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Krawczynski: Former Blazers Assistant Coach Bill Bayno Discusses Battle With Alcoholism

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Former Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Bill Bayno opens up about his battle with alcoholism.

US PRESSWIRE

Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press has a lengthy feature on former Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Bill Bayno, who opens up about his battle with alcoholism.

When he transitioned to coaching, the alcohol helped him compensate for the anxiety and insomnia that plagued him while he obsessed over each game, each practice, each drill at UNLV. Losses gnawed at him from the inside out and a bad practice would stay with him for days. That pent-up steam needed to be released some way.

"That was the first time I really confronted my alcoholism," he said. "Who knows if I would have gotten sober if I hadn't been put in that pressure cooker, which really made me look inside and say you know what you've got a problem. You've got to stop or you're going to die."

It all started to unravel in 1999, his last full season in Vegas. Bayno told himself he wasn't going to drink during the season, but UNLV suffered a particularly difficult loss to Oklahoma State on Dec. 18. A holiday break started on Dec. 22, and Bayno was asked to join some buddies for a late lunch after some Christmas shopping.

"Boom, we're at lunch, a couple beers, a couple glasses of wine and it turned into four in the morning, out all night," he said. "I just woke up that morning ashamed and really broke down."

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter