Chauncey Ray Billups is a professional basketball player from the United States of America who plays as a point guard. Billups went to the George Washington High School in Denver where he was named to the All-State First Team for all 4 years. He was also named as the Colorado Mr. Basketball thrice as well as being named as the Colorado State Player of the Year in his sophomore and junior years.
In 1995, Billups was picked for the McDonald’s All-American team but didn’t play the game on account of a shoulder injury that would keep recurring through his career.
Billups went on to attend the University of Colorado where he played 2 seasons, averaging 18.5 points per game. In 1996-97, Billups led the University of Colorado to their first ever NCAA tournament title, in 30 years, after beating Indiana State in the finals. This feat got him into the Big 12 Conference First Team as well as the Basketball Times All-American First Team.
Billups declared for the 1997 NBA Draft and was picked at third overall by the Boston Celtics. In the middle of his rookie year in the NBA, Billups was traded out to the Toronto Raptors for Kenny Anderson after 51 games for the Celtics. He played out 1998 at the Raptors, appearing in 29 games and scoring at 11.3 points per game, up from his 11.1 average with the Celtics. His assists per game dropped one point to 3.3 per game.
In 1998, he was traded out to the Denver Nuggets where he was again used as the backup. Despite starting 41 of the 45 games he played that season, Billups was always in the hunt for a starting spot and a 13.9 point average was good enough to get him pushed up the rotation. However, in 1999-2000, Billups got injured after just 13 games and was out for the rest of the season. The Nuggets decided to trade him out and the Orlando Magic decided to pick him up. The injured Billups spent 1999-2000 on the disabled list and never turned out on court for the Magic, a problem that prompted the Magic to send him away.
The Minnesota Timberwolves appeared keen to take him on board as a backup and the perpetually injured Terrell Brandon gave Billups many opportunities to get into the starting lineup. Billups started 33 of his 77 games at the Timberwolves in 2000-01, scoring at 9.3 points per game with 3.4 assists.
The following year, Billups played every game in the season and scored at 12.5 points per game with 5.5 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game. After a great 2001-02 season, Billups decided to turn free agent and join the Detroit Pistons as the starting point guard.
After starting all 74 games he played in 2002-03, Billups took charge and led the Pistons to the 2004 NBA Championship title, winning the NBA Finals’ MVP title as well. Scoring at 16.9 points per game, Billups had 5.7 assists per game, leading his team from the front on all aspects.
The following year, despite being named to the All-NBA Second All-Defensive Team for his 3.4 rebounds per game, 5.8 assists and 16.5 points per game, Billups could not manage a repeat of the previous season as the Nuggets fell to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. In 2006, Billups began by being named as the co-captain of the Pistons and took the Franchise to an all-time best record of 64-18. In a career-high 81 starts in as many games, Billups set career-highs in scoring with 18.5 points per game as well as in assists, with 8.6 per game.
His performance got him into the NBA All-Star Weekend as a reserve, his first of 4 appearances at the weekend party event.
Before the beginning of 2007, Billups signed an extension on his previous contract, a 4-year deal worth $46 million after turning free agent a few days before the Pistons offered him this deal. Although his performance dipped a bit, he was still quite prolific with 7.2 assists and 17 points per game. He made his second All-Star game appearance, again as a reserve.
In 2007-08, Billups kept his scoring rate the same however his assists per game dropped by 0.4 from the previous year but he still made it to the All-Star Game as a reserve. In 2008-09, Billups would just play 2 games for the Pistons before ending his association with the Pistons after being traded out to the Denver Nuggets. The deal saw Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb move to Denver in exchange for Allen Iverson.
After 6 years with the Pistons, 1 NBA Championship title, 3 All-Star Game selections and 2 All-NBA Team selections later, Billups came back to Denver for the 2008-09 season and played, and started, all 77 games that he was a part of. Averaging 17.9 points per game, Billups had 3.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game to make it to the All-Star Game for the fourth year in a row.
Billups also led the Nuggets to the highest number of wins the franchise has had in a single season, with 54. Despite leading the Western Conference for most of the season, the Nuggets ended up in second spot behind the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nuggets reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 24 years and was Billups’ 7th consecutive Conference Final appearance.
At the International level, Billups has been a part of the USA National Men’s Senior squad between 2006-08. He helped the team win the 2007 FIBA Americas Championships to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics where he led the team to the Gold Medal.
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