A member of the Trail Blazers' public relations team shut down a question concerning the franchise's new head coach Chauncey Billups and the sexual assault allegation he faced in 1997.
Billups opened his introductory press conference by speaking on the rape allegation he faced in his rookie year.
"It's impacted every decision that I make, you know, it really has," Billups said. "It's shaped me in some unbelievable ways."
The Athletic's Jason Quick attempted to follow up on the statement, asking Billups to elaborate on what he meant when he said the incident shaped him in some unbelievable ways, but Portland's PR team instantly interjected as Billups was about to answer.
"Jason, we appreciate your question, we've addressed this. It's been asked and answered so happy to move on to the next question here," a Trail Blazers employee said.
Immediately after, however, The Oregonian's Aaron Fentress followed up with a question concerning Blazers star Damian Lillard and how he was reportedly upset with the backlash he faced when the team hired Billups. Lillard reportedly didn't know about the allegation against Billups, and none of the head coach finalists were his recommendations, according to Yahoo Sports's Chris Haynes.
Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said Lillard was involved in the team's head coach search and added that he spoke with finalists for the job that included Billups, Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and Nets assistant Mike D'Antoni.
"Make no mistake, at the end of the day the organization made the decision," Olshey said.
The 2020-21 season marked Billups's first as an NBA assistant and was spent with the Clippers.
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