The Portland Trail Blazers have found their next head coach.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports that Chauncey Billups will get his first crack at being a head coach with the Trail Blazers. Billups, an assistant coach on Ty Lue’s coaching staff with the Los Angeles Clippers, will take over for coach Terry Stotts, who departed earlier this month.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Billups was offered the job on Friday (Jun.25) with long-term contract negotiations still being hammered out. Billups becoming the head coach already sits well with Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard who has a very close relationship with the player affectionately known as Mr. Big Shot during his playing days and was in constant communication with his new head coach during the process.
Billups played in the league from 1997-2014. The Boston Celtics selected him with the no.3 overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft. The 44-year-old retired hooper would become a bit of a journeyman spending time with the Raptors, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Pistons, Knicks, and Clippers before hanging up his kicks in 2014.
He was a five-time All-Star during his career and was part of the legendary 2004 Detroit Pistons championship team that took out a fully-loaded Los Angeles Lakers team that featured the late Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone and. Gary Payton. He averaged 15.2 points and 5.4 assists per game throughout his career.
Before joining Clippers head coach Ty Lue’s coaching staff last year, his first coaching job in the NBA, Billups served as an NBA analyst. He was considered a top contender for the gig, along with Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and Jason Kidd, who recently took over as the head coach for the Dallas Mavericks, who drafted him 1994 NBA Draft.
Will Billups championship experience be enough to help get the Portland Trail Blazers over the hump in the playoffs and into the NBA Finals? We shall see.
Congrats to Mr. Big Shot.
Photo: Sarah Stier / Getty
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