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Could Chauncey Billups make the Hall of Fame someday?

Dennis Rodman isn’t the only former Piston at Hall of Fame weekend. As Yahoo!’s Marc J. Spears reports, Chauncey Billups was on hand today to receive a community service award from the Hall. But the interesting part of Spears’ column discussed whether or not Billups one day has a shot at induction:

John L. Doleva, the Hall’s president and CEO, doesn’t think it’s a stretch to someday see Billups’ name on the ballot.

A McDonald’s All-American in high school, Billups led the University of Colorado to its first NCAA appearance in 28 years and was a second-team All-America as a sophomore. The five-time All-Star led the Detroit Pistons to an NBA championship in 2004, when he was named MVP of the Finals. He also helped Team USA win a gold medal at the 2010 world championships.

“The body of work is very important,” Doleva said. “To think that the voters just look at a single portion of a career would be false. They do step back and take a hard look. It’s not a popularity contest, the hottest name. It’s a thoughtful process. It’s the entire game.

“Even community work helps a candidacy. I’m not in the prediction business, but I think Chauncey would be a solid nominee.”

I’ve given up trying to figure out the actual criteria, if any, the basketball HOF uses when deciding who to enshrine. But I’d certainly argue that Billups and Ben Wallace have great shots at getting in among recent Pistons. I know I’ve mentioned my belief that Wallace should get in before and that spurred a lot of disagreement from readers. I’m not sure what the consensus among fans is on Billups.

I’ll definitely formulate more nuanced arguments in favor of both Wallace and Billups when the time comes, whether people think I’m crazy or not. One of my favorite memories as a writer is people telling me I was crazy for suggesting Rodman would get in. Can’t wait for a repeat of that.


  • Aug 11, 20117:22 pm
    by Tiko


    I believe he is deserving.

    would anyone be opposed to bringing Chauncey back in 2012 on a short deal as a mentor to Knight?

  • Aug 11, 20117:37 pm
    by Detroit Fan


    I’m all for this Tiko and yes Mr. Big Shot should be a shoe in for the HOF

    • Aug 11, 201110:23 pm
      by tarsier


      A shoo in? Really? He has a shot but I would definitely guess it as under 50%. Maybe 25-40% or so. And it wouldn’t be that high if it weren’t for what he did in Denver.

      Also, I’ve always hated the nickname “Mr. Big Shot” because Billups did not perform particularly better in the clutch than the rest of the game. And he didn’t take an egregious number of “big” shots either. Not really sure how the name came about but Billups is more thought of as clutch because of the nickname than vice versa.

      That said, I do really like Billups.

      • Aug 11, 201110:29 pm
        by Patrick Hayes


        I want to say Rick Mahorn gave him the nickname, but it could’ve been Blaha. At any rate, it came about during the 02-03 season when he hit a game-winner and a couple other late shots in a week or so stretch that season.

        And you’re right, other than that halfcourt shot vs. NJ, he wasn’t some sort of late game assassin. I wrote a post about it. People hated it.

        • Aug 11, 201110:30 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          I should add though, I do think he’s a Hall of Famer when you factor in his college career and the fact that he’s arguably the greatest player in the history of the state of Colorado. Those things are kind of silly, but as I said in the post, the criteria for the Hall are all over the map, and those are the types of things that sometimes make a compelling case for voters.

          • Aug 12, 201111:49 am
            by tarsier

            Well as I said, I think he has a solid shot. I just think it is in the under-50% range. But even at the low end of my estimate, an average player doesn’t have a 25% chance at getting in. But my main point is that he is not a shoo in.
            Also, good point with the Colorado thing. It is silly but I could see it mattering.
            I’m surprised I missed that post but it seems I did. Pretty much the exact point I was trying to make but with real numbers since I am too lazy to dig them up unless someone challenges me.

  • Aug 12, 20111:42 am
    by rob


    idk, maybe someone can look it up, but is there any Finals MVP thats NOT in the HOF?

    I don’t think there is one that isn’t in, and I doubt Chauncey will be the first. Maybe if that 2004 was a cinderelaa type season for Billups, and he just got hot in the playoffs, but thats not the case. His whole body of AND the Finals MVP will be enough to get him in… eventually.

