Chauncey Billups: 'Just time' to retire

Chauncey Billups is retiring after 17 seasons in the NBA.

"It's just time. I know when it's time," Billups told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday. "My mind and my desire is still strong. I just can't ignore the fact that I haven't been healthy for three years. I can try again and get to a point where I think I can go, but I just can't sustain. Me not being able to play the way that I can play, that's when you kind of know it's that time.

"It's just time. I'm happy, excited. The game was very, very good to me. I felt like I was equally as good to the game the way I played it and the way I respected it and the way I carried myself through the process."

Billups, 37, played this past season for the Detroit Pistons, who announced in June that they wouldn't pick up the team option on his contract for 2014-15.

The shooting guard averaged 3.8 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 19 games played in 2013-14, with career averages of 15.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 1,043 games.

He played only 61 games over the past three seasons, due mostly to injuries.

Billups spent most of his career with Detroit, starring for the Pistons from 2002 to '08 -- including being named the 2004 NBA Finals MVP after leading the team to the title -- before rejoining the organization this past season.

He told Yahoo! Sports his time with the Pistons generated the "best memories" of his career.

"Before that, my career was in jeopardy in a few different stages," he said. "I persevered, sustained and continued to work hard, and finally got my opportunity in Detroit, and I never turned back from that point. That's what made it so sweet to me to win a championship after what I went through. I had to scrap and fight to get through it and to reach the pinnacle made it even sweeter.

"Winning the championship was the ultimate. I never set out to win the [Finals] MVP. Winning the championship was enough."

Billups also was praised by the Pistons when they announced his release, with coach Stan Van Gundy saying he would "always be a valued member of the Detroit Pistons' family."

Owner Tom Gores said Billups had shown "leadership, dedication and excellence both on and off the court" and that he was confident Billups would have "a long and bright future" in the league after his playing days were over.

Billups told Yahoo! Sports that NBA front-office and TV analyst and commentating roles are possibilities for his future but that he has no immediate plans.

"Right now, I am kind of taking it easy," he said. "I have always said I had a desire to work in a front office somewhere or also do TV commentating or studio work. Those are the things I desire the most. But at the moment I'll enjoying taking it easy. We'll see where it leads."

Billups, a five-time All-Star, was drafted third overall by the Boston Celtics out of Colorado in 1997. He also played for Denver, Toronto, Minnesota, New York and the Los Angeles Clippers.

He said making the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame would be "a big dream."

"It marks you down as one of the greatest players ever," he told Yahoo! Sports. "It's not what I shot for, but that would absolutely be a dream. I know in my heart I had a Hall-of-Fame worthy career. If you look at most Hall of Famers, I don't know how many of them started off the way I started off and made it to the top.

"I don't know what will happen. I do feel I had a Hall of Fame career. But there have been a lot of Hall of Fame careers other than me."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.