Damian Lillard reacts to Blazers assistant coach David Vanterpool leaving for Timberwolves
The Portland Trail Blazers announced on Thursday that head coach Terry Stotts would be losing one of his most notable lieutenants. David Vanterpool agreed to an associate head coaching gig with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a “defensive coordinator” under Ryan Saunders. Vanterpool had previously interviewed for the head coaching gig in full with the Wolves before the team opted to retain interim coach Saunders for the foreseeable future. Vanterpool joined the Blazers in 2013-14 and he has helped to develop the careers of CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard – helping forge them into one of the most potent backcourts in the NBA during his time with the team.
Lillard voiced his support of Vanterpool in a post on Instagram following the news on Thursday:
Clearly, Lillard appreciated his time with Vanterpool in Portland, as he morphed into one of the best point guards in the entire NBA after being brought in as an unheralded top 10 pick out of Weber State.
Lillard even led his Blazers to the Western Conference Finals this season, pushing his team past the Oklahoma City Thunder with an incredible game-winner as well as a hard-fought seven-game series between his Blazers and the Denver Nuggets.
Certainly, good things can be expected of Vanterpool in Minnesota, where he has an interesting young core with which to work (especially after the 2019 NBA Draft) as well as a team that desperately needs some defensive teaching. Vanterpool and the Wolves should be a seamless fit.