perkins and Stanley Johnson. Fifteen years after first playing for the Soldiers, James returns to the Bay Area to lead his Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. “It’s amazing because that part of his life he never talks about publicly,” Olivier said. “But I thought we had some good times and we still talk about it.”
Former basketball star Chauncey Billups and Mike Pritchard, the most valuable player on Colorado’s 1990 national championship football team, highlight a distinguished list of 11 members who will be inducted into CU’s Athletic Hall of Fame. The 2015 class was announced Monday. The formal induction ceremony is Nov. 5 at the Coors Events Center in Boulder.
That begs the question: Is it wise for Phil Jackson to demand Carmelo to be something that he isn’t? “That’s tough to ask for,” Billups said of asking a player to develop into a leader. “I’ll just say this, you’ve got all that cap room, you better go find someone [to be a vocal leader]. Melo, that’s not who he is and we are who we are. That’s like asking me to be this guy with a 40-inch vertical and go in there and be dunking on everybody like I’m Russell Westbrook. You can’t ask an apple to be an orange, that’s just not fair. “[Carmelo] will lead by example,” Billups said. “He’s going to come to work and he’s playing for the win every night. There’s no question about that, that’s who he is. He’s a great player, he wants to win. He’s going to come to work. He’s going to lead by example, he’s not going to be vocal.”
Chauncey Billups, an ESPN analyst who played with Anthony for three seasons in Denver and New York, said recently that vocal leadership isn’t a part of Carmelo’s personality. “He’s not that guy,” Billups said on “The Knicks Blog with Anthony Donahue” radio show. “Melo’s a good friend of mine, one of the best players I ever played with, but he’s not the guy who’s going to stand up in the locker room and give this rah-rah speech and get the team to rally. That’s not who he is. “One thing he is, he’s going to come to play every single night, he’s going to practice every single day. He is who he is, He’s not that guy [who leads vocally]. But for who he is, he’s great. You’ve got to find another guy to make speeches, and another guy to do most of the leading. [Carmelo’s] going to most of the time lead by example. He’s not going to be vocal, he’s not going to rock the boat.”
“In any rebuilding process, I feel like there’s probably going to be two or three coaches. And I don’t want to be that guy,” said the 38-year-old Billups, while standing in the Nuggets’ arena, where he served as the keynote speaker at the 39th annual Boy Scouts Sports Breakfast. “I don’t want to be fired after two seasons and risk never getting another opportunity to coach.”
With keen instincts for all the angles that make all the difference between success and failure on the basketball court, Billups is far too smart to accept a no-win job as coach of the Nuggets. If his goal was the daunting task of coaching a bad NBA team, Billups told me Tuesday he could already be set as the lead man on the Minnesota bench for next season. Flip Saunders tried to entice Billups to join the Timberwolves last year as the team’s associate head coach, with the understanding Billups would take over the No. 1 job for the 2015-16 season, after a 12-month apprenticeship under Saunders.
This likely will not be the worst season for games missed by stars, either. That distinction belongs to 2012-13, when the following players all missed 29 games or more: Rose, Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Grant Hill, Rajon Rondo, Amar’e Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Love, Brandon Roy and Andrew Bynum.
“I enjoyed playing with Melo in the years I had with him,” Billups said. “My perception of him [is] he really needed my guidance, he needed my leadership. I don’t know that he quite knew how to lead a team or a franchise but at that time he was young. I can’t expect him to. He was already a great player but he is best served when he doesn’t have to be the leader of the team.
Billups, who now is an analyst for ESPN, doesn’t understand why the decision was up to Anthony on when to have season-ending knee surgery as well. “I said it all weekend, I wasn’t crazy about his decision to play in the All-Star Game and not play for his own team,” Billups said on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. “My thing is if you are hurt and you know you are going to shut it down, just get the surgery and make that commitment that the Knicks made to him and just get better and not worry about playing for the fans and the All-Star Game. I thought it was poor judgment but to each his own.”
