Word is out that the Trail Blazers are hiring Scott Brooks to be Chauncey Billups’ lead assistant coach.
While not yet official, this sounds like a great get for Billups and the franchise.
Brooks has been a respected head coach in the NBA at Oklahoma City and Washington and won Coach of the Year honors in 2010, while with the Thunder. He twice coached in the NBA All-Star Game.
He is known as an outstanding communicator and has been popular with his players. Prior to being cut loose by Washington after last season, his two best players – Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook – endorsed bringing him back, but the team did not come to an agreement with Brooks.
"Coach Brooks was an unbelievable unifier," Washington General Manager Tommy Sheppard said of his former coach’s navigating the Wizards through the pandemic pause last season and their COVID-19 outbreak this season. "And we all got through these very difficult dark moments in our franchise history because his leadership was exemplary.”
As a 5-11 guard, Brooks was undrafted after a college career that ended with two seasons at UC-Irvine. But he played 10 seasons in the NBA and won a championship in Houston in 1994.
Billups, a first-time head coach at any level, will have an experienced former head coach with a .557 career winning percentage to help guide him through the season.
This would be a great start for Billups in building his first coaching staff.