NBA / Sep 29, 2010 / 1:00 pm

Is Chauncey Billups going to the Hall of Fame?

Chauncey Billups (photo. Mannion)

Chauncey Billups (photo. Mannion)

During one of the many Carmelo Anthony conversations-slash-arguments waged in the Dime office lately, one subject was how the Denver Nuggets would proceed should they lose ‘Melo in a (talent-wise) predictably lopsided trade.

Does the franchise start over and rebuild? Do they try covering the loss of ‘Melo like nothing happened and construct a contender for 2011 without taking a step back? Do they happily tread water and accept being first-round or second-round playoff chum for the real sharks of the Western Conference?

If ‘Melo gets traded (which is now starting to look more and more unlikely), I’m thinking the Nuggets try to keep winning now. As I said in the office, “You have a Hall of Famer in Chauncey Billups who’s like 33, 34. You don’t rebuild with him. Take advantage of the time Chauncey has left and go for it.”

Hold up, they stopped me: Is Chauncey really a Hall of Famer?

I think so. While his career stats of 15.4 points and 5.6 assists per game aren’t fantastic, they are at least comparable with those of Tony Parker (16.6 ppg, 5.6 apg), Dennis Johnson (14.1 ppg, 5.0 apg), Gary Payton (16.3 ppg, 6.7 apg) and Mark Jackson (9.6 ppg, 8.0 apg), who are either in the Hall of Fame or headed for induction. And take into consideration that Chauncey was a late bloomer who bounced around the League for a few years; since he settled in and found his niche in Detroit, he’s been a solid 17-and-7 producer.

Chauncey also has five All-Star Game appearances, three All-NBA nods, and two All-Defensive Team honors on his resume. He finished in the top six in league MVP voting twice, and going into this season ranks sixth all-time in three-pointers made, sixth in free-throw percentage, and is 49th in total assists.

But the biggest positives working in Chauncey’s favor are his 2004 NBA Finals trophy, and the reputation he’s built as a clutch performer. He’ll forever have the tag “Mr. Big Shot” attached to his name, and the legacy of players like that tend to grow in mythic proportions even more after they’ve retired.

At the same time, was there ever a period in his career when Chauncey was considered the best point guard in the League? Was he ever widely considered top-three? Did he ever carry a team without multiple All-Stars around him? And why did he live like a journeyman before getting to the Pistons? Could you argue that Chauncey was, like some will argue against Steve Nash, a glorified system player?

If any one of the hypothetical ‘Melo trades becomes a reality this season, we may find out. Whether the Nuggets get back Derrick Favors or Joakim Noah or even Stephen Curry in a deal, Chauncey will be left standing as the undisputed leader and go-to player on the squad. But even if he makes a quiet playoff exit, or fails to get Denver to the postseason, couldn’t we chalk that up to the idea that he’s past his prime at 34 years old?

What do you think? Is Chauncey Billups headed for the Hall of Fame?

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  • Patrick

    has he ever been the best player on his team?

  • PJ

    He was part of the Pistons team that went to 6 straight Eastern Conference Finals and came up with 1 Finals trophy (mind you in a series where they had 50+ Free throw advantage in just 5 games against a short handed Lakers that had no Malone). Not impressive.

    In short, he’s a pereniall all star type player but not even close to being a Hall of Famer. He’s just a one hit wonder

  • Eric


  • JA

    I was surprised to hear that he is 6th all time in 3’s made.

  • Michorizo

    Not saying he’s not, but these days, everyone is a Hall of Famer…so it really doesn’t mean as much as it should.

  • The Other Aj

    yes, once Ben Wallace left the pistons Chauncey was the best player on that team. For a couple seasons at least.

  • Notorious

    @PJ, short handed Lakers squad? Yeah, must suck to be stuck with only Shaq, Kobe and the Glove while the over the hill Malone was on the bench.

    No, the Pistons won because Malone pissed off Kobe who decided to quit on the team and not shoot for an entire game. So the ring chasers on the Lakers came up short due to Karl hitting on Vanessa.

    @AB, sorry man but I cant support Billups in the Hall. Solid player, nice rep, but not one of the all time greats.

  • jrav

    He was part of the Pistons team that went to 6 straight Eastern Conference Finals and came up with 1 Finals trophy (mind you in a series where they had 50+ Free throw advantage in just 5 games against a short handed Lakers that had no Malone). Not impressive.

    hahaha so what about the 2002 series of lakers vs kings?

  • Yucca Man

    If Mark Jackson goes to the Hall of Fame I’ll eat my sock.

    And has there ever been a more undeserved nickname than Chauncey as “Mr. Big Shot”?

  • http://dimemag.com bullet380

    I don’t think that being the best player on your team is a prerequisite for being a Hall of Famer. Was Dennis Johnson the best player on the Celtics teams in the 80s? No, that was Larry Bird, but DJ is a Hall of Famer (RIP).

    I honestly don’t know if Billups will go, but he has a few more years to build on his resume, to put himself in position to one day be there.

  • PJ


    Im just stating the facts. 60 free throws in 7 games shows how there was preferential treatment towards the Pistons. Slava Medvedenko getting starters minutes instead of Malone at the PF is a massive dropoff in talent and production when getting matched up with pereniall all star Rasheed Wallace


    did the Lakers get a 50+ free throw advantage in that 7 game series? Nope. It wasn’t a massive differential like the 2004 finals favoring DET. Go look at game 7, the Kings barely shot above 50% in that game, not sure if the FT attempts would’ve helped either

  • PJ

    60 free throw difference in 5 games*** not 7

  • George W Kush Sr

    I love it, I was waiting for a debate like this.

    Is Billups HOF? Of course, HE’S BETTER THAN STEVE NASH.

    I know there’s a gang of people who have Nash penciled in already, so if Billups is better than Nash(please please please prove me wrong) then Billups is a lock.

  • Nizzio

    Chauncey deserves to be a hall of famer. He is a great leader and although his stats aren’t really that great, he did lead the Pistons to 6 straight conference finals and the Nuggets the next year. He is a solid player and he will get elected. And btw, you think Tony Parker will be a Hall of Famer? You’re insane

  • Ian

    hell no and no hes not better than nash. billups is kinda overrated but i still think he was the best piston not wallace.

    really? making excuses for a series that wasnt even close? comon laker fans someone pointed out the series vs the kings and you think the pistons got prefered treatment?

    someone made a good point you dont have to be the best player on your team to be a hof but billups falls a bit short.

  • Manu14

    @ Nizzio : Tony Parker will defenitely be a Hall of Famer! Not only has he 3 rings and a finals MVP trophy, he one of the most efficient PG ever (around 50% shooting which IS insane…)
    By the way, he is only 28…

  • johnsacrimoni

    First of all there’s no way the Nuggets make the playoffs if they trade Melo, not in the west. Unless they get an all-star back, but even then it’s unlikely. As for Chauncey, I think he’s somewhat close but ultimately no.

  • johnsacrimoni

    DJ was already a multiple all star and All-NBA player before he came to Boston, not to mention he was a perennial All-Defense player. He was also arguably the best player on the ’79 Sonics title team and won finals mvp.

  • Slips

    Considering billups was a late bloomer, i’d just like to throw out his career averages from when he joined the pistons (02-03) until now: 17.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 6.3 APG. The only retired finals MVP to never make the HOF is Jo Jo White (and Dennis Johnson until he was finally inducted this year). His stats certainly don’t scream HOFer, but he’s had his fair share of playoff success (don’t try to spin his 7 straight conf finals appearances negatively). I’ll leave it with him being on the cusp. If he didn’t have that finals MVP, he really wouldn’t be in the discussion.

  • Ian

    parker has a better chance than billups to get in.

  • http://facebook amanda



    He probably wont get in, but i think he deserves it.
    In an era of elite PG’s he’s probably the most well rounded player of them all. A better scorer than Kidd, Better Defender than Nash and a better Passer than Iverson, he does everything well.
    The tempo he plays at is a big reason he never puts up huge numbers, but it’s also why he hardly ever turns the ball over and always runs plays perfectly.

    its crazy to think that Iverson is a Lock for the HOF and millions of kids based their game on him when he hasnt won shit, a guy like Billips is a perennial winner, a leader and a true PG and he’s unlikely to even make the HOF after hes done.

  • George W Kush Sr

    @ Ian

    If you think Billups is overrated that’s cool but I have to disagree.

    Nash is known as the engine behind Phoenix’ highpowered offense, he makes his money on one half of the court.

