Report: Damian Lillard Could Request Out Of Portland Over Recent ‘Major Factors’
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – “Backlash” from recent “major factors” could force former Weber State and current NBA star Damian Lillard to “request out” of the Portland Trail Blazers, according to Yahoo! Sports‘ Chris Haynes.
On Sunday, June 27, Haynes reported that Portland’s current coaching search and Lillard’s concerns over the Blazers’ ability to be a championship contender have become big issues for the former Wildcats star.
“The enormous backlash from the Portland Trail Blazers’ process to hire a new coach and his concerns on whether a championship contender can be built have become factors that may push the franchise player — Damian Lillard — out the door, league sources told Yahoo Sports,” Haynes reported.
The backlash from Portland Trail Blazers’ coaching search and his concerns over whether a championship contender can be built have become major factors that could force Damian Lillard to request out, league sources tell @YahooSports. https://t.co/syN8upvWPx
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 27, 2021
The NBA All- Star “has remained loyal to Portland in large part due to the tremendous fan base. But over the last few days, he’s seen some of those same fans attacking him on social media for a pending coaching hire he played no part in consummating, sources said,” according to Haynes.
Portland recently offered its head coaching position to ex-NBA player and Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups, according to multiple reports. The Blazers and Billups are reportedly still negotiating terms.
Haynes reported that the Blazers plan to announce their new head coach on Tuesday, June 29.
Portland’s “coaching search was conducted by Neil Olshey, the team’s president of basketball operations,” Haynes wrote. “None of the candidates who were interviewed were from suggestions from Lillard, sources said.”
A few hours before Haynes’ report, Lillard posted the following quote on his Instagram account:
View this post on Instagram
Lillard, who has played his entire NBA career with the Blazers, has only played under one head coach, Terry Stotts, who recently parted ways with the organization in a “mutual” decision.
In 2017, the guard was asked what team he would sign with other than Portland.
“If blazers said they didn’t want me… Utah Jazz or Lakers,” Lillard tweeted.
If blazers said they didn't want me… Utah Jazz or Lakers https://t.co/jep3V9qRsS
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) June 14, 2017