After 17 seasons, Chauncey Billups is hanging up his kicks for good. The artist formerly known as Mr. Big Shot says “it’s just time.”
Billups, who played for seven teams and won the 2004 NBA Finals MVP with the Detroit Pistons, is at peace with career and looks forward to taking the next step.
Billups has expressed an interest in working in an NBA front-office, and continues to manage a fleet of businesses. Per Yahoo! Sports:
Billups became an unrestricted free agent when the Pistons declined the second and final year of a contract option that would have paid him $2.5 million next season. The five-time All-Star had interest in playing with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers after a workout this offseason and said he had “a couple of opportunities to play” if he wanted to continue. But after missing 185 games the past three seasons, Billups decided it was time to retire a little more than two weeks before his 38th birthday.
“It’s just time. I know when it’s time,” Billups said. “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.”
Billups said the “best memories” of his career were with the Pistons. […] “Before that, my career was in jeopardy in a few different stages,” Billups said. “I persevered, sustained and continued to work hard, and finally got my opportunity in Detroit, and I never turned back from that point. That’s what made it so sweet to me to win a championship after what I went through. I had to scrap and fight to get through it and to reach the pinnacle made it even sweeter. Winning the championship was the ultimate. I never set out to win the [Finals] MVP. Winning the championship was enough.”