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Chauncey Billups Retires, U.S. Trounces Slovenia With Giant Second Half

Chauncey Billups is hanging it up after 17 NBA seasons. Meanwhile, Team USA outscored Slovenia 70-34 in the second half to advance to the semifinals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After 17 seasons in the NBA, former Timberwolves point guard Chauncey Billups - and 2004 NBA Finals MVP - has decided to call it quits. Mr. Big Shot officially retired yesterday according to Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

Billups was rumored as a possible assistant coach for the Timberwolves earlier this summer, as well as a potential front-office understudy, but the former Pistons star doesn't have any clear cut plans as of yet. His future in the NBA, however, will certainly be something to monitor - especially for Wolves fans - as he's closely tied to Flip Saunders from their time in Minnesota and Detroit.

"Right now, I am kind of taking it easy," Billups said. "I have always said I had a desire to work in a front office somewhere or also do TV commentating or studio work. Those are the things I desire the most. But at the moment I'll enjoying taking it easy. We'll see where it leads."

Years and years ago I used to wonder what could have been. What if the Wolves were able to lock up Billups after a breakthrough 2001-2002 season that seemed to signal a potential shift in his career path? What if Billups signed that six-year, $35 million contract with the Wolves instead of the Pistons? What if the Wolves were more willing to give up on Terrell Brandon's broken-down knees earlier? I can tell you one thing: the Troy Hudson contract ($37 million over six years) probably never would've happened.

It's something I consider from time to time. One transaction can change the course of an entire franchise, and Billups move to the Motor City ultimately played a huge role in creating a championship caliber Pistons team that won the title in 2004 and took the Spurs to a Finals Game 7 in 2005.

Anyways... cheers to Chauncey, and double cheers to memories.

The Americans Outrebounded the Slovenians 53-38

After a lackadaisical first half, the Americans kicked it into another gear and destroyed Slovenia in the second half of Tuesday's game (70-34). The final score was 119-76. Team USA will now play Lithuania on Thursday in Barcelona for a spot in Sunday's gold-medal game.

One thing that stuck out in this game, and the tournament altogether, was the rebounding advantage the Americans hold; even after losing that Kevin Love guy. Besides Spain, there's no other team in the World Cup that can keep Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried, DeMarcus Cousins, and the rest of the squad off the glass. And to be honest, I'm not sure the Gasol brothers, along with Serge Ibaka, can do it either.

Now that's not to say Team USA can't do pretty much whatever they please on the basketball court, but their rebounding advantage has been extremely noticeable and again it was evident against Slovenia. Yesterday, the Americans had 24 offensive rebounds. The Slovenians had 38 total rebounds.

Of course, that has a lot to do with the Unibrow and the Manimal, who form one crazy dynamic rebounding duo (they combined for 21 boards and have cleaned up the glass all tournament long). Part of me wants to see them take the court together in the NBA, while the other part of me doesn't want the Wolves to ever face that. Good thing we have NBA2K to give it a try.

Here are some brief highlights from yesterdays game:

It's also fantastic to see Derrick Rose make plays like this again:

Have a wonderful Wednesday!