Chauncey Billups talked to Newsday this week and among the topics of conversation was a discussion of those team workouts being put together in Florida for the Knicks players during the lockout. While it’s hard to factor Billups as anything short of one of the hardest workers in the league and a veteran with great maturity, he’s not so hot on the whole “leaving his summer vacation with the kids to go sweat with Shawne Williams” thing. From Newsday:
Though he is ready if camp opened on Oct. 3, he didn’t sound too excited about leaving home to spend two weeks with fellow Knicks at the minicamp Amar’e has arranged in late October at the IMG Basketball Academy in Bradenton, Fla. if the lockout is still going on. This will be a bit of a controversial issue, especially since this team is still relatively new with each other and needs all the extra time together as possible to develop chemistry and be ready to hit the ground running if/when the lockout ends.
“It depends on what I got going on with my family at the time,” said Billups, who took the trade to New York hard because it meant leaving his wife and daughters back in Denver and living alone in a Manhattan hotel for the final two months of the season. “I’m using this time when I’m around, I don’t want to miss no soccer games, no dance recitals. I have the luxury of being home and being around that, I’m going to take advantage of it.”
It’s understandable. You’re away from your family all year on the road, and even more so when you get traded to New York against your wishes. It’s not a matter of not wanting to work, it’s a matter of putting in unmandated time. If you’ve put your time in during your career and you suddenly have an opportunity to go to all the things your kids have wanted you at, how do you tell them “Sorry, kids, gotta go run sprints with Ronny Turiaf?”
But the article does have a lot of good news for Knicks fans, like how excited Billups is for Mike Woodson to join the team. Maybe they could combine the practice and the dance recitals. Wait, Stoudemire doesn’t need happy feet. Nevermind.