Portland Trail Blazers: 3 most encouraging quotes from Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups, Tyronn Lue, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Big 3 (Photo by Sam Morris/Getty Images for BIG3)
Chauncey Billups, Tyronn Lue, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Big 3 (Photo by Sam Morris/Getty Images for BIG3) /
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New Portland Trail Blazers Head Coach Chauncey Billups spoke with Oregon Live’s Aaron Fentress at Las Vegas Summer League recently, giving the reporter a peek into his plans for the upcoming season.

Not only was Billups anointed as a head coach for the first time by General Manager Neil Olshey, he’s taking over a team with championship aspirations. It’s been clear from his interviews and the moves he’s made this offseason that Olshey believes that the team is ready for title contention now—confident that the roster is competitive enough to ward off Damian Lillard‘s threat of a trade request.

That’s a tough ask for a first-time head coach and he has the pressure of an entire city’s desire to win weighing him down. For what it’s worth, Billups seems up to the task, unintimidated by the potential doomsday that could detonate on this team if he were to fail. Billups gave Fentress some insightful blurbs about how he plans to improve on this squad’s ceiling that should be encouraging for all of the Portland Trail Blazers faithful.

Head Coach Chauncey Billups believes he can raise the Portland Trail Blazers ceiling through scheming

CJ McCollum, Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
CJ McCollum, Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

1. Billups is open to future roster changes to help the team

"“We have to make sure we do a good job making our environment really conducive to players because your players become your best recruiters”"

Billups expressed in his quotes that he understands that Xs and Os only go so far in the NBA, and the players on the court matter much more than the brain on the bench.

He could turn out to be one of the best coaches in NBA history and could still fail to win a championship with the Portland Trail Blazers roster as currently constructed. The team is severely short on depth, specifically at the forward positions, and the pieces they do have don’t fit together very well.

The Blazers are currently built around three small, scoring-minded guards. While the trio of Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Norman Powell will be near impossible to stop, they won’t offer much resistance on the defensive end either. Something will probably have to give there, even if a trade doesn’t happen until the deadline.

Billups also implies that he’s putting the onus on Lillard to help bring the talent he’s seeking to Rip City. That means he expects Dame to stay and assist in cultivating a championship-caliber team in his own vision.

No matter what happens in the early season, it’s nice to know that Billups is realistic and is open to adjusting on the fly, if the team were to make a major change.