June 15, 2021 | 11:37 am EDT Update
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green are among the initial commitments to Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics this summer, sources tell The Athletic. Lillard, who turns 31 on July 15, will be playing in his first Olympics after dropping out of consideration for the 2016 Rio Games, where the U.S. men’s team won its third consecutive gold medal. Green, 31, was a part of the 2016 team, which finished the tournament 8-0.
Stevens interviewed Celtics assistants Jay Larranaga, Scott Morrison and Jerome Allen and plans to broaden the search to include Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham and Billups, a person with knowledge of the process told USA TODAY Sports. ESPN reported the Celtics wanted to interview Nets assistant Ime Udoka, Dallas assistant Jamahl Mosley and Bucks assistant Charles Lee. Coaching insiders indicate the Celtics will hire externally rather than promoting from within.
Lillard, a six-time All-Star and face of the franchise, may not have the final say in who is chosen. But it’s prudent for Olshey to get his input as the Blazers make an important hire as Lillard enters the first year of his four-year extension in 2021-22. Allen wanted the list to include women candidates, and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon will interview for the job, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about candidates. The Blazers also received permission to speak with South Carolina women’s coach Dawn Staley.
For the past few seasons, people from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to former WNBA and G League coach and NBA assistant coach Nancy Lieberman said a woman will be hired as a head coach soon. How soon is soon? In an interview last season with USA TODAY Sports, NBA president of league operations Byron Spurell said, “We want it to happen organically, and when the right opportunity matches the right person, this will happen. We just feel we’re so well positioned. If it happens tomorrow or the next day or this season or a few seasons away, we’re really close. But we’re not putting a timetable on it.” Lieberman told USA TODAY Sports: “It’s right in front of us. It’s going to happen.”
Hammon has put in the work. She runs portions of practices, writes game plans and scouting reports for opponents and delivers the intel to the team and works with players on individual development. “Becky’s in a spot now where she’s in a position of power,” Spurs guard Patty Mills told USA TODAY Sports. “She’s able to direct guys on what to do and that all comes from work ethic and what she does behind the scenes and getting herself and our team ready for games. She is an NBA coach who knows her (expletive) and gets it done.”
During an appearance on 106.7 The Fan’s “Grant and Danny” show with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Monday, Barkley discussed how “politically correct people” are trying to ruin TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” The 58-year-old said he is only planning to work for two more years because of it. “You can’t even have fun nowadays without these jackas-es trying to get you canceled and things like that,” Barkley said, as transcribed by Edward Sutelan of Sporting News. “Just having fun, talking about sports. I’m trying to hang on for another couple years until I’m 60, and then they can kiss my ass. I’m only working until 60. I’ve already told them that. … We can’t even have fun anymore. We’ve had fun all these years, and now all of a sudden in the last year and a half, everybody’s trying to get everybody fired, and it really sucks.”