    Now Billups can do everything Nash does offefnsively but obviously not at Nash’s pace. What I mean by that is dude is good for 16-20 pts a night and its not inconceivable to see him put up 33 pts and 15 assist on any given night. He’s good in the clutch and makes his team better on both ends of the floor. Billups can hit game winners, I’ll stop watching basketball the day Nash comes up with the game winning steal or block.

    When Nash came to the Suns he took his team to new heights, after taking his team to 6 straight conference finals Billups took his new team to WCF, for the better part of the last decade Billups has lead his squad to the Final Four.

    Billups does it all and has had better team success than Nash has. I’d rather have him matching up against the Diddy’s, DWills, etc etc who eat Nash’s food each time.

    But that’s just me…

  • derik

    a big no, Billups is just in the right place at the right time, Sam Cassell is a better player then Billups and he’s not even close to the HOF

  • the truth

    @ PJ,

    1) Rasheed Wallace perennial all star????

    Last time i checked the dictionary, perennial didn’t equate to 4 times out of a 17 year career.

    2) Medvedenko STARTER MINUTES??? WTF are you talking about. I don’t even think you’ve seen the series. Malone averaged over 30 min a game and Medvedenko only 14. 14 min a game is not starter minutes.

    You’re just a blind Lakers fan.

  • Ian

    thats the reason i think hes overrated hes not that great in clutch imo he has been to the final four alot with the occasional big play here and there. he played in the weaker conference so those 6 straight conference finals dont mean much to me. nash made back to back west finals and one without amare that means more to me. plus the two mvps but him way ahead. sure nash defense isnt close to billups but billups offense isnt anywhere near nash. for a final play in a big game theres no way im taking billups over the best shooter and passer in the world. then again thats just me so im not sayin u r wrong.

  • downtown_brownclown

    he deserves to be in the HOF… :)
    well, argument that melo ain’t shit without chauncey. the nuggets made the playoffs the whole 7 years that melo has been in the playoffs. don’t take me wrong, chauncey helped the nuggs to get to the next stage… but take melo out of the nuggets? they wouldn’t even make the playoffs.

  • George W Kush Sr


    Now you know I have issues with Nash having two MVPs, but we’ll put that aside. The Finals MVP is a lil more valuable to me.

    More than that, the last time a shoot first/offense first PG (who’s also the team’s best player) took his team to a championship was back in 1989-90. Now Thomas could play D too, but its just to say that if your PG is your main offensive weapon, you’re in trouble. So basically, as good as he is, the way he plays the game won’t ever win a championship.

  • http://yourboychise.blogspot.com/ Chise

    lol really?

    It may be easy for a lot of you to say there’s no way he gets into the hall-a-fame but I doubt you guys would bet money on that. He was the leader of a Pistons team that went to the Conference Finals every year for over half a decade. He’s a multiple all-star, an NBA champion and a Finals MVP. Of course he’s going into the hall, guys get in with less of a resume than that. From Detroit onward, Chauncey’s career has definitely been hall of fame worthy. Keep in mind how much winning the Nuggets were doing with Allen Iverson, then they turned into a top 2 team in the West when Chauncey arrived. He’s a winner, with stats to back it up. No brainer, he’ll end up in Springfield.

  • Seven Duece

    I can’t see him getting in the HOF, but then again I hope Reggie overhyped Miller doesn’t either.

  • Drew Down

    Considering the big shot legacy he created while in Detroit has projected Chuncey into the Hall of Fame. Chuncey is thought of as being an extension of the coach on the floor. Even though Chuncey was the captain of the Pistons, He also is thought of as being the leader of a series of role players that managed to shock the world by defeating a Los Angeles Laker team that was picked to win the championship that year.

  • ctkennedy

    yes…the job of the pg is too win he has done it more than nash …more conference finals more finals apperance more clutch ..he won playin in a halfcourt set which is harder and got a title

  • Cha-Ching

    If Joe Dumars is in why not CB. Outside of one extra ring they are similar in accolades.

  • Stunnaboy09


    Good comparison with Dumars. I think Billups MIIGHT sneak in because of that 6 straight ECFs thing. The Pistons were stacked and the East this year.

    I say 60% chance he gets in, past reputation will factor into it as well and he really was an elite PG at times.

