File this under Great News: Multiple outlets are now reporting that Chauncey Billups is returning to the Detroit Pistons. Billups is another infusion of talent, albeit a 36 year old talent, but the psychological benefit of his return should do wonders for both the team and the fanbase.
Chauncey Billups epitomizes the proletariat brilliance of the Detroit Pistons, hard-working, non-flashy, just get it done. With Rasheed Wallace on the sidelines, and Chauncey back on the floor two of the biggest reasons for Championship #3 are suddenly back in the thick of things. As with Ben Wallace a few years ago, it seems once a Piston, always a Piston. Despite some bad blood and many tricky situations involving that starting five of legend, I hope this signals that one day Billups, both Wallaces, Hamilton, and Prince will all have their jerseys retired by the Pistons together, the ultimate testament to a team that really was a team.
The deal is reportedly for two years for about 2.5 million each year. The second year is a team option. There is almost no risk in making this move and tremendous reward. He’s not the same player he once was but he’s still a student of the game, still knows how to lead men, and in all likelihood can make those big shots. Billups returning to a city that arguably gave up on him after several failed bids for a repeat championship is like something out of a novel. It could be a true redemption story. If Brandon Knight can’t learn to be a point guard with Mo Cheeks and Chauncey Billups guiding him, I’m not sure what his next step is. So all I’m saying is I have no idea how any of this will really play out, but I’m hopeful. The shadow of Allen Iverson looms large over this franchise. The return of Billups may be a sentimental salve for that wound, but I have no doubt in my mind Billups can still win us games. He always did before.