Billups playing for the Clippers.
|No. 2 - Los Angeles Clippers|
|Date of birth: September 25, 1976|
|Place of birth: Denver Colorado|
|Height: 6 ft 3 in||Weight: 202 lbs|
|NBA Draft: 1997; Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd|
Selected by the Boston Celtics
|Debut: 1997 for the Boston Celtics|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Chauncey Billups at NBA.com|
Chauncey Ray Billups (born September 25, 1976, in Denver, Colorado) is an American professional basketball player who plays Point guard in the NBA for the Los Angeles Clippers. Billups was a member of the 2004 NBA Finals champs Detroit Pistons. He 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. His nickname is "Mr. Big Shot." He was the 2004 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
Chauncey 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 knee injury.
Billups attended the University of Colorado, where he 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.
Early NBA 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, although 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).
He was signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves as a back-up to then point guard Terrell Brandon. Billups replaced the often-injured Brandon and had a breakthrough 2001-2002 season. In June 2002 Billups signed with the Detroit Pistons as a free agent to be the team's new starting point guard.
When he signed with the Pistons, Billups was forced to take the number 1 (Ironically, Pistons number 1 jersey was originally worn by Lindsey Hunter before he was once traded away) because number 4 was retired in honor of Joe Dumars.
Billups quickly established himself in the Pistons squad, earning respect from fans and colleagues for his tenacious defense and clutch shooting. He helped lead the Pistons to the 2004 NBA Finals, averaging 21 points per game and 5.2 assists in the series to earn the Finals MVP Award in a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. In 2005, the Pistons lost the Finals in seven games to the San Antonio Spurs. He was also 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.
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 Finals for the first time in three years. He also led the league in assist to turn-over ratio.
Billups became one of the team's tri-captains along with Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton (following Ben Wallace's signing with the Chicago Bulls due to free-agency) Billups has attained a reputation around the league as one of basketball's most talented point guards, confident leaders, and best clutch players.
On July 11, 2007, Billups signed a $46 million, four-year contract (with a team option for a fifth year at $14 million). Billups had been an unrestricted free agent for several days after he opted out of the previous contract which he had signed in 2002.
Back to Denver
On November 3, 2008, Billups was traded to the Denver Nuggets, along with Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb, for Allen Iverson. 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. 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. He finished the season averaging 17.7 ppg, and 6.4 apg.
Along with Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets accomplished a great deal of franchise milestones. Their 54-28 record matched the most wins the franchise has 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 has gotten back-to-back 50-win seasons. They led the Northwest division for much of the season, eventually winning the division and placing for #2 in the Western Conference, matching the highest the team has 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 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.
On July 2, 2009, the Denver Post reported that Billups and teammate J.R. Smith have each agreed to change jersey numbers for the 2009–10 season. Billups will revert to wearing No. 1, the same number he wore with the Detroit Pistons. Smith, who had worn No. 1 since being acquired by the Nuggets in 2006, is rumored to be changing to the No. 5 jersey, although it has not yet been confirmed.
In February 2011, Billups was part of a nine player trade that sent him and Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks.
In 2006 Billups was selected to play in the 2006 NBA All-Star Game as a reserve for the Eastern Conference along with 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 at the same time, which was a major factor in the game's outcome.
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 again chosen along with teammate Richard Hamilton and as a reserve 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.
Chauncey Billups has established himself as one of the best point guards in the league. He is considered among the best defensive guards in the NBA today, and is also among the league's top-ten leaders in three-pointers, assists, field-goals ]and free-throw percentage. However, he is also known as a very physical point guard, scoring many of his points down in the low-post by tricking defenders usually much larger than he is. Billups has also been nicknamed "Mr. Big Shot" for his ability to convert critical shots and free throws at the close of a game.