The Portland Trail Blazers front office, and not Damian Lillard, will make the final call on the team’s next head coach, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
Haynes, yesterday revealed that Lillard preferred fellow Oakland product and Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd to take over Terry Stotts’ role. The Athletic’s Shams Charania also added Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups to Lillard’s wishlist.
Today, Haynes clarified his story on TNT, claiming that while Lillard would be involved in the search it would ultimately be Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey and the front office that would make the final decision.
.@ChrisBHaynes breaks down the Trail Blazers search for a new head coach. pic.twitter.com/0CFUdHwmLa— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 5, 2021
“His preference is to have Jason Kidd as his next head coach, him and Jason have a really good relationship.”
“They’re both Oakland natives and a former All Star point guard, Hall of Fame point guard and he feels like Jason Kidd with his basketball acumen can help take his game and the Portland Trail Blazers to the next level.”
“Also he is very intrigued with Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups and he has a relationship with him as well.”
“Sources told me the Blazers will put on a full search out there for its next head coach and will they will involve Lillard in the process.”
“But ultimately it will be the front office that makes the final call on who is the franchise’s next head coach.”
Unfortunately, both of Lillard’s preferred candidates have a spotty history. Kidd also has a experienced controversy behind the scenes with multiple organizations and legal issues, including domestic violence and driving while intoxicated. Billups was named as a defendant in a sexual assault lawsuit during his playing days, which he settled.
Blazer’s Edge Managing Editor Dave Deckard has expressed his concerns about hiring either candidate because of their respective off-court pasts.