News broke tonight that the 37-year-old Chauncey Billups has decided to throw in the towel, announcing his retirement after 17 seasons in the league. The story was a bit surprising, given the Cavs’ reported interest in the veteran guard, but recent health woes led the former third overall pick to make the decision to retire, even amid interest from a potential title contender in Cleveland.
A five-time All-Star and one-time champion, Billups has already been pegged as a potential Hall of Fame candidate by some analysts around the league. Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News thinks it’s a conversation worth having on whether or not the now-retired combo guard should get into the Hall, given his complete resume encompassing college, NBA, and FIBA play (Twitter links).
While he made stops with seven different teams in his lengthy career, Billups’ arguably finest years were spent in Detroit. “Mr. Big Shot” played a critical role in the Pistons’ 2004 title, earning Finals MVP and helping bring the Motor City its first championship since the 1989/90 season. Over his career, Billups averaged marks of 15.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists each night. He drained 41.5% of shots from the floor and put down an impressive 38.7% of his treys. His 89.4% free throw percentage ranks fourth all-time.
Unfortunately, injuries limited Billups to appearing in an average of just over 61 games per season, and he was never able to recover from tearing his Achilles as a member of the Clippers during the 2011/12 campaign. Still, Billups was largely effective while on the floor during his career, as his his 18.8 PER helps demonstrate.
What do you think? Does Billups have the credentials to put him in the Hall of Fame? His career was definitely impacted by injuries, but he proved to be a top flight guard when he was healthy enough to stay on the floor. Vote below and let us know how you came to your decision by posting in the comments section!