This is how it looks – from media relations helpers to general managers to friends and family, media, season ticket holders and former reserve power forwards – when Chauncey Billups returns as a free agent to wind down his career as a member of the Detroit Pistons. From the Pistons themselves, via Pro Basketball Talk:
A couple of initial takes:
First, it’s interesting to see Chauncey Billups – the player, and not potential front office employee – take the lead ahead of Dumars both behind the scenes and as he strides to the podium. The Billups signing was perhaps the first non-NBA draft move Dumars has made in years that hadn’t been met with universal scorn, so it was strange to see the Detroit’s GM leader of 12 years not burst through the door first.
Also, the No. 1 jersey that Billups is holding up almost looks like a throwback at this point, despite the fact that Billups didn’t become a Piston until 2003, and he didn’t leave the team until late 2008.
Rick Mahorn “ain’t got nothing to do,” he won’t stand up to shake Chauncey’s hand, and he wears shorts on camera. This is EXACTLY how I want Rick Mahorn to be living the rest of his life. Especially after the Pistons left him unprotected in the 1989 expansion draft.
(Mahorn later calls the re-signing of the soon-to-be 37-year old Chauncey Billups to a free agent contract with the 29-win Pistons “the biggest smile I’ve ever had in my life,” which is not how I want Rick Mahorn’s life to be flowing.)
To that end, it is strange to see Billups returning to a team that has no immediate championship prospects; hell, it’s strange to see him returning to a team that more than likely won’t even be part of the playoff picture in 2013-14.
With that in place? Billups has played for ten teams, counting his trade to Orlando, and duel trips to Denver and Detroit. He’s only been allowed to choose his destiny as a star three times – re-signing with Detroit, picking the Los Angeles Clippers after being waived by the New York Knicks, and re-re-signing with the Pistons. It’s understandable that he wants to choose something familiar, and comforting, as his legendary career winds down. Welcome back, Big Shot.
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