I stumbled across this the other day. Chauncey Billups has played at least a game in the playoffs for a decade. Ten years, that guy has been in the postseason. Now, sure, it’s a team game and the impact of one player doesn’t determine it. But given his impact on teams since 2002 (he averaged 44 minutes per game that year, that’s more than KG), that’s a pretty impressive thing to put on a resume.
Billups was honored recently by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for his community service. But then Yahoo! Sports checked in with the President and the CEO of the Hall on whether Billups could make it in as a player.
“The body of work is very important,” Doleva said. “To think that the voters just look at a single portion of a career would be false. They do step back and take a hard look. It’s not a popularity contest, the hottest name. It’s a thoughtful process. It’s the entire game.
“Even community work helps a candidacy. I’m not in the prediction business, but I think Chauncey would be a solid nominee.”
So does Billups belong? Billups is one that’s going to be divisive. He was never statistically dominant, doesn’t control a category like Rodman. He isn’t a flash player capable of wowing people. His Hall of Fame video would never include players talking about his ability to dominate the game. He was efficient, he was effective. He won a championship with the Pistons. He was Finals MVP. Five-time All-Star. Those are good. Are they great?
But if the Hall is made to recognize players who were great, Billups probably belongs. I’m one of those who doesn’t think the Hall needs to be hyper-selective to maintain legitimacy. It’s the HALL OF FAME for crying out loud. And Billups’ sustained, classy, and effective leadership, along with his history of key plays in clutch moments (which no longer applies) should count for something. Throw in his prolonged history of winning, and the case is pretty solid.
The entire Pistons 2004 championship team is going to be a hard one to figure out. Rasheed Wallace? Tayshaun Prince? Rip Hamilton? Most people are going to say no to all of them. But that’s overlooking a team that accomplished a lot through the values the Hall likes to laud.
And come on, how great would it be for them to be introduced together?