The Celtics drafted Chauncey Billups but hold onto him for about five minutes just 51 games before trading him during his rookie year. Given the player that he's become, I imagine some Celtics fans feel a little bitter for letting him go, right? Well, in a curious twist of fate, it seems that Billups managed to help deliver the Celtics to salvation.
"I talked to KG and it was tough at first because he's so loyal to Minnesota, his family, friends, and the fans," said Lue, who was spotted at an LA tennis tournament with Garnett July 20. "All he knew was Minnesota for the last 12 years. I thought Boston would be a great situation, a perfect situation with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. I thought automatically they'd be in the Eastern Conference finals with KG. He thought about it and asked, 'You think so?' I said, 'Yeah.'
"Then, Chauncey came out and said, 'You have to take the best thing for you and that's playing in Boston, even though we'd be in the same conference and play four times a year.' We definitely convinced him to choose Boston because two great players were already in place. Adding KG and being in the Eastern Conference, it'd be easier to win. [...]
Back in Los Angeles a few days later, Garnett sought the counsel of his best friends, Detroit's Chauncey Billups and Atlanta's Tyronn Lue. Garnett has an offseason home in Malibu, Calif., Billups was in LA for an Adidas photo shoot with Garnett. Lue spends about a month with Garnett in Malibu every summer, though he was in the city to have his right knee scoped July 17 by the Lakers' team doctor.
The trio discussed the teams interested in Garnett -- Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, the Lakers, and Phoenix -- and which presented the best scenario for the 10-time All-Star. Billups and Lue helped convince Garnett that Boston would be a good place to play, recognizing what the power forward could add to a mix that already included Pierce and Allen.
If the Pistons end up meeting the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, we know who to blame.
In loosely related news, Keith Langlois revealed on Pistons.com that Joe Dumars knew of the deal before it went public -- Andy Miller, the agent who represents both Billups, Antonio McDyess and KG, was in town recently for Billups' benefit golf outing and let Dumars know the rumors were true.
In the article, Langlois mentioned that Miller also represents Sammy Mejia, the second-round pick who most people figured would be spending next year in Europe instead of getting a contract to sit at the end of the bench. Kind of makes you wonder: did Dumars throw Miller a bone after the Chauncey and McDyess deals by signing Mejia? Without having seen Mejia play, I honestly don't have a clue, but I couldn't help but wonder after seeing the connection.