CLEVELAND — Chauncey Billups carries the feeling, the moment he felt he was turning the corner but was issued a harsh reality from a coach who was nearly impossible to please.
Larry Brown pulled Billups aside for what Billups thought was going to be a compliment. Instead, Brown was maddeningly frustrated. 메이저사이트
“You have no idea how to play point guard for me, do you?” Brown said, erasing all the good vibes Billups had in the moment.
This was in the first month of the Brown-Billups relationship, possibly after a 33-point performance in a road win against Memphis.
Brown was in his first year as Pistons head coach; Billups his second, but on his fifth team after a journeyman road.
“I thought what I had was an incredible game. When he said that, I was like, ‘What?’” Billups said incredulously to Yahoo Sports recently. “And we ended up spending time the next few days watching film together.
“I give Coach Brown all the credit for making me understand. There’s a scoring point guard, to what I came under him, [and] a point guard who can score. Two different things. I didn’t know that. And then I became a point guard who could score. It changed my career. It changed my leadership, everything I did from that point forward. It shaped me.”
Brown was so precise, rumor has it, that he spent the better part of 30 minutes during practice schooling then-rookie Darko Milicic on the angle of a screen.
Several months later, Brown and Billups tasted champagne as the Pistons beat the Lakers in the 2004 NBA Finals, cemented in history as championship coach and Finals MVP, respectively.
What Billups didn’t realize was those moments would come to mold him in his journey to become a head coach, a position he never thought he’d hold but one he seems perfectly comfortable in and suited for, roaming the sideline for a more versatile and dangerous Portland Trail Blazers squad.
The Trail Blazers started hot, then tailed off a bit when Damian Lillard missed a chunk of games due to a calf injury but have begun to rebound in a treacherous Western Conference. If not for an improbable Jamal Murray triple with 0.9 seconds left, Portland would be 14-11.