The Portland Trail Blazers after parting ways with head coach, Terry Stotts has stayed in the news with their coaching search attached to their franchise player, Damian Lillard.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 28, 2021
The conflicting reports of Lillard’s involvement in the coaching search along with concerns on building a contender may lead to Damian leaving according to Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo! Sports.
“The enormous backlash from the Portland Trail Blazers’ process to hire a new coach and his concerns on whether a championship contender can be built have become factors that may push the franchise player—Damian Lillard—out the door, league sources tell Yahoo! Sports.”
Social media backlash has been mounting on the hire based on a sexual assault allegation made against Billups back in 1997. Billups denied it and was never charged criminally. A civil settlement was reached.
Some of the backlash fell back on Lillard, who answered critics on Twitter.
Really? I was asked what coaches I like of the names I “heard” and I named them. Sorry I wasn’t aware of their history I didn’t read the news when I was 7/8yrs old. I don’t support Those things … but if this the route y’all wana come at me… say less https://t.co/N1GPkX3Ohd
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) June 26, 2021
According to Haynes’s sources, the search was done by Neil Olshey, the president of basketball operations and none of the candidates interviewed were from suggestions from Lillard.
Lillard did endorse Jason Kidd for the job, but Kidd took his name out of consideration and eventually landed in Dallas last week.
“I was told that he sat in on the interview for Chauncey Billups. It was virtual… he joined the Zoom meeting, but it’s not a normal thing I think for players to sit in on that.”
The Trail Blazers are scheduled to announce Chauncey Billups in a press conference on Tuesday.
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