    Btw HELL YES Denver should rebuild. You ain’t winning shit with Chauncey as your best player now, why delay the inevitable? You already got his backup of the future in Ty Lawson why not move Billups into SG and have Ty learn how to be a starting PG in the league?

  • http://rapzilla.com Jayo

    Its the Hall of FAME!!! Not the Hall of Very Good. Billups is a very good player but def not a HOFer. Billups has never been consistently a top-5 player at his position. Nor has he been a team-changing difference maker. Not that he’s a bad player but he’s not a consistently great player.

  • K Dizzle

    What Derik said. I’d take Sam Cassell in his prime over Billups…easily. And I like Chauncey, but Sam was doin what Chauncey doin now as a rookie. Everywhere he went, the team saw a wins spike. I agree with the posters who got Chauncey right on the cusp. If he got in, I wouldn’t be surprised, and if he didn’t, still no surprise. Most HOFers have amazing careers, but Chauncey didn’t do anything for his first 6 seasons. So he gonna get his jersey retired by Detroit for those 6 seasons cuz those were HOF years + the 2 seasons in Denver

    What does “he won playin in a halfcourt set which is harder” even mean. U think runnin a full-speed break and makin the right pass to the right man is easy?
    Halfcourt set is easy when you can run sets for Rip, Tayshaun and Sheed.
    Mike Fratello had SI thinkin Terrell Brandon was the best point in the league cuz he slowed it down so much, both teams damn near fell asleep.

    @ Austin
    “You have a Hall of Famer in Chauncey Billups who’s like 33, 34. You don’t rebuild with him. Take advantage of the time Chauncey has left and go for it.”

    What exactly did you want Denver to “go for”? The time Chauncey has left would be better served somewhere else if Melo ain’t there. You keep sayin Denver shouldn’t trade Melo cuz after the Lakers start to fall off, they’d be the best team. That ain’t true cuz OKC is comin, if Portland stays healthy, they comin. Houston comin. Sacramento and Clippers keeps stockpilin talent. Utah comin. Dallas, San Antonio and Phoenix can still win a series or two. Denver isn’t guaranteed anything.

  • RC

    I love Chauncey’s game but I’m not sure if the one championship, a finals mvp and some all star games are enough to be on the HOF. I vote no HOF.

  • Tim

    its clear after the A.I. trade that Chauncey was the best player on those Pistons teams.

  • Daniel

    Steve Nash is a better passer than Chauncey but Billups is the better 3 point shooter. Chauncey is a very good player but i don’t think he will be in the hall of fame at least not right now, maybe down the line somewhere he can get in.

  • b

    i think he’s H.O.F. 7 or 8 straight trips to conference finals… including a trip the year he was traded and nuggets hadn’t gone that far without him. Beating a star lakers squad when noone thought detroit had a chance and basically swept them. He was the best player, apart from sheed, on the floor for that series hence the m.v.p. Numbers shouldn’t count alone, wins that ppl talk about years after they occur on the nba’s biggest stage should be taken into account. i love chauncy’s game, he’s been underrated even when he was leading those teams to conf finals and finals appearance.

  • johnsacrimoni

    Chauncey Billups is not a better 3-point shooter than Nash. Billups is an excellent 3-point shooter but not even close to Nash. Nash has shot over 40% from 3 every year of his career except one.

  • surfnaked

    chauncey hall of fame? not to sure

    tony parker? idk either

  • Yoshi

    How can Billups not be considered HOF material??

    With a finals MVP – thats almost more then enough criteria. Name the last Finals MVP that is not in the HOF or going to be considered HOF material…Cedric Maxwell???????

    As said before if Joe Dumars can get it, why can’t Billups get in?

    “I love Chauncey’s game but I’m not sure if the one championship, a finals mvp and some all star games are enough to be on the HOF.”

    Thats more then alot of players who are currently in the hall…

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    A LOT of shaky logic and arguments in here. I figure he’ll miss out, but just barely. But like Chise said, I wouldn’t put money on it.

    Billups, Kidd and Nash were the 3 best PGs in the League over this past decade. I’d put all 3 of them in there.

  • JAY

    @Yucca Man: “If Mark Jackson goes to the Hall of Fame I’ll eat my sock.”

    Would you like a knife and fork for your meal?