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YH Throwback: Chauncey Billups and Fred Brown

In YH Throwbacks on February 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Down at the laundromat we were commenting on Chauncey Billups’ style and motion on the floor, admiring it, when a friend offered up the YH comparison of Fred Brown of the Seattle Supersonics.

They famously won Seattle’s only title in 1978-’79, on a team well remembered by many. Jack Sikma. Gus Williams. The very young Dennis Johnson.

It was the late ’70’s when they battled the then Washington Bullets in the Finals two years running. The Supersonics lost the first – to Wes Unseld and The Big E – and then achieved their redemption in the last Finals of the seventies.

It’s true Chauncey pushes the ball and passes it fast and hard like Brown did. In terms of body type and the way he moved I feel it, too.

Looking into it I noted similarities in context:

That Seattle team had a point guard – future HOF Dennis Johnson – but he was only in his second year when the Sonics lost to the Washington Bullets in 1977-’78 and needed help in the backcourt throughout.

Thinking about it, it was kind of like Derrick Rose in Chicago last year who needed help from Ben Gordon – the two worked together most beautifully in that triple-overtime gem against Boston.

DJ relied on Fred Brown – an epic long distance shooter who earned the moniker Downtown Freddie Brown – to help him PG.

Brown was a seven-year vet when he and Gus, Jack and DJ met the Bullets in ’78. I mean here was a long-distance shooter who played 8 of his 13 years in the NBA when there was no 3pt. line!

(Someone needs to go back and figure out how many points Fred Brown would have had if there was a 3pt. line for the first 8 years of his career – when he was younger, stronger. YH is on the Fred Brown for the HOF bandwagon!)

But leaving Brown’s obvious SG success aside, he knew the game and he knew how to run the point. And my friend’s observation at the laundromat is right – Chauncey functions well in similar contexts – Rip was a young PG.

And now in Denver, with ‘Melo being young, and the team trying to congeal around him, Billups has become the PG … A.I. was useless because Chauncey does it all.

Squat, strong, fast, pushing the ball HARD. Chauncey sometimes seems like a BOX coming at you – yet he’s fast. And can shoot. Cut the passing lanes, make the steal and fling the outlet, or even do a easy-moving, slower version of ‘running the break’. Find the open man and hit him. Or slide through and score.Pull back and hit the j ’cause shot-clock is done.

They are both guys who move well without the ball, too. On O, if it’s necessary to shoot, they shoot. They take game-winners. Fred Brown had all that. So does Chauncey Billups.

So today, after a lovely convo at the laundromat, Yesterday’s Hoops ups Chauncey Billups and Fred Brown and suggests floor generals who do it all in the backcourt need a new name. How ’bout SPGs?

There is one important difference though:

Fred Brown had Lenny Wilkens, the winningest coach in NBA history.

While Chauncey Billups gets it done with knuckleheads in charge.

Saunders? Karl?

Billups did your job so often you should be giving him a percentage of your check.