lunes, 23 de junio de 2014

"The leader."

The message from Billups and Ben Wallace after winning the final : “Never underestimate a team with desire.”  And, although the Lakers had the two best players on the court (Kobe and Shaq), the Pistons were the better team. They played every single ball as if it were the last of their lives, each player sacrificed for his teammate and most importantly, never let a second of respite to the Lakers, peeling every second of that final.

But to touch the sky Billups had to overcome several obstacles, few people in the NBA believed in his talent. After his first six seasons he had played for a total of 4 teams: Boston, Toronto, Denver and Minnesota.

We are now in the summer of 2002 in the house at that time of the General Manager of the Detroit Pistons: Joe Dumars. There was our hero. Joe let go as follows: “My basic response to him was : now that I’ve heard all the obstacles that you’ve had in the past, my job is to ensure that you have none of those obstacles here in Detroit. So it was good for him, but it was also good for me to hear because I wanted to know what he felt impeded him from becoming the player he could become.”

 Billups visited Pistons general manager Joe Dumars’s home, and the pair discussed his erratic past. “I’m sure it was somewhat cathartic to him, to sit there and rehash everything that had happened,” Dumars said. “Billups signed a six-year, $35 million contract with Detroit, but not before agonizing about moving again, as well as leaving behind his buddies Brandon and Garnett. Midway through his first season, Dumars noticed something wrong: Even after being blessed with the security of that contract, Billups still looked over his shoulder.

“What are you looking around for?” Dumars recalled telling him. “You’re looking like we’re going to trade you or bench you. Not happening. You’re the guy. We’re committed to you. Quit looking over your shoulder. You’re going to lead this team.”

Billups thanked him and never looked back. He averaged 16.2 points, shot 39 percent from 3, and led the underdog Pistons to the playoffs, beating McGrady’s Magic squad and Allen Iverson’s Sixers before New Jersey swept them in the Eastern Conference finals. “It was the first time anyone had ever given him the ball and said, ‘This is your team. We believe in you,” said Rick Carlisle, Billups’s first coach in Detroit. “He took the ball and ran with it.”

Larry Brown replaced Carlisle the following season, bringing with him a reputation for driving his point guards hard. He wanted them to be an extension of himself on the court. Some could take it. Some couldn’t. Early in his Detroit tenure, he summoned Richard Hamilton and Billups into his office and asked them to sacrifice their shots and get others more involved. Billups left disgruntled but not defiant.

“I never had another discussion with either one about that,” Brown said. “Chauncey looked at me straight in the eye, made sacrifices for the team every single day. You look at the success that team had and that was a direct result of him buying in.” (Larry Brown always offended when people tell her he did not Superstars. "For me there were 5 superstars, did all they had to do to win" proudly says coach the Pistons last title).

In basketball, chemistry is both the most overrated and underrated aspect of the game. Clearly, this aspect was one of the characteristics of that group of people, or as you said them, that family, that's what they were.

“We all know, as far as guys who have won in this league, you build relationships off the floor and they become better when you’re on the floor,” Tayshaun Prince said. “Chauncey was always the guy. We hung out together, ate dinner and things like that, and we built that friendship. Once we got on the court everything was just connected from there.”

Once again, Billups showed that leadership. After losing the game 2 of the end of 2004, the series was tied. Larry Brown told reporters: "We are crushed. We had the game won. Everyone is head down in the locker room." (after a triple by Kobe with just two seconds to force overtime and finish winning it.) Larry laps gave for not having carried the ball to Shaq nothing but the Lakers took the throw. The Pistons bus with direction to the airport to catch the flight to Detroit, Larry had planned to apologize to his players ...

"I remember in Philly ..." began Larry.

Ben Wallace quickly interrupted him: "This is not Philadephia."

Larry went on when Billups suddenly decided he had heard enough.

"Go back to the front of the bus." I told her coach. "We will not return to Los Angeles."

That team, this family of players believed in them more than any human being on earth. They called themselves "Best Five Alive" (and they did not feel inferior to any NBA quintet) and as we all know, those Pistons did not return to Los Angeles finalizing the series in Detroit.

Winning the title was for Billups and overcome all the obstacles that stood in his way: "It was very important to me Lots of people thought I could not do that, it might not be a great player all who doubted I could.. do that now look like I could reach the top. always thought I could do it. "

Dumars on that team. "We understood that it was not the typical way to build a team to aspire to win To repeat, there is no way I can sit here and say it's easy or that they'll meet again do not know if any. we'll see this again."

But not all stories end well, November 3, 2008 (I recommend reading a more try It How once they're off to Billups). Hotel concentration Pistons. Knock on the door. There Were Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince, his colleagues and friends. Wordlessly hugs began. No one had to tell more. It was official. Biillups would go to Denver for Iverson, and no manager ever dared to tell the face.

The following were a few knots in my throat. Chauncey was six years ignored the meaning of a transfer. He had known three. It was always difficult. But this time it was infinitely more. And Hamilton and Prince was not put easy.

Hamilton seemed the most affected. He had just signed a contract extension with the team and yet I felt that at that time he had been betrayed. "If they get to know you do not sign, you know Now I do not want to stay here."

A while later the three would agree to make a call from the room. The recipient was no longer roommates, but friend.

- Ben, you know?
- I told you what those guys.

The next call would occur alone

- I'm coming home, baby.
- Stay calm. I love you.
- Damn ... now I fit-collapse-If they are like my brothers.

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