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Chauncey Billups: I expect to start at point guard for Pistons

Jul 16, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT

Chauncey Billups, Joe Dumars AP

Brandon Knight has started at point guard the last two seasons for the Pistons, though he hasn’t played particularly well. Rodney Stuckey started at the position the two years prior, again struggling as a playmaker, which is why Knight replaced him. Before that, Chauncey Billups manned the position for seven seasons, doing an exceptional job, but that run ended back when Billups was 32.

All in all, the Pistons have the last 11 years’ worth of their starting point guards on the roster now.

Ryan Slocum of ABC 12:

There is a whole range of ways to take that.

Joe Dumars could have told Billups outright he’d start at point guard when Billups signed with Detroit.

Dumars could have told Billups, a smart player who can undoubtedly see what’s happened to the position since he was traded to the Nuggets, he’d have a good chance to start at point guard. Billups also could have inferred that on his own.

Billups could just be taking a competitive approach, regardless of the odds. Knight probably expects to start at point guard, too.

Of course, how they get there matters much less than how each player will react to his eventual role. At least in part, the Pistons signed the 36-year-old Billups to mentor the 21-year-old Knight. A feud between those two would be disastrously counterproductive.

However, I’d call that extremely unlikely. Knight and Billups have acted like true pros while in the league, and a little competition should bring out the best in each. Besides, my too-early prediction: Knight and Billups start together in Detroit’s backcourt on opening day.

  1. kb2408 - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    C.B. is a consummate pro. He knows that Brandon will probably start but as a former starter, veteran and leader C.B. is supposed to push his younger teammates. He can’t allow Brandon to believe all he has to do is show up and the starting job will be handed to him.

  2. obmig - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Billups was once great, but Detroit is in a world of trouble if he’s their starter this year with the young speed there is at that position in the East.

  3. larrybrown43 - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    So who had a better career, Billups or Iverson? Thirteen years ago many would’ve said A. I. Now they realize just how wrong that was.

    • tcclark - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:28 PM

      Wrong. Billups has had a longer career, but in his prime Allen Iverson was one of the most dominant players of all-time. He revolutionized the guard positions. Before AI the point guard was usually pass first and the shooting guard ran off of screens and, well, shot. In today’s game slashers dominate. Guy who can get to the rim consistently are gold to general managers. Allen Iverson allowed for small scoring guards to dominate the NBA. Dwayne Wade, Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings, Kyrie Irving, etc. These guys owe their careers to Allen Iverson. He opened the door for the small scoring guard. Chauncey has been a consistently valuable player for teams. He is clutch, he is a leader, and he brings a good offensive game, but he was never where Allen Iverson was. He’s never been an MVP, he hasn’t been to as many all-star games, he hasn’t changed the game.

      Allen Iverson at a point in his career was the most dominant scorer I have ever seen. He got into the lane with ease and finished at the rim better than anyone his size. The man made some of the most ridiculous shots in traffic, and played with a competitive spirit that is lacking in the NBA today. The reason Allen’s career has been cut short was because of the competitive spirit he plays with. His body took a beating in traffic throughout his career and injuries began to catch up. He was also never able to accept a lesser role. Winners want the ball in their hands and Allen was never willing to give the ball up to younger players when his body and game began to diminish.

      13 years ago people would have told you it was too early to tell. Allen would have only finished his 4th professional season while Chauncey would have only finished his third. 13 years ago they were still kids. Today, I will tell you that Allen Iverson had a better career.

      I know I will get a lot of thumbs downs from Pistons fans, but you have to think with your brain and not your heart. Allen Iverson has registered more points, rebounds, assists (yes, assists), steals, and has shot a higher percentage for his career than Chauncey Billups in 2 less seasons and they’re not even close. Allen has almost 10,000 more points, over 300 more rebounds, and nearly a thousand more steals. The only one that is close are assists, but AI still has about 40 more assists in 2 fewer seasons. Their careers are barely comparable. Allen Iverson, despite all of his issues, is one of the greatest players in this leagues history. He has the 6th highest scoring average of any player in league history. He is 4th in minutes played per game, ninth in steals per game, and has the 3rd highest usage rating of all time. Chauncey has been great, borderline Hall of Fame great, but Allen Iverson has changed the game forever.

  4. ohioteamsusuallysuck - Jul 16, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Larrybrown43 that is the stupidest comment ever. How many mvps has Chauncey won? How many scoring titles? If iverson was on those Detroit teams in the 2000s they would have been a dynasty. If Chauncey was on the sixers they would have been a lottery team every year

    • rich6812 - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      Wrong. Detroit won the title in ’04 because they were a team, and Billups was a true PG who made his teammates better. AI would have destroyed the team had he been with Detroit because he always was a score first, pass never guard who never made his teammates better. Plus, Billups is a big guard who can play defense. Which is why AI’s out of the league now, and Billups is still in.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 17, 2013 at 2:14 AM

      Chauncey has one more Finals MVP the A.I. has.

    • Brian Kronner - Jul 17, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      This is not correPG.ct. Iverson was a great individual talent who one time was able to put a team on his back and carry them to the finals…and get killed there. Billups was a leader who made those around him better. Look at Rip Hamilton’s dropoff once Billups left. Scoring titles don’t mean much when you lose all the time.

      AI was a better talent, but Billups was a better PG.

    • borderline1988 - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      True – Iverson was on a much weaker 76ers team. There’s no way Billups (on his own) would have led the 76ers to the NBA Finals.

      That being said, the East was TERRIBLE during those years when Iverson was in his prime. The 76ers would likely have been battling for the bottom playoff seeds in the West. Same with Jason Kidd’s Nets.

      Detroit at least could compete with the teams in the West, and even won a championship against the Lakers.

  5. joquer64 - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    @ Ohio;

    I disagree, Iverson was one of the greatest scorers the league has ever seen, fearless and tough as nails. But that’s all he was. CB Played D, passed the ball, took and made big shots, a much more complete player. I much prefer CB over Iverson, comparing prime to prime. Both players had very good talent around them, as I said, CB was a more complete player…

  6. joquer64 - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    1 more thing, how many championships did Iverson win???

  7. tarheel723 - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    WAIT A SECOND WHEN DID HE GO BACK TO THE PISTONS?????? I DON’T REMEMBER THIS…

  8. 00maltliquor - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    LOL @ Chauncey’s expectations

  9. jimsjam33 - Jul 17, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    Chauncey don’t hurt the Pistons chances of re-building . Retire now before the season starts and do the team a favor . You are too slow , old , and still living in the past .

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