Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Bittersweet Farewell....Thanks For the Memories

As much as I hate to see Chauncey leave the Pistons (after all the things he has done for the team and for the city), I'm happy for him that he's finally going home. To the town where he was known, and raise and where he first became someone Big.
The silver lining for Billups is where Joe Dumars sent him. When he saw the handwriting on the wall, he asked Joe D if it came to that, and it was at all possible, he could send him to the Nuggets, whose need at point guard was pronounced. Denver is home to Billups, where his extended family still resides and where they have never forgotten the greatest high school player in Denver history. Or the favorite son who stayed home to play college basketball at the University of Colorado, taking a bereft basketball program to the NCAA tournament in his sophomore season before entering the NBA draft and becoming the No. 3 pick in the 1997 draft.“Bittersweet,” Chauncey told Joe D when he told him of the trade – and where he was going. Leaving Detroit is bitter for him. He adopted it as his second home. But going to Denver is sweet.All his successes with the Pistons were celebrated nearly as much in the Mile High City as they were in the Motor City. The Denver newspapers followed Billups throughout the great playoff runs he captained over his six seasons as the point guard Joe Dumars chose to restore the Pistons to glory – and all six of those seasons ended with the Pistons no worse than one of the last four teams standing.That’s a remarkable record of achievement for the man who became the face of the franchise.And he became that not only for what he did on the 94 feet of hardwood at The Palace. He became that for how he wove himself into the fabric of Detroit. Chauncey Billups took his role as one of Detroit’s most recognized and celebrated faces seriously. He plunged himself into civic work, setting up charities here and buying thousands of Pistons tickets a season so underprivileged kids could come see the team they otherwise knew only as larger-than-life TV characters. Whenever the reporters who follow the team wanted a reaction or an explanation, it was Billups who unfailingly stood up and voiced his teammates’ perspective.

Tonight, Allen Iverson won't be able to make his debut against the Raptors since Chauncey is still in the process of finishing all the requirements (i.e. physical test) to start playing as a Denver Nuggets.

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