Woj: Blazers to Interview Nets' Mike D'Antoni, Clippers' Chauncey Billups This Week

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 22, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11: Assistant Coach Chauncey Billups helps warms up prior to the game against the Golden State Warriors on March 11, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups and Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D'Antoni are reportedly scheduled for second interviews with the Portland Trail Blazers this week to discuss the team's head coaching vacancy.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the update Tuesday after San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon had her second meeting with the Blazers on Monday.

Hammon, 44, has emerged as a finalist for the position but has also interviewed with the Orlando Magic about their vacancy, per Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

The former WNBA All-Star became the first woman to serve as head coach for an NBA team when she replaced Spurs coach Gregg Popovich after he was ejected from a December game. The league has never had a woman serve as a full-time leader of a coaching staff.

Billups won an NBA championship as a member of the Detroit Pistons in 2004. He was tagged with the nickname Mr. Big Shot for his propensity to come up big in clutch situations, a role Blazers superstar Damian Lillard has filled in recent years, leading to the Dame Time moniker.

The 44-year-old Denver native played 17 seasons in the NBA before his 2014 retirement. He joined the Clippers' coaching staff in October, and the team remains active in pursuit of an NBA championship as it takes on the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals.

Phoenix leads the series 1-0, with Game 2 set for Tuesday night. Games are also set for Thursday and Saturday this week, so his second interview with Portland must get scheduled around those contests.

Billups said he started preparing for his post-playing life during his final few years in the NBA.

"I started to prepare myself for three different avenues," he told The Athletic's Kendra Andrews last April. "One was being a coach, one was working in a front office and the third was TV. Basketball is my first love, so I knew I wanted to stay in the game in some capacity."

Meanwhile, D'Antoni is the most experienced coach in the Blazers' search, with 16 years as a head coach with the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

The Nets were recently eliminated from the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks, and Amick reported the 70-year-old basketball lifer has "serious interest" in the Blazers' opening.

D'Antoni owns a career 672-527 regular-season record (.560 winning percentage) and a 54-56 mark (.491) in the playoffs. He led the Suns to the conference finals in 2005 and 2006, and the Rockets to the same stage in 2018, but his teams have never reached the NBA Finals.

The Blazers haven't provided a timetable for a decision on their replacement for Terry Stotts, who mutually parted ways with the franchise after Portland's first-round postseason exit.


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