    Ben Wallace is going to get in too.

    Rip MAY get in, but it depends on what he does with the rest of his career, I think. He has to get on with a contender and repair his reputation. I think his NCAA career and first 9 yrs in the NBA COULD be HOF worthy, but he needs to fill that last chapter of his career with one more successful run on a top team to get in, I think.

    Like Chauncey’s MVP, are there any other players like Rip, that have been leading scorers on both an NCAA and NBA championship teams that aren’t in the HOF?

    Rip’s in rare company with Jordan, Isiah, and Magic with those accomplishments. Its no stretch at all to say he could get in too someday,

    • Aug 12, 20114:05 am
      by gmehl1977


      Rob you must be drinking Keith Langlois kool-aid if you think Rip will make it into the HOF. I really hope Billups and Wallace make it but both are not sure things but there are what i feel a lot less credentialed players in there then them so i guess all is not lost. The list of NBA finals MVPs looks like this:

      Jerry West – HOF 1980
      Willis Reed – HOF 1982
      Wilt Chamberlain – HOF 1979
      John Havlicek – HOF 1984
      Rick Barry – HOF 1987
      Jo Jo White – Not inducted in the HOF
      Bill Walton – HOF 1993
      Wes Unseld – HOF 1988
      Dennis Johnson – HOF 2010
      Magic Johnson – HOF 2002
      Cedric Maxwell - Not inducted in the HOF
      Moses Malone – HOF 2001
      Larry Bird – HOF 1998
      Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – HOF 1995
      James Worthy – HOF 2003
      Joe Dumars – HOF 2006
      Isiah Thomas – HOF 2000
      Michael Jordan – HOF 2009
      Hakeem Olajuwon – HOF 2008

      So of the 19 NBA finals MVPs only 2 are not in the HOF. These are the NBA finals MVPs that are still yet to be still decided for the HOF:

      Tim Duncan – HOF certainty
      Shaquille O’Neal - HOF certainty
      Chauncey Billups - ????
      Dwyane Wade - HOF certainty
      Tony Parker - ????
      Paul Pierce - ????
      Kobe Bryant - HOF certainty
      Dirk Nowitzki - HOF certainty

      • Aug 12, 20119:38 am
        by Patrick Hayes


        Interesting list … and I would add that Pierce is a HOF certainty. I would probably give Billups a better shot than Parker among the other two, but TP is younger, so he could still theoretically surpass some things Billups has accomplished.

        Something else that won’t hurt Billups is playing in NY. If he bounces back from injuries and has a strong season next year, that New York media bump always seems to help players. Of course, if he’s still slowed by injuries and the Knicks don’t play as well as everyone thinks they should, the NY media could hurt him as well.

        • Aug 12, 201111:54 am
          by tarsier


          Rodman getting in has to help Wallace’s case as their arguments are almost identical. However, Wallace has more individual success (4 DPOYs, 3 all-NBA 2nd teams, several years of arguably being the best player on a very good team) compared to Rodman’s greater team success (5 championships). I wonder how that will play out.

    • Aug 12, 20119:35 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      Rob, Hamilton has never averaged 20 points per game in a season, he’s never made an All-NBA first, second or third team, he’s never made the all-defense team … he was a good player, but I don’t see him getting any consideration whatsoever. The only thing that might (and I don’t think it will bolster it enough) help him is his college career at UConn, leading that team to a national title.

      Billups was a Finals MVP, he received league MVP votes in 2006, he’s led teams to the ECF and WCF and he also had a great college and HS career. Those things give him a much stronger shot than Rip.

      • Aug 12, 20113:44 pm
        by rob


        yeah, I agree Billups definitely has a better chance than Rip. I just think that Rip’s college career is going to play a big factor because its not just the nba HOF, and they take everything into account. Plus he is the leading playoff scorer in Pistons history, ahead of Isiah and Joe. That’s got to count for something.

        I just watched that 2004 championship DVD and it said Rip avg 31 or 33 pts a gam in the ECF against IND that year, who were almost as good as us defensively, and we may have been the best all-time that year. If LeBron or Wade avg 30 in a playoff series it would be a big deal, but most ppl probably dont even remember that Rip did it in the ECF. I just think his talent/productivity goes unnoticed a lot and he is a lot better than he gets credit for. 

        I certainly dont think he’s a guy that’s going to head his class if he gets in, but I could see him as a secondary of third tier inductee.

        Ray Allen is widely considered a lock for the HOF, but is he really that much better than Rip, that Rip has no chance at all? Rip has gone toe to toe with Allen and Kobe hs whole life and its usually an even matchup when they play. If those guys are HOF’ers why can’t Rip be? He’s got the hardware/rings too. 

    • Aug 12, 201112:11 pm
      by MrHappyMushroom


      Perhaps there aren’t many Finals MVPs not in the Hall. But if he doesn’t get in, it wouldn’t mean that Chauncey’s getting screwed.
      Remember that the 2004 Pistons are really unique because they won a championship without a star player. Part of the whole mystique of that team is that you could reasonably argue that that team didn’t necessarily have a first, second, (or maybe even third) team all NBA player.  (I’m not saying that Big Ben or Chauncey weren’t top fifteen players. But many might argue that neither were. But I can’t imagine anyone the same about Nowitzski, Kobe, KG, Wade,  Duncan, or–I suspect–any top player on a team that has won a championship in decades, or possibly ever.

  • Aug 12, 20118:15 am
    by neutes


    I don’t like Billups’ chances all that much. There are a bunch of guards that are probably as good or better than Billups that have yet to make it. Look at Terry Porter in his prime, or Sam Cassell, or Gary Payton, Moncrief, Iverson, heck by the time Billups is eligible guys like Ray Allen, Nash, and Kidd will be as well. He’s fighting an uphill battle against a bunch of other guys. If Billups gets in it could be a long wait.

    • Aug 12, 20119:41 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      I don’t think he’ll be an immediate inclusion if he gets in. He strikes me as a guy who voters will probably ignore for a while. He might even be someone who has to wait for the veteran’s committee to pick him.

      But I was really surprised at how quickly the voters warmed to Rodman’s candidacy, so who knows. His first year of eligibility, it looked like he’d never get voted in, and here he is, just a year later, going into the Hall.

      There’s seriously no rhyme or reason to how they do things, so it’s really hard to predict how they’ll deal with a borderline case like Billups.

      • Aug 12, 201112:18 pm
        by MrHappyMushroom


        A difference, though, is that Rodman was an absolutely unique player.  I’d go so far to say that no one ever played quite like him in the history of basketball. He also has some rebounding totals (along with five rings) that are off the charts.
        Chauncey–I love him, by the way–has been a really good player and for about six or seven years was one of the top five point guards in the game. But that doesn’t match up to Rodman for me.  (But perhaps the high school and college creds mean a lot.)

  • Aug 12, 201111:11 am
    by Lexstarbuck


    I think C Bills biggest attribute will get him HOF consideration, I believe it’s the one thing we’re all forgetting. His LEADERSHIP. His time in Detroit has made him into a LEADER OF MEN. Despite his faults, he can orchestrate an Offense almost better than anyone in the league. He may not score with the best of them, he may not be the best defender, nor is he a top assist guy. But what he can do is play an excellent floor game. Any coach would love to have them on their team. You don’t go to seven straight Conference Finals and not get considered as HOF worthy. He knows how to LEAD.

  • Aug 12, 201111:49 am
    by max


    Chauncey had two great NBA finals series,won 1 Finals MVP and was one game shy of winning a second.His 05-06 season is one of the best seasons by a Point Guard in the last 20 years.Nash was the MVP,but Kobe and Chauncey deserved it more that year.7 straigt Conference Finals.What more can I say?

  • Aug 12, 201112:27 pm
    by brgulker


    I think Billups needed to have more success post-Detroit. He needed to get back to the Finals, at least, or have 1-2 monstrous seasons which he hasn’t really had.

    Billups was one of the best during his prime, but he’s not one of the best all time, IMHO.

    Big Ben belongs in the HOF. He’s one of the most dominant at his position ever. I don’t think any of the other Going to Work guys do.

  • [...] however always use the term when referring to superstar LOCKS like Ed Reed, Chipper Jones, Chauncey Billups and Mark Buehrle.  I’m sure the announcers don’t have an [...]

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