In today’s episode, Michael and Rohan recap Hawks-Bucks, discuss the controversial hiring of Chauncey Billups in Portland, and give several of their favorite hypothetical Dame Lillard trades.
The following transcript is an excerpt from the Open floor podcast. Listen to the full episode on podcast players everywhere or in SI.com.
Michael Pina: There was a report from Yahoo’s Chris Haynes saying that Damian Lillard is, I’ll probably like this butcher description just because it was a bit confusing for me.
Rohan Nadkarni: He was deliberately confused. Yes, vague.
Michael Pina: I mean, Give me just for basketball reasons, that’s understandable. I think Damian Lillard at this point in his career would like to win a championship and play with other superstar caliber players. So from that perspective, I don’t blame him. Even after signing a supermax to stay in Portland and all the things he said about loyalty, I don’t think anyone should blame him for wanting to do the best with him as his career evolves.
Rohan Nadkarni: And he has given everything for the Blazers. He’s never been the type of man to feel like he has an eye out for the door or whatever. I mean, really, really, he has given everything to this team and his teammates.
Michael Pina: Yes, he had one of the best games in NBA history.
Rohan Nadkarni: I think we should call this report by its name. It felt like a precursor to Dame trying to ask out at some point. I think it’s no secret to anyone who follows the sport closely that Lillard has a relationship with Chris Haynes. That’s not to say Dame is the source in quotes for this story, but I think Haynes is connected to what Damian Lillard wants, even if he hasn’t made up his mind yet. And I think he nailed it for basketball reasons, it’s very clear why he might want to go out. And I think the report that comes out that Lillard is, I guess, the frame of the report with this, he’s upset with the way the fans have reacted to his level of involvement in hiring Billups, which Lillard says didn’t have a high level of intervention. There are reports that he owned the property here. Regardless of whether or not he’s upset with some fans or a lot of fans on social media chasing him, everything to me feels like … This is something you say publicly when you realize for basketball reasons, you may be trying out of here.
Michael Pina: Right. And for more context, we should say that Chauncey Billups was hired, on a five-year deal over the weekend to become the head coach of the Portland Trailblazers after interviewing Mike D’Antoni, after interviewing Becky Hammon. , the San Antonio Spurs assistant. And I’ll just be frank, I didn’t know about the 1997 sexual assault charge that happened with Chauncey Billups before this weekend. So I personally was not aware of it. And I think that’s what has overshadowed the hiring of Chauncey to some extent with that exit. Chauncey Billups has obviously been around for quite some time, right now, as we speak, he’s an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers. He worked for ESPN for years; He had a well decorated NBA career as a player, and has interviewed for head coach positions and talked about his desire to be a general manager for years. So that comes out right now. And that certainly muddies things up a lot. And I don’t think Dame, as you said at the time, I don’t think Dama should be blamed at all for wanting Chauncey to be her coach, in particular. I think Damian Lillard tweeted that he was unaware of those allegations when he claimed that he wanted Jason Kidd or Chauncey Billups to be the next head coach.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.