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Chauncey Billups Intricately Breaks Down Why His 2004 Pistons Would Be 2024 NBA Champions

Shubham Singh

Chauncey Billups Intricately Breaks Down Why His 2004 Pistons Would Be 2024 NBA Champions

2004 Detroit Pistons remain one of the best defensive teams to win an NBA championship. However, it wasn’t just on the defensive end that the team thrived, they had incredibly gifted offensive players as well. With a ball-handler like Chauncey Billups, the floor presented numerous opportunities to those working hard off the ball. Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, and Tayshaun Prince could all stretch the floor. Thus, the team had a proto-2010s offensive floor spreading, albeit with much less volume from deep.

Billups joined Mark Jackson and his son Bluu Jackson recently to discuss NBA basketball on The Mark Jackson Show. In the meantime, he addressed a question on his 2004 Pistons team’s chances in the current league. The former Pistons guard looked convinced that they’d repeat their 2004 feat in 2024 if they had a time machine. The 47-year-old declared that his team already had the long-range shooting ingredients and that the current version of the league fits perfectly with their personnel.

That team [2004 Pistons] would be an NBA ChampionI feel like our team encompassed everything and the game was different. Obviously, the three-point shot is crazy now, but we had three-point shooters. It wasn’t just the part of what we wanted to do at the time,” Billups told Mark and Bluu Jackson.

Billups backed the 2004 Pistons to win it all despite having “no max players”. According to the 5x All-Star, in the modern day NBA, a Championship roster can’t be imagined without a superstar or multiple superstars. On the other hand, his Pistons achieved “collective IQ” and “grit” to pull through as a unit. 

The 2003-2004 Pistons built their foundation upon defense. They had mastered both the man-to-man and zone defense. With a rock-solid Ben Wallace in the middle, they were too much for even elite offensive teams. Their combination was in full display when they neutralized the most dynamic duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. They held the Lakers to 87 points or below in four of the five games to win the Finals 4-1

Kobe Bryant owned up to 2004 Finals failure

The 2003-04 Lakers were considered the favorites to nab a title because they had brought in Gary Payton and Karl Malone. However, that wasn’t enough to aid the Mamba and the Diesel as the team chemistry never realized its true potential. In a conversation with Shaq, Bryant admitted that he “wasn’t prepared” to involve Payton and Malone on the offensive. The Black Mamba highlighted how the Pistons worked out traps that ensured that Shaq caught the ball farther from the basket. 

To execute such high-level press on the perimeter requires ceaseless communication and defensive strategy. Therefore, the camaraderie of the Pistons’ winning five has been well-celebrated. Rip Hamilton, who was a key component during the title run, once revealed how they still have a Group Chat called “Best Five Alive”.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Billups backs his 2004 squad to reign supreme in the current era. Their defensive rating of 95.4 was monumental and ensured that top-level offensive players were always on the back foot. Additionally, they could spread the floor and run riot on the break.

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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