Chauncey Billups Retires with 5th-Best Free-Throw Percentage in NBA History

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffSeptember 11, 2014

This March 19, 2014 photo shows Detroit Pistons guard Chauncey Billups looking on from bench against the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver. The Detroit Pistons announced, Monday, June 30, 2014, they won't pick up the team option on Billups’ contract for the 2014-15 season. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

According to Yahoo Sports, guard Chauncey Billups is retiring from the NBA after 17 seasons.

Now set to hang up his kicks, the man known as Mr. Big Shot will finish his career with the fifth-best free-throw percentage (89.40) in league history, per NBA.com/Stats.

He sits behind Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash (90.4 percent), Mark Price (90.4), Rick Barry (90.0) and Peja Stojakovic (89.5), just a smidgen ahead of free-agent shooting guard Ray Allen (89.39), who still has time to make up the difference.

Now known for his leadership, clutch shooting and ability to play both guard spots, Billups came into the league as an excellent free-throw shooter, but didn't really find himself as a player until landing with the Detroit Pistons in 2002.

The Boston Celtics' third overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft, Billups bounced from the Celtics to the Toronto Raptors to the Denver Nuggets to the Minnesota Timberwolves, before finally calling Detroit—his fifth stop in the NBA—home.

Viewed by many as a potential Hall of Famer, the 37-year-old guard would be an oddity in basketball's Springfield, Mass., shrine, having played for seven different teams.

Of course, Billups' candidacy largely depends on his first stint with the Pistons, which lasted from 2002 to 2008.

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During that time, he won a championship and NBA Finals MVP (2004), also making the first three (2006-08) of five consecutive All-Star Game appearances. He was named to the All-Defensive second team for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, with an All-NBA second team nod in 2005-06, plus All-NBA third team honors in 2006-07 and 2008-09, albeit with the second of those seasons spent largely with the Nuggets.

Basketball-Reference.com's Hall of Fame Probability statistic estimates that Billups has a 20.5 percent chance of being elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame.

Such a stat seems to understate his real chances, but the measure is typically excellent, as described here in further detail.


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