NBA

Lillard wants Kidd as next Trail Blazers coach after Stotts exit

By Sports Desk June 05, 2021

Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard said Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd "is the guy I want" to replace Terry Stotts as head coach.

The Trail Blazers and Stotts mutually agreed to part ways on Friday, following Portland's elimination in the opening round of the NBA playoffs.

Despite Lillard's heroic efforts, the Trail Blazers were ousted by the Denver Nuggets 4-2 in the Western Conference first round on Thursday.

Stotts – who oversaw eight consecutive postseason appearances – departs as the second-winningest coach in franchise history following a 402-318 record in nine seasons.

Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, ex-New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D'Antoni and Michigan's Juwan Howard are reportedly among the candidates.

But Lillard talked up Hall of Famer Kidd, who previously served as coach of the Nets and Milwaukee Bucks.

"Jason Kidd is the guy I want," Lillard, who set a new NBA record for threes made in a single playoff series with 35, told Yahoo Sports.

In a statement following Stotts' exit, Trail blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said: "I have the utmost respect for Terry and what he has accomplished these past nine seasons.

"This was a difficult decision on both a personal and professional level but it's in the best interest of the franchise to move in another direction.

"Terry will always hold a special place in the Trail Blazer family and the Portland community. We relied on the integrity, professionalism and consistency he brought to the job every day and we wish he and Jan nothing but the best."

During the postseason matchup, Lillard tallied a playoff career-high 55 points and record 12 made threes in a Game 5 overtime defeat to the Nuggets.

Lillard also became the fourth player in NBA history to record a 50-point, 10-assist game in the postseason, joining Russell Westbrook, Sleepy Floyd and Jerry West.

Related items

  • 'It won't happen again' - Liverpool striker Nunez apologises after Palace red card 'It won't happen again' - Liverpool striker Nunez apologises after Palace red card

    Darwin Nunez has issued an apology following his red card during Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at Anfield.

    The Uruguay international, who arrived from Benfica for a reported £64million (€75m), endured a frustrating home debut for the Reds, which culminated in an early bath after a headbutt on Palace defender Joachim Andersen.

    Nunez had registered five shots - none of which were on target - when he reacted after a sustained period of provocation from Andersen just before the hour mark, throwing his head into the face of the centre-half.

    The striker became only the second Liverpool player to be dismissed on his first home Premier League appearance; exactly 12 years after Joe Cole was given his marching orders in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal.

    Nunez has since taken to Twitter to express his remorse over the incident, posting: "I am aware of the ugly attitude I had. I'm here to learn from my mistakes and it won't happen again. Apologies to Liverpool. I'll be back."

    The 23-year-old will now miss Liverpool's mouth-watering showdown with Manchester United at Old Trafford next Monday, as well as back-to-back home games against Bournemouth and Newcastle United.

     

  • NBA rules out November 8 games, avoiding clash with US midterm elections NBA rules out November 8 games, avoiding clash with US midterm elections

    The NBA will schedule no matches on November 8, the date of the US midterm elections, in order to encourage voter turnout.

    Ahead of Wednesday's full schedule reveal, the organisation confirmed all 30 teams will instead play on November 7, the day before polling booths open.

    The move marks a significant break from tradition for the governing body, which typically avoids matches on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

    It comes on the back of increased political involvement from within the league during the 2020 election cycle.

    "The NBA today announced that no games will be played on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022," the league said in a statement.

    "The scheduling decision came out of the NBA family's focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections."

    All 435 seats in the US House of Representatives will be contested this November, while more than 30 Senate seats and gubernatorial races will also be in the mix.

    It marks the first widespread elections since 2020, when Democrat Joe Biden defeated then-incumbent Republican Donald Trump for the US presidency.

  • Stokes rejects criticism of England tactics after Elgar raised 'Bazball' doubts Stokes rejects criticism of England tactics after Elgar raised 'Bazball' doubts

    Ben Stokes promised England would not back down from their attacking approach against South Africa after rival captain Dean Elgar questioned the team's 'Bazball' tactics.

    New England skipper Stokes has enjoyed four consecutive victories in the long format since taking over leadership duties from Joe Root, with three coming against New Zealand and one against India.

    Now three Tests against South Africa await, with the first beginning at Lord's on Wednesday before further assignments at Old Trafford and The Oval.

    Proteas skipper Elgar told Wisden Cricket Monthly he did not see "longevity in brave cricket", suggesting England could easily have been left "with egg on their faces" against New Zealand.

    "Look, the opposition seem to be doing a lot of the talking about it at the moment," Stokes said on Tuesday.

    "We don't really speak about it that much, we just concentrate on what we do. We've got a style of play, they've got a style of play, and at the end of the day it's bat against ball and whoever plays best over a Test match is more than likely to win."

    England's approach has been nicknamed 'Bazball' because the lusty hitting of Jonny Bairstow has been so integral to the success. For each win in the current run, England have pulled off impressive fourth-innings chases, going almost gung-ho at times. Stokes and new head coach Brendon McCullum have encouraged the positivity.

    Stokes hopes the England team "hasn't lost its venom", given it has been six weeks since the last Test, with record wicket-taker James Anderson turning 40 in the meantime.

    Asked for how long Anderson might play on, Stokes said: "He's still 20 in my eyes, so 60 maybe, who knows."

    With a hint of mischief in his eyes, Stokes responded to a question of whether he might also play on in Tests until the age of 40 by saying: "I'd absolutely love to."

    Anderson's long-time pace partner Stuart Broad is one shy of becoming the second bowler to take 100 Test wickets at Lord's, with Anderson's 116 leading the way.

    Elgar was not inclined to return to the topic of 'Bazball', saying: "Mudslinging is a thing of the past for me, and we're not going to go back and forth any more about that."


    England chase four in a row against South Africa

    England have won each of their last three multi-game men's Test series against South Africa, so they will hope Stokes' strong start as leader continues over the coming weeks. Root made 190 and Moeen Ali took 10 wickets in the match when England crushed South Africa by 211 runs at Lord's in July 2017, ending a six-match winless run (D2, L4) in games against the Proteas at the London ground.

    Elgar looks to pace to pummel England

    South Africa are unbeaten in four series (W3, D1) since a 2-0 defeat to Pakistan in February last year, so they are not lacking in confidence. Elgar is prepared for moments of England dominance and says South Africa can ride that out.

    He said: "I know somewhere they're going to have periods in the game where they're going to be on top of us, no doubt, and we're going to have to find a way to adapt to that situation. I'd like to think from a bowling point of view, our bowlers are big, tall, fast and strong. We want it hard, we want it really tough, and hopefully the results go our way."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.