Becky Hammon was widely considered a finalist for the Portland Trail Blazers head coaching job, but the team decided to go with Chauncey Billups. According to one report, members of the San Antonio Spurs organization may have helped push the Blazers in that direction.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report says he was told by sources that Hammon was viewed favorably by Blazers officials throughout the interview process. However, when members of Portland’s front office reached out to “San Antonio figures” for intel, they did not exactly receive a glowing report.
According to Fischer, the background information on Hammon from the Spurs was “not nearly as complimentary pertaining to various aspects of day-to-day coaching responsibilities.” Fischer says that sentiment was also echoed by sources around the league.
Because of that feedback, the Blazers became skeptical that Hammon would be the right person to navigate through a difficult period in Portland, specifically with Damian Lillard and his reported discontent.
It’s hard to believe that people with the Spurs would say anything that would deter a team from hiring Hammon. Some wonder if the information about Hammon’s shortcomings with day-to-day coaching responsibilities may have come from the Blazers, who have faced criticism for hiring Billups because of an old sexual assault case.
Whatever case, Hammon will likely have to wait until next year for another shot at a head coaching job.