Ahead of his jersey retirement ceremony on Wednesday night, former Detroit Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups published an open letter to Pistons fans.
In the letter, Billups said he came to Detroit when he didn't have a basketball home. He also said he will "forever pay homage to this city and its fans because it is where my career flourished."
You can read the entire letter below or here.
February 10, 2016
To the city and the fans that embraced me as a person and a player...I want to personally show love by simply saying, "Thank You!"
I came to this city at a time when I didn't have a basketball home. I bounced around the league (NBA) for the first five years of my career, but this city and its die-hard fans took me in with open arms and accepted me as if I was one of their own. At that very moment this became my home away from home.
I will forever pay homage to this city and its fans because it is where my career flourished. Detroit is where Chauncey Billups became "Mr. Big Shot." When all the naysayers doubted our team, the city, and me, you stood by and trusted that I could lead this team to a state of prominence and ultimately WE won a championship. With our high level of dedication and commitment, our team grinded it out every night and worked hard to represent you to the best of our abilities. Our goal every time we stepped onto the hardwood was to simply win and have fun doing it.
We considered ourselves to be the "Best 5 Alive" and played with a chip on our shoulders. As fans, you were OUR sixth man. When anyone stepped foot in The Palace or saw us on TV, you made sure to let them know that they were watching "Deeeeeetroit Basketball!"
I hope that I represented your city with class and integrity for the seven years that I played and lived here. I consider myself an adopted son of this city and will ALWAYS represent it to the fullest.