Lost in all the hoopla of whether the Chauncey/Dyess/Samb-for-AI deal is good for the Pistons is the fact that, well, Detroit is trading Mr. Big Shot. This may seem dumbfoundingly obvious, but it seems that the fact hasn't sunk in yet that Detroit is trading a fan favorite, as well as a superb basketball player.
I have to get this off my chest: I don't believe in clutch. There's a multitude of reasons, but here's my argument boiled down in to a couple of sentences. Check out 82games.com's "Clutch" statistics (they use the quotes too). Notice something about the top of the leaderboard? It's just the league's best players, with almost no exceptions. To me, "clutch" falls in to the same category as "grit" and "being a winner" as terms thrown around by sportswriters because they're easier to say than it is to actually break down why a player is good.
However, I never had a problem with Chauncey's "Mr. Big Shot" moniker. Why? Because the dude had cajones. Detroit did not have a go-to scorer during its run to six straight conference finals appearances, but Chauncey was always the man in big-time situations. Whether he made the big shot or missed it, a Pistons fan was never unhappy to see the ball in Billups' hands with the clock winding down. Many will call that clutch; I prefer to say that Chauncey just has no fear.
I've already said I love the trade, from the standpoint that the Pistons have a brighter future and a great present as well. Still, there's a heavy feeling in my gut, one that knows that number one in the Red, White and Blue won't be suiting up for the D again. "Allen ... I-I-I-Iverson" just doesn't have the same ring as Mason's "B-B-B-Billups" introduction. And so, I'll be pouring out a beer for Chauncey tonight (and probably drinking a couple as well).
They say the mark of a great GM is the ability to make personnel moves without letting sentiment get in the way. Good think Joe Dumars is our GM, because this is a trade most Pistons fans would have a really hard time making.
Just look back and appreciate some of Chauncey's finest playoff exploits: