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June 8, 2005

Chauncey Billups


Q. How does Rasheed make a difference on this team and can you give an example of something that he has said or has done during the playoff that has made a difference for you guys?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Rasheed, I mean, he makes a great difference on this team. I mean, I've always said, I think he's our most talented player. He's our most unselfish player, and when you have those two, when you're the most talented player and the most unselfish player, I think it reciprocates all the way through the rest of the team.. He doesn't have any ego at all, and for a guy who has really been considered as one of the top players in the game for a lot of years, to not have all of those components, it's rare, and because of that, it makes us a much better team. We know that when the ball is in his hands, we feel confident and feel confident that he's going to score or make the right play with the ball. It just puts our whole team at ease when he has those opportunities.

Q. Can he be too unselfish?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I think sometimes I get a little mad with him because he's sometimes a little too unselfish, you know, because I feel like he has a mismatch every night, I really do. So when we go to him and he's not looking to score, sometimes I have to get on him, you know, and say, you know, "What are you doing man? Come on now, that's what we want." He'll say, "Okay, I got you, I got you." And then he'll be very aggressive from then on. Sometimes he can be a little too unselfish.

Q. Even though the first one is supposed to be the best one, would winning this year be even better, just considering everything you guys had to go through this season with Coach's illness and everything?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: We've definitely overcome a lot this season compared to last season. Winning that first one was, you know, like I said, I don't know, I can't even put the words together to describe the way we all felt. But I think having a chance to win this one, you know, and if we can get going and win this one, I think it might be sweeter just because of the mountains that we had to climb this season and, you know, the road that we have all been on since day one really this season, will make it sweeter. But, you know, I think we're facing a tougher team this year in The Finals. This Spurs team is similar to us, like a very good team can beat you from so many different angles, as a defensive-minded team. So it's going to be a lot tougher this year. But we don't expect nothing less, you know, and it's been a lot tougher season, anyway.

Q. Just want to ask you, you guys talk about the inherent toughness you had, would you compare it to how you were last year and this type of toughness, how much tougher you have to get to go through the season and get through the rest of the stuff?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I think we're tougher this season. Like I said last year we faced a lot of adversities going through the playoffs, we climbed a lot of mountains in the playoffs, being down 3-2 and being down 2-1. In a couple different series this year, we faced adversities throughout the whole season and the playoffs knowing how tough it is already. You come into this season knowing how tough it is to get back and you still go through all of that and it's still a tough, tough challenge. I think we are a lot tougher this season.

Q. You mentioned a lot of things about Rasheed and being selfless and stuff and a lot of those same things can be said about you, you're a scorer who has to play point guard and distributing the ball and you picked your spots in the last series to shoot, can you talk about the balance that you constantly have? A lot of times you pass up shots and you could score more and maybe make the All-Star team, stuff like that and you give it up for the team.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, you know, I can remember when Coach Brown first started with us, that was my biggest struggle was knowing when to try to take it over and scoring the ball and when to kind of fall back a little bit and distribute and get everybody else involved. Now it's kind of become second nature to me and playing for Coach Brown for so long and learning so much from him, it's become second nature to me. It's been tough, you know, it's been tough knowing that, you know, I've always really just been a scorer, knowing how to distribute and when to distribute and who to get it to at what time, you know, it's been tough to learn but I think I'm doing a good job of it now through a lot of experience. You know, I think as a point guard, you've got to kind of pick your spots and know when, you know, the team is kind of dragging a little bit and when we're in a rut, if I can try to pull them out or pull us out of it with some baskets or make some plays maybe for other people, I think that's the key. I think that's definitely the key. I think my ability to be able to score, you know, makes it look easier than it really is. A lot of people feel the same way, but, you know, don't have that, can't score in so many ways like I can.

Q. You didn't make the All-Star team this year, because you were playoff MVP and obviously you take the Championship ring over the All-Star team and stuff, is there a certain quiet pride you have about that and knowing in your own mind and your teammates know, maybe you could score and make All-Star teams and you're giving it up maybe for others?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, I'm not -- I never play this game to be in the All-Star Game. Of course, that would be nice. That would be nice, I think everybody would love to be in the All-Star Game, but, you know, I play to win and I play for my team and for my teammates. I think if I was shooting the ball 20-something times a game, I'm sure I could be in the All-Star Game, you know, with what I can do. But I don't want to do that. I think it would demoralize my team and I don't think we would win as much. I like the way that I play right now. Sometimes I shoot the ball seven, eight times and sometimes I'm a little more aggressive and shoot 15, 16 times. I take a lot of pride in being that way and being unselfish, and I think my teammates realize that.

Q. When you guys, no matter what sort of adversity you guys face, you guys seem to overcome, does this team almost like having their backs against the wall and just "us against the world" mentality?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: In a strange sort of way we do, and I've said it so many times that I don't really like that we're like that, because at some point, you know, we pull ourselves out of the hole so many times that at some point, that one time that we don't pull ourselves out, we're going to be wondering, you know what I mean, like, what happened. We're just so good, though, under pressure and with our backs against the wall and, you know, when it seems like we're down and out, but we never are, you know what I'm saying. I've never been around a team like that, I've never been around a group of guys like that. I think the makeup of our team is the reason why we're like that. We've got so many guys on our team that have been given up on and been traded a lot or undrafted or been through so many different things, to get to where we're at right now that, we all know how it feels to be on the other side, you know what I mean, and that keeps us hungry in these kind of situations.

Q. Talk about your road: 1997 you're drafted in the same class as Tim (Duncan), and you guys have taken very different roads to get here. How did you persevere through all the stops and did you think that here you are, you'd be going for your second championship?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, I thought that right when I was getting drafted, you know what I mean, after so many stops and so many trades and injuries, you know, my vision got a little blurred a couple of times, you know what I mean, thinking maybe this ain't really for me, maybe it wasn't for me. But I never gave up, you know what I mean, I always felt that with the talent that I have, it just took one person or one team to believe in me and get me that legitimate chance. I just always felt that, I've always been very confident in my abilities and my talents. It was crazy, Joe Dumars has had that same confidence in me from afar, not really knowing me, just watching my game, and I always said if one guy or one team believed in me, I was going to show them well, you know what I mean. I got that opportunity here in Detroit. Ever since, I just, I haven't looked back. I haven't looked back. It's crazy what I went through, I sit here in my eighth season after my first five or six seasons being with five or six different teams and I sit here in my eighth here now in The Finals for the second year in a row, it's crazy and surreal.

End of FastScripts...

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