NBA Rumor: Portland Trail Blazers Coaching Search

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Blazers 'far along' in coaching search, Chauncey Billups and Mike D'Antoni among top candidates

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By Sunday morning, Kidd had withdrawn his name from consideration. It’s not clear if the revulsion expressed by Blazers fans on social media played a role in his decision. He said he didn’t want to place Lillard in “an awkward position” with the team, ESPN reported. But Dame doesn’t escape unscathed. For a generation of fans who grew up with Lillard as a civic hero, the revelation about whom he reveres was crushing. “The hardest part about all of this is that Damian Lillard, an incredibly active and philanthropic member of our community, is the one throwing these names out there,” says Ashtyn Butuso, a longtime Blazers fan and founder of Flagrant magazine, a women-created basketball publication. “Dame is a person too; it’s possible he just doesn’t understand how gruesome the allegations are.”

For much of Lillard’s tenure in Portland, fans have feared he would leave this small-market city. But for some, this feels worse. A player who spent nearly a decade cultivating the most unimpeachable public image in the league has, in essence, placed a condition on his remaining in town: hire one of two men with horrifying histories of how they allegedly treat women. “[Lillard] has spoken out consistently against injustice. He praises and celebrates the amazing strong women that surround him in his personal life,” said Cassidy Gemmet, a self-described Blazers fan since birth. “With everything that we’ve gotten to know about Damian Lillard as a man over the past nine years, these picks feel against what he stands for.”

The narrative of “good guys” vs. “bad guys” was always too simplistic. It made Portland fans feel good about themselves. It was branding. Now Lillard has told fans more than we wanted to know about his values. We’re all wondering if he’s listening to survivors. “By giving violent abusers fame and a platform you’re telling survivors that they don’t matter, that their experiences don’t matter and that you do not care about them,” said Gemmet. “I would no longer be buying tickets or gear or supporting the team. I’ve always loved this team, but some things are bigger than basketball.”

Chauncey Billups the likely choice to be next Blazers coach?

Yes, league sources think Billups — currently a Clipper assistant — is the likely choice, which may be why Lakers assistant Jason Kidd removed himself from consideration with lightning speed. But regardless of who Olshey chooses (and surely it will be Olshey; he operates with as much carte blanche as any executive in the league), his selection comes with a clock ticking in the background.

Jason Kidd withdraws from consideration for Blazers coaching job

Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd has withdrawn him name from consideration for the Portland Trail Blazers head coaching vacancy, he told ESPN on Sunday morning. “Portland’s a first-class organization and will have great candidates for its head coaching job, but I’ve decided not to be one of them,” Kidd told ESPN. “Whoever they choose will have big shoes to fill from Terry (Stotts).”
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