Pistons legend Chauncey Billups retires from NBA - Hall of Fame beckons

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Chauncey Billups has announced his retirement from the NBA today after 17 years in the league.

Billups became an unrestricted free agent this summer after the Detroit Pistons, the franchise he returned to last season after five years away, declined to pick up his second year option.

There had been talk of him linking up with LeBron James in Cleveland for one more shot at an NBA title but the veteran has opted to bow out after an illustrious career in the game.

"It's just time. I know when it's time," Billups revealed to 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," the veteran continued.

Impressive career

Chauncey Billups was selected by the Boston Celtics with the third overall pick of the 1997 draft but struggled to settle in the NBA initially.

Spending time at five different franchises in his first five years in the league Billups arrived at the Detroit Pistons in 2002 after a breakout year with the Minnesota Timberwolves and it was in Motor City where the Colorado native thrived.

In just his second season with Detroit Chauncey helped the franchise to the 2004 NBA Finals where they overcame the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 to lift the title. The tenacious guard picked up the Finals MVP award after averaging 21.2 point and 5.2 assists during the five-game series against Kobe's Lakers.

The Pistons went to the Finals again in 2005 and Chauncey was adamant his fist spell in Detroit (2002-2008) was the happiest time in his career:

"Before that, my career was in jeopardy in a few different stages. I persevered, sustained and continued to work hard, and finally got my opportunity in Detroit, and I never turned back from that point.

"That's what made it so sweet to me to win a championship after what I went through. I had to scrap and fight to get through it and to reach the pinnacle made it even sweeter," Mr. Big Shot explained.

When all is said and done Billups finishes his NBA career having averaged 15 points, 5.4 assists and 38.7 percent on 3-point attempts, whilst garnering a reputation as one of the best deep range shooters of his generation.

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Time is up

After leaving the Pistons in 2008 Billup racked up another three franchise stops before one final season in Detroit but injuries and age have finally caught up with the 37-year-old.

Despite the reported interest from the Cavaliers it looks like Billups has settled instead for a potential future spot in the Hall of Fame:

""The Hall of Fame would be a big dream," Billups said. "It marks you down as one of the greatest players ever. It's not what I shot for, but that would absolutely be a dream."

The 2013 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award winner certainly wouldn't be lacking in support if his name came up in the voting process.

With one star veteran guard having stepped away from the hardwood it remains to be seen if fellow Hall of Fame candidate, Ray Allen, will follow suit before the beginning of the 2014-15 NBA season.

Detroit Pistons

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