Nor should his injuries change Kobe’s style, says Chauncey Billups, another legendary locker-room leader who had to battle through injuries at the end of his career but was brought into teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers to help teach a young team to win. “No, it doesn’t,” Billups told me during All-Star weekend about whether his injuries changed the way he tried to lead. “The way you lead is who you are. It’s who you are no matter if you’re coming to the game in a suit, you’re on the sidelines cheering guys on, or if you’re dressed to play. That’s just who you are, it’s instinctual. “So no, (an injury) doesn’t change the way you lead. Not at all.”
Of all the point guards that have connected at some point in your life as a pro — Aaron Brooks in Houston, Mike Conley in Memphis, Chauncey Billups as a mentor — which has had the greatest impact on you for playing the position? Kyle Lowry: I mean, of course, Chaunce. I think that’s just someone I kind of tried to mold my game after to a certain extent. And I always said, he always challenged me to be better than he was. And I would always take that as, not a person challenge, but come on, you’re my young guy. I’m passing the torch to you. You see what I did; now follow my footsteps and make me proud. To have a guy like that who wants you to follow in his footsteps is pretty cool.
“I wish they wouldn’t have traded away Chauncey the first time,” Stuckey said today at The Palace, where he’ll take the floor as a visitor for the first time when his Indiana Pacers play the Pistons. “To be honest with you. I wish they would have took the San Antonio Spurs’ philosophy of keeping all their vets, getting younger guys around their vets, and doing it that way. You see how successful they are. “After Chauncey left, that’s when everything went downhill. He was the glue that kept everything together, kept everybody accountable. Once you trade that away, you see what happens. Everything was just a domino effect after that.”
“I’m the kind of guy who has to be two feet in if I am going to give my best effort so broadcasting is something I looking at long-term,” said Billups, 37. “This is what I want to do and the avenue I want to take. At the moment, I’m not thinking about working in an NBA front office or coaching or anything else. I’m thinking about being the best I can be at ESPN in the studio.”
SI.com has learned that Chauncey Billups has been hired by ESPN to work as a studio analyst for the upcoming NBA season. Billups will appear on NBA Tonight, SportsCenter, NBA Coast to Coast and ESPN Radio, among other ESPN properties.
Chris Dempsey: The Nuggets would love to bring Chauncey Billups into their front office, but it’s not going to happen this season. Billups has long said he’s not necessarily into coaching, so don’t look for that to happen. Right now he’s taking time off to be with his family, and I’ve been told to expect to see him in some sort of TV basketball analyst capacity for this coming season. Then, the Nuggets will likely revisit that situation in the coming months.
Billups was the perfect mentor for a young point guard, and the perfect leader for any team. So when Billups was traded to Denver for Allen Iverson one week into the 2008-09 season, Stuckey suffered for it. “Once Chauncey was traded, everything went downhill from there,” Stuckey said. “Chauncey was the glue who held everything together. Once he was traded, it was a domino effect. One thing after another. Something happened, then this happened, that happened. So it was tough, you know? “You go from this guy who’s been an All-Star and Finals MVP to a guy like Allen Iverson who’s a completely different type of player. Chauncey was the leader, the role model. Allen Iverson was a scorer, a guy who just gets buckets. He can give you 40 if you want him to. And then you have Rip (Hamilton) on the other side that you need to get the ball to and you can’t forget about Tayshaun (Prince). It was a tough situation. It was a lot that was thrown at one person at one time. I was just trying to figure stuff out. But it happened the way it happened. You learn from each experience.”
SLAM: Do you see a future for him in coaching? DeAndre Jordan: If he wants to, absolutely. I think he has that connection with players. He can talk to a rookie, a guy in his prime or a vet and everybody will respect him the same way. So if coaching is in his heart, I feel that’s something he can definitely excel at.
16 Sep 14
Michael Carter-Williams: Congrats too Chauncy for an unbelievable career. He really was someone I looked up too as a kid
“It’s just time. I know when it’s time,” Billups told Yahoo Sports. “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. “It’s just time. I’m happy, excited. The game was very, very good to me. I felt like I was equally as good to the game the way I played it and the way I respected it and the way I carried myself through the process.”