Portland shuts down on Chauncey Billups rape investigation

Blazers, Chauncey Billups, Damian Lillard, Neil Olshey


The Portland Trail Blazers have been in hot water after the hiring of Chauncey Billups as their new head coach. While Billups is a qualified head coach, he is under investigation for rape, bringing a mixed bag from Blazers fans and players. While being introduced at the press conference on Tuesday, the team shot down questions about the investigation.

I asked Neil Olshey for more details about the investigation. “That’s proprietary, Sean. You’re just going to have to take our word that we hired an experienced firm that led us to the results we already discussed.”
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) June 29, 2021

Very non-committal, right?

PR declines @jwquick’s follow-up question to Chauncey Billups about what he’s learned from the incident.
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) June 29, 2021

This is not a good look for the Blazers, and their passing on other candidates such as Becky Hammons to hire Billups with this background could be a cause for concern. After the hire, a report came out about Damian Lillard’s unhappiness with the team and the possibility that he could force a trade out from Portland.
The Blazers doubled down and stated that they are behind Billups every step of the way.

Neil Olshey: “We commissioned our own independent investigation into the incident in 1997. Our investigation corroborated what Chauncey told us, that nothing non-consensual occurred. We stand by Chauncey.”
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) June 29, 2021

To no surprise, the Blazers are backing Billups, but there are legitimate questions that remain to be answered.
As far as the on-court product, Billups can flat-out coach, and whether or not Lillard really wanted him as the guy remains to be seen. As the summer and offseason progress, the situation regarding both Billups and Lillard will be extremely fluid.
Could Lillard be on his way out? Could Billups improve this team? There will be a lot going on in Portland.


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