I'm going to take you on a rather amusing journey, back to the past. Do any of you recall the day Joe Dumars traded away Chauncey "Big Shot" Billups for Allen " I'm Selfish" Iverson?
If you do, then as of now you are doing well on my journey.
Outrage, shock, disgust, were the array of words used to describe this deal that shocked the NBA.
Initially, I was saddened by the fact that our own Chauncey, the man who helped revive the Pistons, was now no longer a Piston. However, as many have argued about this topic, I realized in the long term, this deal was only going to benefit us.
Indeed the Nuggets were one of NBA’s hottest teams, and in the playoffs many believed they would in fact defeat the Lakers. I was worried they were going to. I love Chauncey to death, but seeing him play in the Finals would have made my perception of the trade change dramatically.
However, all I have to say is, “Thank You Chauncey!” You showed me again, after Game Six, why we traded you. Mr. Big Shot was no more.
Allow me to drag you further back into the past. Just last year, when we were playing the Celtics, Billups was playing well. Don’t get me wrong, he was making the right passes, playing solid defense, but he wasn’t scoring.
He never stood up and fought hard.
In a sense, the entire Pistons' team no longer had that fire or drive to succeed. Then one game, Rodney Stuckey appeared out of nowhere. Shocked, amazed, impressed. Those would be the words I was hearing. He could drive into the lane with force, he made the right passes, could shoot well...but most importantly, he had that passion.
You need passion in this game. Complacency is not an option. In my eyes, Billups and the entire team were becoming complacent. In turn, Billups was gone.
After we kept seeing the same results year after year, Joe D got frustrated by our performances and made a trade. We ended up losing in the first round, but we have a lot of money to invest into younger, more dedicated players.
Now If I can kindly ask you to check back into reality, we witnessed yesterday the typical Chauncey Billups we had seen for a while now. To put it bluntly, Billups was a no show.
In the most important games, he seems to hibernate, and well, vanish. That’s the Chauncey Billups we traded, and that’s the Chauncey Billups Denver received. He had his assists as always, but not the points.
I do believe Billups has gained back that desire to win, and maybe in the next years to come he will in fact return to the finals. Sadly, as much I hate to admit it, he lost his passion in Detroit after experiencing winning season after winning season.
Times have changed, and if I could only take you on a journey to the future, we would all be able to analyze this deal and see who came out the winner.
If Detroit wants to succeed again, we must make the right trades and draft picks.