Another day, another rant by Chauncey Billups calling out Blazers players
Weeks ago, a scout who had followed the Trail Blazers for a stretch told NBC Sports, “watch their body language,” and that they take the court already looking defeated.
Coach Chauncey Billups sees that and has called out his team for their effort and demeanor. Twice.
Make that three times after a 145-117 loss to Boston Saturday. Via Sean Highkin.
Chauncey Billups: "Lack of pride, of course that bothers me. If that doesn't bother you, there's something going on. Sometimes it's not your night, cool, it happens. There's a way I'm willing to lose, and that's not the way I'm willing to lose. It was embarrassing."— Sean Highkin (@highkin) December 5, 2021
Chauncey Billups: "Competitive fire and pride, that's something you either have or don't have. That's something you can't turn off and turn on."— Sean Highkin (@highkin) December 5, 2021
Chauncey Billups: "I've never seen a team that needs its bench to inspire our starters. That shit is crazy to me. It's supposed to be the other way around."— Sean Highkin (@highkin) December 5, 2021
A coach calling out his team in the media — in this case using every word but “soft” — has a long history with coaches. Phil Jackson used to do it with his Bulls and Lakers teams, tweaking their pride to get them to play the way he wanted. Other coaches have followed suit.
But if you have to do it three times and there is limited success, maybe it’s time for a new tactic.
With Neil Olshey being fired as GM, it’s a time of uncertainty throughout the Blazers organization. Changes are coming, but nobody knows exactly what they will look like. Billups is trying to be the steady leader through all of this, but the rookie coach is clearly still finding his way (despite all his success as a leader as a player, it’s a very different thing to do it as a coach).
Meanwhile, Portland has lost 5-of-6 and would be out of the playoffs in the West if they started today.