Blazers select Chauncey Billups as coach

The Oregon franchise closes the hiring of the technician, until now, an assistant in the Los Angeles Clippers. It was Damian Lillard's favorite.


Portland Trail Blazers now have a new head coach: Chauncey Billups will be selected in the absence of official confirmation. So far, the coach was an assistant at the Los Angeles Clippers, which was his first experience on the bench. A year after his debut in the band, he will arrive at the head of a franchise that needs to take a step forward and, possibly, in the middle of a turning point. Damian Lillard, absolute star of the team, has left more doubts than ever about its continuity, as they had been non-existent. One Club Man has always expressed his intentions to achieve glory with the organization that chose him in the 2012 Draft, but, after falling in the first round of the current playoffs, his speech took a hitherto unknown direction. "To fall short in the first round and that our season ends at home is disappointing. We will see what happens, I have not thought further," he came to pronounce. The fact of having signed an anthological tie without a prize, with a record of triples in a final phase (12), exhausted his patience. With the new hire, the Blazers will try to redirect the situation.

Billups was the favorite candidate of Lillard and Billups, finally, will be the one who will direct him next season. The agreement, as revealed by Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN), has been reached this very morning, when the conversations between Neil Olshey, general director of the franchise, and Andy Miller, representative of the coach, have reached an understanding. There is a close relationship between Damian and Chauncey, but between Olshey and the new coach, too. According to Wojnarowski himself, without going any further, the franchise player and the coach have been in constant contact during the selection process. The friendship between the manager and Billups, meanwhile, dates back to the 2011-12 season. At that time, Olshey, as general manager of the Clippers, closed the incorporation of Billups as a player, whom he considers one of the greatest leaders to have stepped on the NBA.

On the court, Chauncey Billups boasts a long history in the best league in the world. He found his end in 2014, with the Detroit Pistons jersey, and had 5 All-Star appearances, 3 All-NBA, 2 All-Defensive, and a ring, precisely, with the Pistons. In these Finals, against the Los Angeles Lakers (1-4), he also won the MVP. Now, at the age of 44, he begins his stage as head coach. In the current coaches dance in which the North American competition is found, he came to sound for the Celtics, the franchise that selected him in 1997 as third in the Draft, but, finally, in Boston Ime Udoka has landed, with a great reputation as an assistant and the blessing of Brad Stevens. Jason Kidd, another name who had made his way in Portland, has also found his destiny: the Dallas Mavericks. "I like J. Kidd and Chauncey," Lillard had come to confess, with a penchant for the former.

Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D'Antoni and San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon have been the other names the Blazers have had on the table to the end. Billups, the one finally chosen, arrives to replace Terry Stotts, who was saying goodbye to the franchise only one day after his loss to the Denver Nuggets. After eight and a half years in the organization, he said goodbye with three first-round playoff knockdowns in four years, the 2019 Western Finals as the high point and with Portland's second-worst percentage in the finals (23-44, a 34.3%), only behind Mike Fratello (32.3%). Along with Billups, Lillard will attempt his long-awaited script change.

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