Saturday, December 10, 2011
Billups: NYK 'a couple pieces short' of title
By Ian O'Connor
Chauncey Billups wants to make one thing clear: He's angry at the situation, but he's not angry at the Knicks.
So when asked if he believes the team that just fired him is capable of winning a championship, the point guard was thinking with his head, not his heart.
"I think they are probably a couple of pieces short, but I won't say what they are," Billups said Saturday by phone.
The signing of Tyson Chandler gives the Knicks a frontcourt to die for, but leaves them deficient in the backcourt, Mike Bibby or no Mike Bibby.
"I want nothing but the best for Melo and Amare, and I love Tyson; I'm happy he got his money," Billups said. "Don't think I don't want the Knicks to do well. ... But I do believe they undervalued what I brought to the table."
Billups had some other interesting things to say about his former team, among them:
• He grew tired of the constant Chris Paul talk. "From the first day I got there, it was always about who was going to be the next point guard, without giving me a real chance. I get it, but at the same time my track record speaks for itself. Give me a real chance to prove I can be that guy. The whole deal with Denver was about Melo, and that's understandable. He's a young star in the league. But at the same time, I don’t think the Knicks valued what else they got in the deal."
• He believes he might still be a Knick without the injuries suffered against the Magic and Celtics. "When I was healthy in New York, it was great. We were rolling after that win in Miami after the trade, and then I get the thigh contusion in Orlando. I come back, we get rolling again, and then I go down in the playoffs and the injury there affected the whole outlook of my short tenure with the Knicks. If I'm healthy against Boston, we've got a really good chance in that series. But once I got hurt, it's like they forgot all about the impact I did have on that team."
• Mike D’Antoni might have a tougher time running his team through Carmelo Anthony, instead of his point guard, than he thinks. "It's a tough transition, especially in Mike's system where the point guard is so important as someone to make plays for everybody else. Melo is a good playmaker, but he's going to be called on to do that more. Toney [Douglas] is a good player, but he's young. I don't want to say they don't have a point guard, but their best playmaker right now is Melo.
• On the possibility of signing with a team like Miami that might face the Knicks in the playoffs: "I would like a chance at them, I'll tell you that much. I would absolutely love that."