Trail Blazers

Former Chauncey Billups GM: 'People of Portland going to love him'

Trail Blazers
Ben Wallace
USA Today

New Trail Blazer Coach Chauncey Billups, who visited Portland Tuesday for a news conference, comes with high marks from many around the NBA.

“I have no doubt that Chauncey is going to make a great head coach,” former Piston teammate Ben Wallace said. “Hell, if I was a little bit younger, I’d go try out for the Portland Trail Blazers.

“I knew from the moment he first walked into the gym with the Pistons, he took control. He was the floor general, getting guys in position and leading the team.

“The way he was able to control our offense and run our show, and at times force our coaches on the sideline to take a backseat, because he’s already got three or four plays in his head that we’re running.”

Mark Warkentien, who spent 10 years working in the front office of the Trail Blazers, was the general manager of the Denver Nuggets in 2008 when he traded for Chauncey Billups, a deal that sent Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons.

Warkentien raves about Billups. Asked by Chad Doing on Monday’s 620 Radio “Rip City Drive” about Billups as a person, his former GM was effusive.

“Perfect,” he said. “A one-word answer. Perfect. He was a great teammate, is great in the community. He was perfect. Just absolutely perfect. I mean, the people of Portland are going to love him.


“He can babysit my kids. I trust him in absolute terms.

“As a coach, he’ll be tremendous. Just tremendous.”