Chauncey Billups Will Consider Retiring if He is Claimed By a Poor Team
After being waived be the Knicks under the NBA’s new amnesty close, Chauncey Billups had a very clear message for any rebuilding teams that are looking for veteran leadership: don’t bother. Billups and his $14.2 million contract were released by the Knicks this weekend, meaning he has to go through the waiver process and will become a free agent if he goes unclaimed. If he is claimed by a team that he doesn’t want to play for, Chauncey said he may call it quits.
“If I get claimed by a team I don’t want to play for, I would absolutely consider retirement,” Billups told ESPNNewYork.com. “The game’s been really good to me, and I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me. I’ve made a lot of money, and I’ve saved most of it. I don’t need the money now. I want to be able to play for something, a championship, and I want to be able to have my own destiny in my hands. If I don’t, then retiring might have to be a decision I make.
“I don’t know of any player of my magnitude who’s had the success I’ve had that has gone through what I’ve gone through, not one, whether they have the reputation I have or not. Nobody goes through these things. It’s not in my makeup to be selfish. But it just feel like this time I need to be a little more concerned with me.”
At age 35 and about to play for his fourth different team in the last three seasons, it’s tough to blame Billups. Money is no longer a factor, meaning he would just be wasting his time if he goes to a young, inexperienced team who is in need of a role model. He also added that he would “absolutely love” an opportunity to sign with a team that faces the Knicks in the playoffs. Perhaps the Heat will come calling.