Chauncey Billups, the 2004 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player and former Detroit Pistons star, told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday he is retiring after 17 NBA seasons.
Billups became an unrestricted free agent when the Pistons declined the second and final year of a contract option that would have paid him $2.5 million next season. The five-time All-Star had interest in playing with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers after a workout this offseason and said he had “a couple of opportunities to play” if he wanted to continue. But after missing 185 games the past three seasons, Billups decided it was time to retire a little more than two weeks before his 38th birthday.
“It’s just time. I know when it’s time,” Billups told Yahoo Sports. “My mind and my desire is still strong. I just can’t ignore the fact that I haven’t been healthy for three years. I can try again and get to a point where I think I can go, but I just can’t sustain. Me not being able to play the way that I can play, that’s when you kind of know it’s that time.
“It’s just time. I’m happy, excited. The game was very, very good to me. I felt like I was equally as good to the game the way I played it and the way I respected it and the way I carried myself through the process.”
Westbrook Notches Triple-Double as OKC Gets Win
It appeared a fitting beginning to Carmelo Anthony’s next chapter, a 3-pointer on his first possession with the Thunder, playing against his former team. Then he missed his next seven shots.
Like the rest of the Thunder, it was a slow burn as Anthony revved up in the second quarter and into the third, scoring 22 on 8-of-20 shooting in a 105-84 win over the Knicks on opening night. In their first regular-season game, there were some rough patches for the Thunder’s new big three, with Paul George missing a number of open looks and Anthony going cold at times, but in the end, talent prevailed. George finished with 28 on 9-of-23 shooting, and Russell Westbrook picked right up where he left off in his historic MVP season notching the first triple-double of this season with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists.
Source: Royce Young of ESPN
LeBron Vows to Improve his Conditioning
LeBron James says his left ankle feels strong enough to play in Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s the rest of his body that needs work.
“I just want to get to where I should be,” James said after participating in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ practice Thursday. “The ankle and the foot injury just kind of kept me out and set me back further than I would like, but I got some time now along the course of these games that we got. We got two back-to-backs coming up, so that’s going to help and we have some opportunity to get some practice time in as well.”
Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN