Former Portland Trail Blazers coach and Naismith Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay joined Isaac Ropp and Big Suke on 1080 AM The Fan to discuss the team's current coaching job, its roster and more. Former Blazers coach Nate McMillan was fired in March and assistant coach Kaleb Canales was promoted to the head job in an interim capacity.
Audio of the interview is here. The following is a partial transcript.
On Portland's coaching search
"I don't really have a name for you. It's not a great coaching opportunity at Portland because they're 28-35 now and the prospects of them improving next season are not that great to me. Your list of coaches is going to be thinned by just who they are at this point. Probably a capable assistant who is looking to get a coaching opportunity and will take any job that comes along is what they're going to have to face up to. That doesn't mean they won't get a good coach.
"We've seen Tom Thibodeau, Lionel Hollins after all the years he was an assistant. They're both showing how capable they can be. I'm sure there are assistant coaches that I'm not familiar with because you don't know -- some of them had never been a head coach in the NBA or college. It's hard to evaluate them. You've got to know this person very well.
"The problem is not wtih the coach. They had a good coach in my opinion. They need personnel and they need it badly."
On Portland's roster
"They've got a lot of holes to fill. Really, other than LaMarcus Aldridge, I don't see anyone who is a really top-level player on their roster. They have good players, but you need three great players to have a contending team. I only see one on their roster. They have a lot of exploration and decisions to make. I was a great Nate McMillan fan but I think Nate just got overwhelmed by the situation. Those things can happen to coaches. They've got a big job to do."
On Nicolas Batum
"I think he's capable. I like his game. He's a good defender, not great. He can run the floor. He's a decent ball-handler and he can score inside and out. I think on a good team he should be in the starting lineup or be the sixth man off the bench on a very good team."
On rumor that Portland would pursue Los Angeles Lakers executive Mitch Kupchak for the GM position
"I have no idea. Mitch is a very loyal guy. But if he feels that his authority has eroded now that Jerry Buss' son has pretty much taken over that job, really. He's calling the shots. Mitch might be interested in exploring other possibilities. But I can't speak for him. Very capable guy though."
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