LA Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue has come out and explained that Portland Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups' work ethic and hunger to learn is what has elevated him to his current position. Here's what Lue told The Athletic's Joe Vardon:
"It propelled him to be where he is today because he had a longer time to work on all that stuff. For that six weeks, we worked hard and grinded."
Lue was referring to the coaching camp he held at Chauncey Billups' home during the six-week break the NBA had to impose because of Covid-19. Billups learned coaching nuances from Lue during this period, and it had a major role in the 2004 Finals MVP winner getting the Portland Trail Blazers head coach job.
Chauncey Billups and the Portland Trail Blazers will find it difficult to progress to the 2021/22 NBA playoffs
The Portland Trail Blazers will enter the 2021/22 NBA season in turmoil, with a huge cloud of certainty roaming over their future. Damian Lillard has pointed towards the exit sign multiple times this offseason and has been constantly involved in NBA trade rumors. CJ McCollum's name has also been brought up in Ben Simmons' trade talks, but a deal has not yet materialized.
They will come up against some of the best teams in the league in the Western Conference during the 2021/22 NBA campaign, with the likes of the LA Lakers, LA Clippers, and Golden State Warriors all looking to come out of the West. The Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks and last season's finalists are also in the mix, with the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans lurking with an eye on a playoff berth.
That makes eight teams, and also points towards the fact that the Portland Trail Blazers might have to be content with a spot in the Play-In tournament. Damian Lillard could help them get a top-6 berth, but with a relatively weak roster and a first-year coach, it might be a big ask even for a player like Lillard.
Nevertheless, Chauncey Billups has never shied away from a challenge, and he will surely relish this one as well. If the Blazers manage to keep hold of Lillard, that will be a major confidence booster for the side before the season starts. And with each passing day, it looks like that is going to be the case in all probability.