Damian Lillard, McCollum Call Out Wolves for Not Hiring David Vanterpool as HC

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2021

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) and assistant coach David Vanterpool in the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Denver. Portland won 97-90. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are upset the Minnesota Timberwolves didn't promote associate head coach David Vanterpool to replace Ryan Saunders. 

The Timberwolves fired Saunders on Sunday and are reportedly set to hire Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic. Hiring a coach from another team midseason is rare in the NBA, and it will prevent Vanterpool from getting his first shot as a head coach.

Vanterpool spent seven seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers coaching Lillard and McCollum, as well as spending time in the Oklahoma City Thunder front office before joining the Timberwolves in 2019.

Lillard praised the 47-year-old's resume on Twitter:

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While Vanterpool won't get the job with Minnesota, a strong endorsement from a five-time All-NBA player could help him in interviews going forward. The Timberwolves also have a long road ahead of them with the league's worst record at 7-24.