With the eighth pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons selected Kentucky G Brandon Knight. Knight never worked out for the Pistons any before the draft. Some are even wondering what Joe Dumars and the Pistons brass was thinking. Well, I have a thought on what they saw. Brandon Knight looks like a young version of Chauncey Billups in my eyes. I'm sure some would think I'm crazy for comparing him to Billups, but a few things are very comparable between the two.
Chauncey Billups earned his nickname while in Detroit. And he continues to earn his nickname with clutch plays and shots at the most critical of times. As critical as the plays Billups made, Knight was just as critical for his Kentucky team. He could have missed five shots in a row, but when its clutch time, he's got the ball and he's coming through. That ability to make the big shot at the most critical of times make these guys special.
Leadership is also a common factor amongst these two guys. Billups was known to be the general on the floor when in Detroit, Denver and when healthy, New York. You could see him taking control of huddles and barking instructions as the game came down to the wire or if his team wasn't playing that well. Coach Calipari had to yell and scream to get the attention of his young team at the beginning of this past season, but as the season went on, Knight took the reigns from him and began to be more vocal and more of a leader.
Billups was a leader and a clutch player while in Detroit. He brought a championship and many victories to an organization that hadn't had great success since the Bad Boys in the late 80's/ early 90's. The Pistons are far removed from those days when they were contenders, but they've now got their new leader. Knight's a new guy to town, but a guy who will hopefully bring some success back to Detroit and become the next great Piston legend.