It was no surprise when Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups didn't land on the NBA All-Star team based on fans' votes. What he brings to the table doesn't always lend itself to ESPN top-ten lists. But for the coaches not to make him a reserve is absolutely astonishing -- a travesty that undermines their frequent insistence on the importance of treating basketball like a team game rather than an excuse for showboating.
Billups doesn't rack up big numbers; his stats are solid but not spectacular. Still, as every Nuggets booster knows, the squad wouldn't have its current gaudy record without him. He makes every other player on the court better by controlling the tempo, sensing who's got the hot hand and understanding when he needs to dish and when he must take over from a scoring standpoint -- an approach that leads others to leave their egos in the locker room, too (at least sometimes).
In short, Billups plays the game the right way -- the way coaches preach day in and day out. And yet, rather than rewarding him for his efforts, they leave him on the sidelines in favor of someone like Utah's Deron Williams, who's a genuine talent but not nearly as deserving of recognition this season as Chauncey.
Of course, Billups is too classy to make a big stink about this snub. But we're not.
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