From the look of things, Alan Hahn and Chauncey Billups had a long phone conversation yesterday, presumably from their respective bathtubs. Hahn has two items of prose up since yesterday: a blog post and a full article. Both are worth a read for some genuine insight into what's up with Billups. What's Billups. Nah. In the news story, Chauncey offers candid thoughts on the lockout, both as an individual with an expiring contract and a veteran in a union of over 300 men.
"I don't want to lose that money,'' Billups told Newsday by telephone from his home in suburban Denver. "Nobody wants to lose the biggest payday they are ever going to get. I'm never going to get another payday like that again.
"However, I've got to look at the big picture and say, 'Is it about me, selfishly?' Say, 'Just strike a deal, I don't care what it is, because I just want to get my money?' Or do I care about all these young guys who have 10 to 15 years to play?''
That payday, of course, is the 14 million buckwilliamses he's owed next season, which will dwindle with every game the lockout consumes. "How many millions of dollars would I like to make this year?" sounds like one of them good problems, but at least he's being honest. I find it pretty neat to peer into the mind of a player with a massive expiring contract. We're often guilty of treating those guys like commodities.
Chauncey's foremost concern is his family, and that came up again when Hahn spoke to him about the unofficial training camp Amar'e Stoudemire has planned for the end of October:
"It depends on what I got going on with my family at the time," said Billups, who took the trade to New York hard because it meant leaving his wife and daughters back in Denver and living alone in a Manhattan hotel for the final two months of the season. "I'm using this time when I'm around, I don't want to miss no soccer games, no dance recitals. I have the luxury of being home and being around that, I'm going to take advantage of it."
Again, this isn't the type of stuff that readily occurs to you or me (I was over here like "YAYYY EVERYBODY'S SO EXCITED TO GO TO FLORIDA AND PLAY SPORTS!"). It's a meaningful look into how someone like Billups operates and prioritizes, particularly when facing a lockout. Click through that link for more on Chauncey's relationship with Mike Woodson (positive), his plans for heading to Vegas (Sunday), and the condition of his knee (fine).