After 17 Seasons, Chauncey Billups Is Calling It A Career

| by Jonathan Wolfe

Mr. Big Shot is hanging them up.

Five-time NBA All Star Chauncey Billups announced yesterday that he is retiring from professional basketball.

Billups, who won a world championship with the Pistons in 2004, repeatedly said during his announcement that “it’s just time” for him to call it a career. 

"It's just time. I know when it's time," Billups told Yahoo Sports writer Marc J. Spears. "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."

Billups played with the Celtics, Pistons, Nuggets, Raptors, Timberwolves, Knicks, and Clippers in his career. He’ll be the first to tell you that his fondest memories came from his 2002-2008 run with the Pistons. There, he combined with Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, and Rip Hamilton to form a dominant, championship winning squad.

"Before that, my career was in jeopardy in a few different stages," Billups told Spears. "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."

Billups finishes his career with 15,802 points, 5,636 assists, and 1,830 3-pointers made. Only five people in NBA history have sunk more threes than Billups. 

Billups, whose oldest child is in high school now, says he is looking forward to life after basketball.

"It's just time. I'm happy, excited. The game was very, very good to me," Billups said. "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."

To relive some of the best moments from Chauncey’s career, check out this video: