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June 17, 2005

Chauncey Billups


Q. I was wondering if you could just talk about personally how maybe this Finals is different from last year and how much experience did you gain from last year? Do you feel maybe more relaxed just having it under your belt from last year?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, this, you know, obviously, this second time is a little less nerve-wracking, you know last year was the first time that obviously I've been in The Finals, and it makes you a little nervous. But you know this year, you come into it having done it before, so you're not as nervous and you're not -- you kind of know how to go about it. So I think that definitely having that year under my belt has made me play a little more at ease and not, you know, with all of this media attention and stuff, I knew what it was going to be like coming in. So definitely, having that one year under my belt in The Finals has made a difference.

Q. I was talking to your mother and she said that last year, I guess you wanted like a hamburger every day, can you talk about that and do you have any superstitions?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, I get a little superstitious sometimes. Last year after we won the game, Game 1, I had a hamburger during the day or whatever, cheeseburger, and I had it every game, you know what I'm saying. Like I get a little superstitious like that, like this year after we won Game 3, I think yesterday, I think I wore the same shoes and the same belt you know what I'm saying. Not the same clothes, though. (Laughter). Yeah, I do man. I used to be real bad, but I tried to get away from it a little bit because it gets a little tough to do the same thing every single day, every single time, you know. I used to be worse but I'm still a little superstitious.

Q. Talk a little about Rasheed Wallace and the enigma that he is. Is he as hard to read as what he seems?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: For y'all, he is, you know what I mean, because y'all don't know him. I mean, y'all don't know him like we know him. He's the same every single day for us, you know what I mean. He's just a great guy, man. He's a great guy. He likes to have fun, he cares about the people that he knows and knows well. He's a family man. He's just a regular dude, you know what I mean. Y'all don't really know him. I think he's very, very misunderstood. So I think he likes it like that, you know what I'm saying. I don't think he really wants y'all to get to know him, but that's just Sheed.

Q. Why do you think that is? Why won't he allow everyone else to see this other side?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I think he just wants his personal and his private life to be just that, you know what I mean. Don't really want anybody inside of his circle and his square or whatever. Whatever floats your boat, really. Like I said, I know him and the people around this team, they know him and have got to know him a lot better. I just think it's just that. You know, he wants his life and his private life off the court to be just to him and his family.

Q. How important have Lindsey and Dyess been in getting you guys back in this series?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I mean, they made all the difference. They have made all the difference in getting us back in this series and tying this thing up. Dyess has been very consistent, ever since Game 1, he's been very consistent. Lindsey, you know the effort that he's going to give you night in and night out. His shooting percentage is not indicative of the way he really shoots the ball. He's a great shooter. He's one of the top three-point shooters in this franchise's history. I think people forget about that because of the way he hogs the ball on the defensive end of the floor. We know, and I always tell Lindsey, "As much energy as you've given us on defense, I need you to be a little aggressive on offense, too. We need that scoring and we need that scoring punch that you have, man." Yesterday he did and he was very aggressive. It was so much fun for me to see that.

Q. I know we're at the halfway point, but if you had to vote for the MVP right now, who would that be and why?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I think probably Ben Wallace, man. I mean, I think you could vote for a few guys on our team. But Ben, he just makes the difference for us, you know what I mean. He sets the tone for us. We always feel very comfortable, you know what I mean, and like I always said, there's not a guy like him in this league that can dominate an entire game without even having to score. He can dominate both ends really without even having to score, the way he rebounds offensively and defensively, the way that he plays defense, the emotion and the energy that he brings. He's one of a kind. There's nobody like him. So if I had to vote, that's probably who it would be.

Q. Do you think the day will ever come where a defensive specialist like him will get anything close to the attention, the adoration, and more importantly, the pay, that the glorious scorers get?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: I don't know, man. I think it should come fast. I think he's deserving to be looked upon just as the McGradys and the KGs are all looked at. He has the same effect on the game. It's not as pretty to look at, you know what I mean. It's not as pretty to look at. You see these other guys going out and getting 40s and having big nights, you know what I mean. It's not as pretty and it's not as glamorous, but it's a lot harder to do. It's a lot harder to dominate a game the way he does, and I don't know if the day will ever come where he will be looked at in the same light. But for us, we look at him, we know that he's a superstar. He's a major star, man.

Q. Is there any easy way to explain how you get two really good teams but you end up with four games with a lot of lopsided final scores, and do you think that hurts the interest in The Finals at all?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: No, hurts the interest? No, not at all. I can't really explain it that you've got two great teams and the games have been very lopsided. I really can't, I can't explain that at all. I think it generates some interest in The Finals, you know, you're tied up 2-2. We came home 0-2 and like I said, all the media and stuff wrote us off. Y'all acted like we had home-court advantage and they came and blew us out twice on our court. Everybody gave up. But I think it generates interest, to be honest with you. People want to see how these last three games are going to go, you know what I mean, or however many games. They just want to see how they are going to go. We came back 0-2 and if they would have blew us out again on our court in Game 3, then the interest -- there ain't no more interest no more, people really say it's over. So I think it generates interest, to be honest.

Q. We're here at the NBA Finals, but the talk of labor issues is also in the air. How optimistic are you as a player that there won't be a lockout?

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, honestly man, you know, I've been very busy obviously. I haven't really been able to keep up with it like I usually do. I'm hoping that everything turns out right, but I don't really want to talk about it right now because I just haven't been able to really keep up with it like I usually do. I've talked to some people you know, namely Michael Curry, but I still don't, you know, I haven't been able to do my due diligence like I always do.

Q. Can you just talk about your growth as a point guard under Coach Brown, and how was it when he first came here last season? Was it frustrating? Can you talk about some of the specific ways you think you've grown and some of the frustrations and emotions that went into getting there.

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, I've grown a lot, especially under Coach Brown. Before Coach Brown got here, Coach Carlisle was the coach, and the way I played under him was just like, you know, basically you've got to score. Just score, just do what you do. So that was the setup for me coming and having Coach Brown come here, he thinks the opposite, you know, and it was like two trains on the wrong path, you know what I mean, just waiting to collide. There was some struggles, you know what I mean, early, my first couple of months. There was definitely some struggles with Coach Brown. But we both sacrificed a lot. We came to a happy medium and it's been a perfect marriage ever since then. But my game has definitely grown playing for Coach Brown. I think I look at the game in a different light. I understand that I can dominate a game now without having to score as much as I usually do on most nights. You know, he's made an unbelievable difference in my game.

End of FastScripts...

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