The Portland Trail Blazers are in limbo. Franchise player Damian Lillard wants to be traded to the Miami Heat specifically, and, as general manager Joe Cronin said at a press conference in July, often more than one destination is required for a team to get a fair return for a superstar. There is no guarantee that this situation will be resolved before media day, which is only a week and a half away.
If nothing changes soon, then Portland coach Chauncey Billups’ job during training camp, which begins on Oct. 3, will be tricky. With the Lillard situation hanging over the team, other Blazers know that they could be included in a blockbuster trade or see their roles change afterward. They also know they’ll have to answer questions about all this, ideally without feeding into what could be a circus-like atmosphere. Billups, a former Finals MVP, and five-time All-Star who played 17 years in the NBA, acknowledged in an interview with NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner that none of this is easy:
Your team is waiting for a mighty big shoe to drop, with Damian Lillard’s status still unresolved. That can’t be ideal. How does it not become a negative, a distraction?
Yeah, yeah. Obviously it’s unsettling, it’s difficult. But for me, all I can do, I’m responsible for giving my best to who we have. I don’t know how it’s going to play out. There’s nothing I can do to control it. But I do know who we have on our team right now and who I’ve been working with this summer. Who I’m excited about. All I can really do is pour myself into our guys. And see what happens whenever that happens. I’m excited about Shaedon’s progress. And coaching Scoot [Henderson] and Ant [Anfernee Simons].
Figuring out what happens with Dame? Everybody knows how I feel about Dame and my opportunity to coach him. We’ll just see. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ll be ready to do the best I can.
Billups has had a relationship with Lillard dating back to when the former was near the end of his career and the latter was just getting started. The coach told NBA.com that “100% of our fan…
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/damian-lillard-trade-request-is-unsettling-for-blazers-but-chauncey-billups-says-hell-always-support-him/
Author : James Herbert
Publish date : 2023-09-21 17:48:13
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