It’s been a, let’s say, interesting 72 hours for the Portland Trail Blazers.
On Thursday, the team was eliminated from the NBA playoffs on their home floor, blowing a 14-point third quarter lead and losing in six games to the Denver Nuggets—the fourth first-round loss for Portland in five years. A day later, Terry Stotts stepped down as coach after nine seasons with the franchise, a not altogether surprising development.
More surprising? Shortly after word of Stotts’ departure broke, Damian Lillard went public with his preferred choice for a new head coach: fellow Oakland-born point guard Jason Kidd—news that was met with an immediate backlash on social media due to long-standing allegations of domestic violence against Kidd.
Then, a day after that, Kidd issued a statement withdrawing his name from consideration for the Blazers coaching position, telling ESPN he felt uncomfortable with Lillard’s endorsement.
In order to make some sense of this, WW spoke to Sean Highkin, a Portland-based NBA reporter for Bleacher Report, to ask just how pissed Lillard is right now, what exactly happened with the Kidd situation, and if general manager Neil Olshey is really going to get out of this mess unscathed. (Spoiler alert, but probably.)
See more Distant Voices interviews here.