Chauncey Billups has Blazers’ full help


Until they flip issues round shortly and drastically, the Path Blazers will miss the playoffs and the play-in event for a second consecutive yr below head coach Chauncey Billups, who was employed in the summertime of 2021. Nevertheless, a high-ranking supply inside the group tells Jason Fast of ‘The Athletic’ that the concept of firing Billups “hasn’t even crossed [their] minds.”

Billups has additionally acquired endorsements from a number of of Portland’s most vital gamers, together with Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant and (of most significance) Damian Lillard. Grant, who’s eligible totally free company this upcoming offseason, mentioned that outsiders calling for Billups to be fired are “silly,” including that he stays “able to run by way of a wall” for his coach.

For his half, Billups advised Fast that he’s in frequent contact with Blazers normal supervisor Joe Cronin and isn’t significantly involved about his job safety.

“I don’t fear about that, in any respect,” Billups mentioned. “We have now our talks and every part, and that can stay between us, however I don’t fear about that in any respect.”

Billups, who can have three years remaining on his contract at the beginning of the 2023-24 season, has led the Blazers to a 58-94 (.382) report since taking the reins from Terry Stotts. Portland had hoped the first-time head coach may assist stabilize a protection that had been one of many NBA’s worst throughout Stotts’ last seasons with the group, however at the very least so far, there was no actual enchancment in that space — the Blazers ranked 29th in defensive score in 2021-22 and at the moment sit at 27th in 2022-23.

Nonetheless, as Fast factors out, Billups has not been dealt a straightforward hand in Portland. The workforce underwent a entrance workplace overhaul simply months after his hiring and noticed its franchise participant (Lillard) restricted to only 29 video games throughout his inaugural run with the Blazers on account of a serious belly damage. A number of key gamers, together with CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Robert Covington and Larry Nance Jr. had been traded on the 2022 deadline whereas others – Josh Hart and Gary Payton II – had been moved this winter.

“It’s been unbelievable … loopy,” Billups mentioned of the Blazers’ entrance workplace turmoil, damage woes and roster turnover. “How is that my fault? Final yr I had so many coaches who’re both within the league or previous coaches saying, ‘Bro, I’ve coached 15, 17 years and I didn’t undergo that after.’

Acknowledging that his win-loss report has not handed muster, Billups mentioned that his efficiency also needs to be evaluated primarily based on the tradition he has helped domesticate in Portland, the buy-in he has gotten from his gamers and the progress he has made in growing the Blazers’ children, together with Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, and Nassir Little.

By his personal metrics, Billups rated himself “good” on the primary level and “superb” on the opposite two.

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