It’s rare to hear words of praise for a player who has recently been released from his basketball team. But that’s exactly what we have for Chauncey Billups, who has just been given a nice parting gift from the Los Angeles Clippers. Apparently, Billups won a game against Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James during his career.
When Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James were in their primes, only one player was able to consistently beat them at their own game – the Detroit Pistons’ Chauncey Billups. Since leaving the NBA, Billups has built a career as a nba analyst and consultant, but he still holds a special place in the hearts of NBA fans.
Chauncey Billups may not yet be a Hall of Famers, but he’s the only player in NBA history with a winning record against Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. The 11-year veteran played a big part in the Detroit Pistons’ rise to NBA relevance, both with the team and in the playoffs, in the 2000s. Billups was a key contributor for a team that drafted him fourth overall in 1998. He made multiple All-Star appearances, received All-NBA Second Team honors, and was one of the best shooters the game has ever seen.
During his 17 years as an NBA player, current Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups built quite the resume for himself. Whether or not that resume ever leads to a Hall of Fame induction still remains to be seen. But if that day never comes, the 2004 NBA Finals MVP can at least look back on his stellar career and know that he made some pretty incredible history as Billups is the only player to have a winning record against Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James.
Chauncey Billups was a five-time NBA All-Star and an NBA Finals MVP
Following a solid career at Colorado, where he was First Team All-Big 12 selection and a Second Team consensus All-American in his second and final season with the Buffaloes, Billups was taken with the third overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. But after playing just 51 games in Beantown, he was dealt to Toronto and finished his rookie season with the Raptors, who then traded him to his hometown Denver Nuggets a year later. And then just one year after that, he was dealt to Orlando but never suited up for the Magic as he was dealing with a shoulder injury. Billups was then shipped to Minnesota and played two seasons alongside Kevin Garnett with the Timberwolves. While he had a bit of a breakout year in his second season in Minnesota, he was seen as a bit of a bust given where he was drafted. But everything changed when Billups signed with the Detroit Pistons ahead of the 2002-2003 season. In his first year in the Motor City, Billups helped the Pistons to a 50-32 record and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and also developed a reputation for being a clutch performer. Detroit was swept in the Eastern Conference Finals by the New Jersey Nets but came back strong in 2003-2004, a season in which Billups averaged then-career highs in points (16.9) and assists (5.7). He then led the Pistons to the NBA Finals, where they defeated Shaq and Kobe’s LA Lakers in five games to win the franchise’s third championship. Billups was absolutely brilliant in the series, shooting 50.9% from the floor, 47.1% from the 3-point line, and 92.9% from the foul line. He averaged 21.0 points, 5.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.2 steals and was named NBA Finals MVP. Billups played four more full seasons in Detroit and earned three NBA All-Star Game selections, two All-NBA selections (one Second Team, one Third Team), and two NBA All-Defensive Second Team selections. Two games into the 2008-2009 season, he was traded back to the Nuggets, with whom he earned two additional All-Star selections and another All-NBA Third Team selection. Billups then had stints with the New York Knicks and LA Clippers before playing one final season with the Pistons in 2013-2014. He finished his career with averages of 15.2 points and 5.4 assists per game in 1,043 regular-season games and 17.3 points and 5.7 assists in 146 postseason appearances.
Basketball Reference gives him an 84.4% chance of getting into the Hall of Fame
Since Billups retired following the 2013-2014 season, there have been plenty of conversations on whether or not he belongs in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. If by chance he doesn’t get in, he’d become just the second NBA Finals MVP not to be inducted, at least among those eligible anyway, with Cedric Maxwell being the other. 2008 Finals MVP Paul Pierce was recently announced as part of the class of 2021. Dwyane Wade, Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and Andre Iguodala still have some years to wait and the first six names on that list are first-ballot guys. According to our friends over at Basketball Reference, Iguodala only has a 6.1% chance of being inducted. Billups, on the other hand, has an 84.4% chance of getting in, ranking ahead of plenty of players already enshrined in Springfield, including fellow Pistons legends Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman. Billups was again a finalist on the ballot this past year but again fell short.
Chauncey Billups is the only player in NBA history with a winning record against Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James
Chauncey Billups ahead of a Clippers-Nuggets matchup in March 2013 | Doug Pensinger/Getty Images It may take some time for Billups to get that Hall of Fame phone call (it took Chris Webber eight years) but, again, at least he’s got this fun stat involving three of the all-time greats to fall back on. Over the course of his 17-year career, including both the regular season and playoffs, Billups compiled a winning record against Michael Jordan (6-4), Kobe Bryant (24-21), and LeBron James (22-17). What’s funny is that Billups himself wasn’t even aware that he was the only player in NBA history to do this until about a year ago, saying on Instagram that he learns something new about himself each and every day. RELATED: What an All-Time NBA Starting Lineup Would Look LikeChauncey Billups didn’t start his NBA career with the Denver Nuggets, but he sure did finish it there. While his final three seasons with the team were marred by injuries, Billups continued to perform well once he got his chance to start. After winning his second Most Improved Player Award in 2004-05, Billups was traded in 2006 to the New York Knicks. There, he made a name for himself in the Big Apple as a clutch shooter. In his first season with the Knicks, Billups hit clutch shots to send New York to the playoffs, and in the postseason he bested the two greatest players of all time in the 2005 NBA Playoffs. He knocked down a game-tying three-pointer in Game 3. Read more about why jordan is better than lebron and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who has a winning record against Jordan?
Chauncey Billups May Not Yet Be a Hall of Famer but He’s the Only Player in NBA History With a Winning Record Against Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James The first thing you need to know about Chauncey Billups is that he is not a good basketball player—at least not yet. But then, maybe that’s not entirely fair. After all, he’s only 30 years old. The second thing you need to know is that he’s a Hall of Fame player. He has won five NBA championships and was named the NBA Finals MVP four times. And the third thing you need to know is that he has a record of 13-2 against Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James, which is one better than his own record.
How many Hall of Famers did Jordan play against?
Jordan played his entire career against the greatest players in NBA history—and in fact, has a .229 win percentage against Hall of Famers. Jordan was a great player but in his prime (he played for four teams in his first six years), he was still a product of the era. In his first nine years in the league, Jordan faced teams that featured the likes of Dikembe Mutombo, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Karl Anthony-Towns, Chris Webber, and Shaquille O’Neal. In his final three years, he faced the most Hall of Famers who played in the NBA at the time: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Karl Malone, Chris Webber, Karl Anthony-Towns Sure, Kobe Bryant is still the most-successful player in the history of the NBA. But Jordan is right up there with the best. Let’s face it: One of the most fascinating careers in sports is Kobe’s. But few athletes have ever been more compelling than Jordan, who never lost, and was named MVP of the All-Star Game in all seven seasons he played.
Is LeBron James better than Kobe Bryant?
For those who have been following the NBA this season, you’re probably aware that LeBron James is currently putting together the best season of his career. Coming off a year in which he won his first MVP award while posting nearly the same PER as last year, LeBron is currently averaging a triple-double (30.1 PPG, 9.1 APG, 9.4 RPG) in only 29.6 minutes of action per game, while shooting 50% from the field. So far this season, LeBron is averaging a triple-double (30.1 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 9.7 APG) in only 29.6 minutes of action, while shooting 50% from the field, and is the only player LeBron James is now five years removed from his second NBA championship and this year, he is taking on his greatest challenge yet. James, who has been the subject of a great deal of criticism recently, has been called “soft-spoken” and “clueless” by the media. He was criticized for the team’s lackluster performance in the NBA Finals and for the losses the Cavs suffered in the NBA Draft Lottery.
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