Blazers close to deal with Chauncey Billups to be new head coach
Posted On June 26, 2021
Another former player is heading for an NBA head coach position.
Chauncey Billups and the Portland Trail Blazers are working to finalize a deal that would make Billups the franchise’s next coach, a person familiar with the details told USA TODAY Sports.
The person requested anonymity as they are not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations.
Billups, a Los Angeles Clippers assistant, has Game 4 against Phoenix on Saturday, so the deal may not be done until that game.
Hall of Fame Jason Kidd has struck a deal with the Dallas Mavericks to become their next coach, and three of the four NBA Conference Finals coaches are former players: Nate McMillan of Atlanta, Monty Williams of Phoenix and Ty Lue of the Clippers.
Billups, 44, spent 17 years in the NBA and won a championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004. He was named MVP of the Finals. He’s also been a five-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA, and two-time All-Defense.
Billups wanted to return to the NBA to some extent and focused on training. Lue hired him before the start of this season.
“He’s come a long way over the past summer so far and he’s put in the work and now he’s going to have the chance to join a team from a fresh start by having his own role model in the team, “Lue told reporters during the Western Conference semifinals. “As for coaching, just his balance, I think he relates to the players. He’s able to communicate and teach PG (Paul George) at the point of play how to make plays, what ‘he’s looking for different situations, and he’s worked with PG all year. “
Early on in Portland’s coach search, Billups was high on GM Neil Olshey’s shortlist to replace Terry Stotts. The Blazers also interviewed San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and Mike D’Antoni.
Billups is tasked with taking a team with Damian Lillard and maximizing his potential in a deep Western Conference. The sixth-seeded Blazers lost to Denver in six games in the first round of the playoffs.
Billups brings automatic respect as a league point guard who can connect with players.