As the Trail Blazers’ season continues to spiral, Jerami Grant has made note of the growing fervor among a segment of Trail Blazers fans who are calling for head coach Chauncey Billups to be fired.
“I think those people are stupid,” Grant said.
The Trail Blazers’ starting power forward is not the only one who feels that way.
According to a high-ranking source inside the Trail Blazers, who spoke under the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely, the the idea of firing Billups “hasn’t even crossed our minds” as Portland heads for an almost certain return to the lottery this summer, a direction once again hammered home Friday during a 126-112 loss to Boston. Portland is now 31-39, and with 12 games remaining sits in 13th place in the 15-team Western Conference, 2.5 games behind the Lakers for the 10th and final Play-In spot. In two seasons, Billups is 58-94.
Before the game, Billups told The Athletic he had no fears of losing his job, based on his frequent communication with general manager Joe Cronin.
“I don’t worry about that, at all,” Billups said. “We have our talks and everything, and that will remain between us, but I don’t worry about that at all.”
After Friday’s game, three key players — Grant, Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons — told The Athletic they endorse Billups, the strongest vote of confidence coming from Grant, whose free agency this summer is a crucial component in the team’s vision of building a winner.