The New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks completed sign-and-trade for free agent center Tyson Chandler on Saturday, putting the Knicks further over the cap for 2011-12. To help remedy their cap situation, they used the new amnesty clause on veteran point guard Chauncey Billups.
Billups, who is owed $14.2 million this season, is eligible to picked up off waivers by any team under the cap. Chauncey, as you might imagine, would rather those not-so-good teams refrain from acquiring his services and vented as much to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“I’ m tired of being the good guy,” Billups told Yahoo! Sports by phone on Saturday afternoon. “I’m tired of being viewed as the guy. After a while, you just kind of get taken advantage of in these situations. I’ve been known as a leader, and I am a leader, but a leader can be as disruptive as he can be productive, especially when you carry a strong voice and people rally around you. This is about me now. This is about me, and teams should know that right now.”
You have to understand Chauncey’s frustration here. He was traded to his hometown Denver Nuggets in 2008 in what looked like his last stop in the NBA. He led the Nuggs to the Western Conference Finals where they went toe-to-toe with the eventual champion Lakers and it looked like he and Carmelo Anthony were on the verge of being an elite duo in Denver for the next few years. Only two years later, Billups became a casualty in Melo’s great escape to New York. And now he gets waived only weeks after being rumored to be traded to the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Paul. The Kardashians don’t get passed around the league as much as the former Mr. Big Shot does.
Chauncey wants his freedom now. He wants to play for a winner (read: the Miami Heat). Judging by his respected reputation around the league, he certainly deserves to have a say in where he plays this season. However, the nature of the sports is one that deserve means absolutely nothing, and he’ll have to clear waivers in order to get to a team such as the Heat, and he has to hope a team doesn’t claim him just to block that very possibility. It sucks for Billups, but as we’ve recently seen, the NBA isn’t always fair.
“I just don’t deserve the treatment that I’ve continually gotten,” Billups said. “Historically, these things never happen to the supposed great players and good guys. They continually happen to me, and it gets old. Listen, I feel I’ve been blessed in the game, and I’ve been given back, but these things start to wear on you. But there’s not another guy in history who keeps dealing with this, getting thrown into these things to make the money right. I really believe it’s because people take my kindness and professionalism for weakness. They think I’ll be OK with this. I won’t be OK with this. I’ve saved my money. I may just retire if I don’t get my freedom here.