Is Chauncey Billups a Hall of Famer?

Editor’s Note: This article was written as part of a Blogger Talk series for Check out other writers’ opinions on Billups’ candidacy here

Is Chauncey Billups a Hall of Famer? My initial reaction was “of course not.” But then I started to think about it. Billups has played 16 years in the NBA. He’s a five-time All-Star, and has averaged 15.5 points and 5.5 assists per game. At the height of his game, he was the definition of a pure point guard; one of the league’s most respected and steady floor generals.


Billups deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame. (AP)

He shared the rock like a communist, always made his teammates better and defended with Joel Osteen zeal. He led the Pistons to six straight appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals, and even earned the nickname Mr. Big Shot. Nicknames like that don’t come easy.

In the mid-2000s, there were few players in the league whom you’d rather give the keys to your offense to. Hell, Larry Brown trusted him, and he wouldn’t trust his own mother with the basketball. (She had handle). I liken Chauncey to former Sonics and Celtics guard Dennis Johnson, who put up 14 points and 5 assists per game in his 14-year career. DJ is in the Hall. Billups should be too.

You could argue that Chauncey had more to do with the ’04 Pistons title than anyone else on the team. No, his name doesn’t stand out in your mind as an all-time great, but that’s okay. The Basketball Hall of Fame is littered with players whose names don’t belong alongside the Jordans and Kareems, or even the Ewings and Malones. Arvydas Sabonis is a Hall of Famer. So is Ralph Sampson. You’re telling me Chauncey’s bald head doesn’t belong on a bust in Springfield next to those guys?

If nothing else, Billups deserves to be in the Hall because you can’t tell the story of 2000’s-basketball without mentioning him. He personified grit and toughness. He was as steady as anybody in the league, even if he was getting traded every five minutes. He wasn’t flashy, ultra-athletic or breathtaking to watch. But he didn’t need to be. I’d take Chauncey’s leadership over Dominique Wilkins’ athleticism any day. I’d take his defense and game management over Allen Iverson’s morale-killing O.

There’s an old basketball proverb that legendary head coach Bob Knight loves to scream at the top of his lungs. Smart wins. Chauncey Billups is smart. As point guards go, he was a modern-day Edison, Voltaire, or the guy who invented cheese whiz.

That’s why Billups belongs in the Hall. I mean, what else could you ask for in a point guard?

I think he’ll get there one day. Even if voters have to think about it a little bit first.

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