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Billups Introduced As Portland Head Coach

Jun 29, 2021
Chauncey Billups (center) was named head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers this week.

BOULDER – Former University of Colorado All-American Chauncey Billups was formally introduced as the head coach of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
Billups, who is the first former Buffalo to become an NBA head coach, agreed to a five-year deal with Portland on Sunday.

"I'm really excited," said Billups at Tuesday's introductory news conference alongside Portland President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey. "Portland is a special place; it's a unique franchise that I played against for so long. I'm happy to be on the other side with these great fans."

Billups has spent the past season as an assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers, who are still alive in the Western Conference Finals against Phoenix.

Portland finished the 2020-21 season with a 42-30 record, good for third place in the Northwest Division. The Trail Blazers were the sixth seed in the Western Conference in the NBA Playoffs, falling in a first round series against the Denver Nuggets in six games.

The Trail Blazers owned the fifth best offense in the NBA in 2020-21 averaging 116.1 points per game, led by the dynamic backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

"We've got some versatile guys on this team," Billups said. "I do think highly of this roster. I'm sure Neil will be working his behind off (on this roster). Everybody wants to win here and defensively we can get better with they guys that we currently have. So I'm excited about where we are; obviously a lot of these (roster) questions are Neil's responsibility, but I'm excited as heck about what we have right now."

Billups played two seasons at Colorado (1995-97) averaging 18.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.1 in 55 games. He led the Buffaloes to the 1997 NCAA Tournament, earning consensus second team All-American honors.

Billups was the No. 3 overall selection, by Boston, in the 1997 NBA Draft. He would go onto play 17 seasons with seven teams, most notably with Detroit, where he led the Pistons to the 2004 NBA Championship and was named the NBA Finals MVP. He was a five-time all-star and an All-NBA Second Team pick in 2006.