Chauncey Billups’ inaugural season as a first-time head coach with the Portland Trail Blazers has been one of many ups-and-downs. In 2021-22 alone, Billups has had 26 different players suit up, whilst also having to overcome life without many of the franchise’s cornerstones. Even so, he says he doesn’t view what has happened this year as a “rebuild.” Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports took a deeper look into Billups’ mentality in an article today.
As it stands today, the Blazers are now without all five of their Opening Night starters, with Robert Covington, Norman Powell and CJ McCollum being dealt at the trade deadline and Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic tending to injuries. Billups says he’s viewed it as though he has coached multiple different teams in the same year.
“I’ve coached like three or four different teams this year,” Billups told Yahoo Sports following the Blazers’ 119-115 win at Little Caesars Arena Monday. “It’s happened the way it’s supposed to because I’ve learned so damn much. From the start of the season, coaching vets to coaching kids, trying to close games out. This experience this year will set me up to have a hopefully great coaching career.”
Taking a long-term scope, Billups said that the pieces the Blazers have both acquired and developed will allow them to “retool,” as opposed to “rebuild.”
“This is not a rebuild at all,” Billups said. “Retool. We’ll take a few small steps back, develop some young guys, then boom, free agency and the draft.”
Given the potential Draft capital that could come with the Blazers missing the postseason for the first time since 2012-13, they could be positioned to give Lillard and this group a much more competitive team come 2022-23.
Billups also discusses his relationship with Tyronn Lue and what led to his love of game-planning and scheming, going back to his playing days. The link to Goodwill’s article can be found above.