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Ajayi Browne: Steve Nash also says, “Mike D’Antoni is with us — He hasn’t missed a beat.”
By Sunday morning, Kidd had withdrawn his name from consideration.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.”
Jordan Schultz: Per league sources, #Nets assistant coach Mike D’Antoni is receiving interest for the #Blazers, #Celtics and #Magic HC jobs. The Nets will grant interview requests for D’Antoni — following the playoffs.
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.
Sean Highkin: Olshey on Dame going public with Jason Kidd endorsement: “It’s unfortunate that it went public because it didn’t serve some of the guys whose names were made public in the next 48 hours.”
Jay Allen: Olshey says he’s running the coaching search.
Jay Allen: Neil Olshey on what he’s looking for in a Head Coach: Improving on defensive end of floor…strong leadership qualities…someone who will hold players accountable on both ends of the floor.
Two new head coaching positions have opened in the past week in Portland and Orlando as those two teams parted ways respectively with Terry Stotts and Steve Clifford. Portland is a respected job around the league with an All-Star but the Celtics opening remains the most high sought after opening on the market according to league sources
A source with knowledge of the situation said Lillard is not making demands of any kind when it comes to the coaching hire. The front office and ownership will do their jobs while communicating with him along the way. And once that coaching selection is made, this question comes next: What else can Olshey do with the roster to take this Blazers team from perennial playoff contenders to Western Conference heavyweight?
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).”
Kidd was ultimately uncomfortable with the idea of pursuing the opening after Blazers star Damian Lillard publicly called for his hiring within hours of Stotts’ departure on Friday night. The public nature of Lillard’s endorsement — telling Yahoo Sports that “Jason Kidd is the guy I want” — left Kidd feeling he would put both Lillard and Portland’s process in an awkward circumstance should he pursue the opening.
Up next will be a new coach, and Lillard said it would be “ideal” if Stotts’ replacement has experience. “I like J. Kidd and Chauncey,” Lillard said, referring to Lakers assistant Jason Kidd and Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups.
Adrian Wojnarowski: After a fourth first-round playoff exit in five seasons, the Portland Trail Blazers and coach Terry Stotts mutually agreed to part ways on Friday, sources told ESPN.
Chris Haynes: Source: Damian Lillard to have major input on the next head coach. Stotts was the only coach he’s played for in his nine seasons in the league. After the way the season ended, it was time for a change.
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August 2, 2021 | 7:49 am EDT Update
There is a strong possibility that Howard returns for a third go-around with the Lakers. Howard won a title with the Lakers in 2020, but he bolted to the 76ers last season. Now, there appears to be interest on both sides to have Howard back for his physical and defensive play. Howard, 35, averaged 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes last season in Philadelphia, his 17th in the NBA.
Rob Schaefer: Zach LaVine on what he’s conveyed to Bulls about a potential extension. If Bulls decide to take route to cap space, pursuing upgrades through free agency or renegotiating + extending LaVine’s current contract are two options on table.
Barry Jackson: ESPN reports tonight that New Orleans and Dallas – two Lowry suitors – have begun to look elsewhere for point guards. The Dragic/Achiuwa package should get this done for Lowry barring any late issues; Achiuwa hasn’t yet been informed because talks can’t begin until 6 p.m. Monday.
Donatas Urbonas: Ignas Brazdeikis will play for the Orlando Magic in the NBA Summer League, per sources. Brazdeikis averaged 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2 assists in 8 NBA games with Orlando last season.
Rob Schaefer: Zach LaVine on keeping up with Bulls’ free agency from Tokyo: “I should have a good idea what’s going on. I take that very serious, keep up to date with what’s going on back home, but obviously still get my rest cause we got a game tomorrow. One way or another I’ll find out.”
August 2, 2021 | 1:19 am EDT Update
“It looks like [Kawhi] is expected to re-sign with the Clippers, but sources informed me that he will listen to other teams.” @ChrisBHaynes on Kawhi Leonard’s free agency