Portland Trail Blazers reporter Brooke Olzendam sat down with new head coach Chauncey Billups for an interview posted to the Blazers’ YouTube channel. The interview covered Billups’ coaching plans, including style of coaching, relationships with key players, and the ever-present question about defense. Billups also talked about how he looks to pull from his playing career as a coach.
The interview did not cover questions remaining unanswered from the Blazers’ press conference earlier in the week, regarding a civil lawsuit Billups settled in 2000 regarding an accusation of sexual assault in 1997, when he was a rookie with the Boston Celtics.
In this interview, Billups talked about his transition from player to coach, and how that effected his style of coaching that he hopes to bring to the Blazers. “Well I think offensively it’s just a natural progression for me from being a point guard,” Billups said, before adding “but, obviously if anybody knows me, they know that I was always very defensive minded as well, so I see it both ways to be honest with you.”
Billups also had high praise for Lillard, after being asked about the chance to coach the superstar guard.
“As a former point guard I’m obviously, you know, very excited about having what I think is the best point guard in the league. I’ve been a huge fan of his, not only as a player, but as a person.”
On defense, Billups offered this:
“I think if you wanna take the next step, you have to have some investment in the defense, and actually want to be better there, and we will be.”
On team play and mutual accountability:
Olzendam: It sounds to me, just in this brief conversation, that you’re a big guy on holding people accountable. Would that be accurate?
Billups: I believe, from my experiences, that trust and accountability are the two things all great teams have. On both sides of the floor, you know, on the offensive side, trusting each other, on the defensive side, trusting each other, and when it doesn’t work, being able to respectfully hold each other accountable.
Billups enters the first year of a five year coaching contract at the beginning of this season.