Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Chauncey Billups may retire instead of play for a team he doesn’t want to join.
The Knicks amnestied Billups and his $14.2 million contract in order to create salary-cap room for center Tyson Chandler.
“But I wouldn’t be surprised if Chauncey retired rather than play for a team he wouldn’t want to play for,” Andy Miller, Billups’ agent, told Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com.
“He doesn’t need the money, his kids are getting to an age where he wants to be an active participant, and he doesn’t need the frustration and instability he’s constantly dealing with. So he may choose not to play.”
Billups arrived from Denver last February in the Carmelo Anthony deal and averaged 17.5 points and 5.5 assists for the Knicks.
But he missed three of the Knicks’ four playoff games against the Boston Celtics with a strained left knee.
Now fully recovered, he had been looking forward to helping the Knicks get back to the playoffs and trying to make a run.
“It’s a tough situation for a guy that I’ve been around for the past couple of years,” Anthony said Friday at the Knicks’ facility. “The competition that we had, the excitement we all had coming back this season. It’s an unfortunate situation.
“Just the goals we had this season, the fun we were going to bring back to the team, bring back to the city this season. It’s a sad situation, for me, coming from a friend of Chauncey’s.”
Miller said Billups was not angry at the Knicks, but the system as a whole.
“Chauncey’s pissed off, but he’s not pissed at the Knicks,” he said. “He understands it’s a business and they have to do what they have to do.
“But he’s in a very frustrated state of mind because this has happened to him twice now. The way the league is structured, if you’re a hot name and teams have interest in you, you have the ability to manufacture mass hysteria, and guys like Chauncey who put in years of high-level leadership, production, and service get lost.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.