By Ashley Dunkak
AUBURN HILLS (CBS DETROIT) – Even now, five years after being traded away from the Detroit Pistons, point guard Chauncey Billups – now a Piston again – still sounds a little upset about how president of basketball operations Joe Dumars went about the process of dealing him to the Denver Nuggets in 2008.
“To be honest with you, at the start, when it first happened, I was hurt,” Billups said. “I was hurt by what happened. It wasn’t what per se, but it was just kind of how it went down because Joe and I had a really great relationship before. Obviously that kind of bruised the relationship temporarily.”
For his part, Dumars still regrets the trade.
“You know every decision’s going to be debated from the time you make it, and you live with that, but very few of them do you simply wish that, ‘Man, I wish I had that one back,’” Dumars said. “And I’ve said that to him – if I had to do it all over again, absolutely not. Wouldn’t have ever made that move with him.”
Billups was not as miffed at being traded as he was at being left out of the loop. Even though he is older and more mature now, understanding that business is business, he still says he would go about the process differently were he a team executive, which he hopes to eventually be. What distinguished Billups’ trade from any other, in his opinion, was the close relationship between him and Dumars.
“I just feel like one day I’m going to be in that position, and I will just be a little more forthcoming the days going into [a trade],” Billups said as Dumars sat beside him at the podium. “If it hurts me, it hurts. If I got a relationship with a guy like he and I had, I feel like I can maybe expose the situation a little bit.”
Dumars maintained that sort of openness is not feasible.
“You can’t go to a guy and divulge business like that,” Dumars said. “It was tough because he’s right, I had a close relationship with him, but there’s no way you can divulge everything to a player that you’re talking about and why, at the time.”
Billups and Dumars both said they discussed the whole situation a year or so after it happened and have repaired that bond.
“I’m a forgiving person, and things happen,” Billups said. “I’m over it now. We talked about it. I’m over it now. Life is short, man. We had a great relationship at one time and I think that our relationship is good and back to where it was again.”