The relationship between a coach and his playmakers is one of the most important bonds in basketball.
Ballhandlers are the pulse of the court and have the utmost power regarding the flow of the offense.
That’s something Chauncey Billups touched on in his introductory press conference as the new head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Having a player like Dame, having CJ and some of the great players that we have, makes any job more attractive,” said Billups.
Being a former point guard who was one of the best at his position during his era, is the credibility some players seek from someone giving them instructions.
A five-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA, two-time All-Defense, and a Finals MVP.
Billups’ resume speaks for itself as he begins to form a deeper relationship with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
He can relate to Lillard because he was one of the best guards in the league and knows first-hand what it's like being the guy. Also doesn't hurt, both are known for hitting clutch shots and were under looked in comparison to their peers.
“I have a really good relationship with Dame, and it has nothing to do with this opportunity,” he said. “Our relationship goes some years back with him. I’ve always been a big fan of his and we developed a really good friendship over the years. Nothing changes now. Obviously, me having to coach him, we'll be able to get to know each other a lot more. Me holding him accountable for the great player he is."
As for McCollum, the two share commonalities because Billups had been on teams where he’s the No. 2 or No. 3 guy in the offense
Lillard had endorsed Billups, attended his zoom interviews with the team, and had a pre-existing relationship with him.
The two are cut from the same cloth where they appreciate honesty from those close to them and Billups has always been that guy throughout his entire NBA career.
“I’m just honest with the dudes, and they respect that,” Billups said. “I just always believed no matter how great a player is they still want to be coached. There is no perfect player, there is no perfect coach.”