Pistons to retire Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billups jerseys
Wallace will be honored during a halftime ceremony at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Jan. 16 against the Golden State Warriors. A separate ceremony for Billups has been scheduled for Feb. 10 against the Denver Nuggets.
“Our franchise has an extraordinary history and it's important that we recognize the players who not only achieved great things, but also helped define what it means to be a Piston,” owner Tom Gores said in a statement. “Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace are legends in Detroit and we are excited to honor their success.”
Wallace played nine seasons in two stints for the Pistons after being traded by the Orlando Magic with Chucky Atkins in exchange for Grant Hill in 2000. Wallace's arrival helped the Pistons win the Eastern Conference Championships in 2004 and 2005 as well as the NBA Championship in 2004. He was an All-Star for the Pistons in both seasons in addition to 2003 and 2006.
Wallace owns the franchise regular season record for blocks with 1,486. His postseason resume is even more impressive with franchise records in blocks with 215 and rebounds with 1,237. In 655 games for the Pistons, Wallace finished his Detroit career averaging 6.6 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks.
Billups played eight seasons with the Pistons in his career. He was also on the back-to-back Eastern Conference Championship teams with Wallace but was named the NBA Finals MVP in 2004. In the five-game series against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, Billups averaged 21.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists.
Billups finished his career by returning to Detroit for one final season in 2013. In 482 games for the Pistons, he averaged 21 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists.
- Christopher Chavez