Reports: Chauncey Billups set to become Blazers' head coach
Portland is reportedly banking on Billups' renowned leadership to take Damian Lillard and the Blazers to new heights.
From NBA.com Staff
Mr. Big Shot is ready to take Dame Time to new heights.
Chauncey Billups will become the new head coach of Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Friday night. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had reported the two sides were engaged in contract talks to reach a deal minutes earlier.
Billups — the 2004 NBA Finals MVP — was offered the Trail Blazers job tonight and will be the new Portland coach. https://t.co/R05tXu0KLP
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 26, 2021
Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups and the Blazers are progressing in contract talks to make him Portland’s next head coach, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/w2Uu4wTO5o
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2021
Billups would replace Terry Stotts, who had coached the Blazers since 2012 until he and the team parted ways earlier this month.
A former NBA champion and Finals MVP with the Detroit Pistons, Billups would take control of a Portland team headlined by its own superstar point guard in Lillard. The Blazers have made the playoffs in eight straight seasons, but have been eliminated in the first round four out of the last five, including a 4-2 loss to Denver this year.
Portland’s peak with Lillard — a six-time All-NBA honoree — was a 2019 run to the Western Conference finals, where the Blazers were swept by the Golden State Warriors. Stotts had been Lillard’s only NBA head coach since the former sixth overall pick entered the league in 2012.
The Blazers’ reported turn to Billups is a sign of faith in the former five-time All-Star’s leadership that made him immensely respected as a player and an assistant coach this season with the LA Clippers, who have twice rallied from 2-0 series deficits and are attempting to do so again against the Phoenix Suns.
Billups was also one of two coaching candidates Lillard was quoted to have liked, with the other being Jason Kidd per The Athletic. Kidd, however, is reportedly set to be hired by the Dallas Mavericks.
The third overall pick in the 1997 Draft, Billups played 17 seasons in the NBA before working as a studio analyst with ESPN and as an analyst for Clippers games before joining Ty Lue’s coaching staff with the Clippers in November.