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May 29, 2009

Chauncey Billups


Los Angeles – 119
Denver - 92

Q. Chauncey, give us your comments on tonight's performance. Was it too much of the Lakers and not enough of Denver? What was it that the Lakers did to come into Denver to take this win?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, they were great. It's the best game I've seen them play all series, definitely. We start off the game going a double on Kobe and double on Gasol, and they just had guys hitting shots. They beat us up on the glass pretty good. Something that we knew that if we don't beat -- if we don't outrebound them, we don't really have that great of a chance because they're so big.
And in this game and throughout the series, there's too many times I think our inexperience was exposed, I think, too many times throughout the series.

Q. Chauncey, you've been asked about your time here a lot. But now the season is over, could you reflect on everything that's happened despite this and just how the season's gone for you?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Obviously today is a tough day in losing. But it's been absolutely the best year I've been a part of outside of winning the championship in '04, me coming home, me being a proud Denver kid all my life.
Me being able to help this team kind of turn that corner. It's just been awesome. I never would have imagined it. I can imagine coming home, but not imagine the year that we've had this year.
Like I say, it's tough today. But when we get a chance to sit back and reflect and look on the year, it was a historical year for us, man. And it wasn't just me, what I brought to the table. It was everybody as a unit. I think as a team we grew up this year together, you know what I'm saying?
I think the culture has been changed in our locker room. It's something that they needed in the worst way before the season started. And I think that the proper adjustments have been made to try and make a run every single year now.
Now I think the kids trying to keep the main guys that are free agents and just get better. I think most of the times the Nuggets in this situation, whether it be in a rebuilding situation, what do we do now. We know what to do now. I think that's one thing that I'm most proud of: It's not a rebuilding year for us; it's a regroup, retool, get better.
So I'm looking forward to what we're going to be able to do in the upcoming years, man.

Q. You've talked a lot recently about this team having a chance to do something special this year. Now that it's over, by your standards, was that special?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Yeah, we had a special season. I don't think anybody expected us to get where we got to except for the guys in our locker room. And the better -- the farther the year got along, the better we got, then people started to say, okay, man, maybe they can get out of the first round. But that's it.
Start rolling the second round, maybe they can get out. You know what I mean? It was kind of it was a special, special year for us. I'll never forget this year. I don't think anybody else will. But this is not as far as I want to go.
This is still coming up short for me and I'm sure for everybody else. I've been in this position way too many times getting this close and not making it to the Finals and not winning the championship.
But it is, it's a very successful year. I'm proud of my team. I'm very, very proud of the guys. One thing that we got this year that's invaluable is experience. Now we know as a team what it takes in a lot of these situations. We got away a lot of times just being so good and just being hot and not being able to -- not having to pay attention to little detail stuff sometimes. We got away because we was hot.
I think we learned a lot of lessons throughout the seasons, and especially in the playoffs.

Q. Talk about lessons. Is there a specific lesson that a loss like tonight or tonight teaches you guys as you go forward to next year?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Tonight was a challenge that we hadn't seen together yet. This is the one challenge that we had never seen together yet. And that was when we were facing elimination.
And I think when you face elimination, man, you gotta leave it on the court. You can't be outworked. You can't be outrebounded. All the things that happen can't happen when you're facing elimination.
And I think that's something that, going forward, we'll learn from. We've got no choice. We'll learn from it. But it's definitely not the mindset to have when you're facing elimination.

Q. Why did you feel like you were never able to get going tonight?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: One thing I'm not going to do is -- the way I was taught and the way I play, I'm not going to take bad shots. I'm not going to take a lot of bad shots. They made adjustments. They doubled me on pick-and-rolls.
When I went to the basket, you know, they kind of crowded me. They bring a pack of their players. So I'm driving. If I see that, I'm always going to try to make the right play and kick it out to whoever is open. I'm not just going to shoot a lot of shots just so I can score, so I can try to be effective. I'm going to try to make the right play. And that's just how I play.
You gotta give them credit. I was aggressive. But you just gotta give them credit. But I'm just not going to run around shooting a lot of shots to score a lot of points.

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