There is certainly some off-court things we can’t ignore when discussing Chauncey Billups. Based on his play on the court, however, he’s made a strong case to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Billups earned his “Mr. Big Shot” moniker due to his penchant for hitting clutch shots as a member of the Detroit Pistons. He’s so beloved by the franchise that he had his number hoisted to the rafters there seven years ago.
Like Marion, Billups has one title to his name. He played a much bigger role, however, avering 21 points, 5.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 50.1 percent from the field, 47.1 percent from three, and 92.9 percent from the charity stripe. The Pistons point guard won Finals MVP in 2004 as the Pistons topped the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
Billups played for many teams over the course of his career. He was an All-Star fives times, made All-NBA Second Team once, and All-NBA Third Team twice. He was even an All-Defensive Second Team player twice. For his career, Billups racked up more than 15,000 points and 5,600 assists.
On the international stage, Billups won gold medals with Team USA at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship and 2010 FIBA World Championship. He may have been part of the Redeem Team in 2008, too, but pulled himself out of consideration beforehand.
These days, Billups is the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. He doesn’t project as a Hall of Fame coach right now, but that’s irrelevant.
The relevance of what happened in 1997 is unclear. That year, Billups and teammate Ron Mercer were accused of sexual assault. No criminal charges were filed, but a civil suit was settled three years later. The allegations reared their ugly head when Portland was weighing hiring Billups as its head coach.
If that ugliness doesn’t factor into consideration – and character clauses have never seemed as readily evident for basketball’s Hall of Fame as baseball’s – then Billups has the combination of numbers, longevity, and big moments to break through.