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Trail Blazers name Billups head coach

The Portland Trail Blazers have turned to Los Angeles Clippers coaching staff to find their new head coach, agreeing a deal with Chauncey Billups.

Billups is the 15th head coach in Trail Blazers franchise history, the team announced in a news release on Sunday night.

“Chauncey is a proven leader with an elite basketball IQ that has won everywhere he has been,” said president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

“He is prepared for the challenge of developing the Championship habits and strategic approach we need to achieve the expectations and goals for our franchise.”

Billups has served since November 2020 as an assistant coach with the Clippers, who are currently battling the Phoenix Suns in the NBA’s Western Conference finals. The Suns have a commanding 3-1 lead, with game five set for Monday.

The 44-year-old Billups is a five-time NBA all-star as a player. In 2016, the Detroit Pistons retired his No 1 jersey.

“I’m very excited and humbled to be the next coach of the Trail Blazers,” said Billups. “Portland is a special place and a unique franchise.”

Portland has made the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in the NBA, but has been knocked out in the first round five times.

In 2019, they advanced to the conference finals but were swept by the Golden State Warriors in four games.

Portland has suffered first-round losses in four of the past five seasons.

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