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- Joined ESPN in 2017
LA Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups and San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon have emerged among the leading candidates and advanced to second interviews in the Portland Trail Blazers’ search for a head coach, sources told ESPN.
Both assistants are set for additional meetings with Portland officials in the coming days, sources said.
Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni is another candidate who still figures into the Blazers search, sources told ESPN.
Billups has been in contact with several teams in this search process and remains with the Clippers in their Western Conference finals series against the Phoenix Suns. This is Billups’ first season as an assistant coach in the NBA. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and was the NBA Finals MVP in 2004.
Hammon, who would become the first female head coach in NBA history, has been on Gregg Popovich’s staff for seven seasons and has interviewed for several jobs in recent years. She was a six-time WNBA All-Star in her professional playing career.
After a fourth first-round playoff exit in five seasons, the Blazers and coach Terry Stotts parted ways after nine seasons together. Stotts left Portland as the second-winningest coach in franchise history, including eight consecutive playoff appearances — the longest streak in the league.
Portland’s season ended with a 4-2 series loss to the Denver Nuggets in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs. Stotts led the Blazers to a 2019 berth in the Western Conference finals, plus two other trips to the conference semifinals, in his nine seasons with Portland.
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