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Damian Lillard, Blazers absolutely rip Timberwolves over coaching hire

Blazers, Timberwolves, Damian Lillard

After firing Ryan Saunders as their head coach, the Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly hiring Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch as his replacement. While seemingly routine news, Damian Lillard and his Portland Trail Blazers teammates ripped the Minnesota organization for its decision to look elsewhere rather than promote current assistant coach David Vanterpool.

Via Twitter, Lillard expressed his belief that Vanterpool—who served as an assistant coach for the Trail Blazers from 2012 to 2019—should’ve replaced Saunders as the Timberwolves’ head coach. According to Lillard, Vanterpool aided in his and CJ McCollum’s development.

In addition, while Vanterpool was with the Blazers, the team was considered a perennial playoff contender in the West. They even made it as far as the Western Conference Finals in 2019, which is Vanterpool’s last season with the team.

McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic echoed Damian Lillard’s sentiments. McCollum seemed outright confused about the Wolves’ decision. The Blazers center, meanwhile, went on to say that some “dirty business” is going on.

While some may perceive that Lillard has some bitter feelings about Chris Finch, the Blazers star cleared the air and emphasized he has nothing against Finch. He just wants the best for his former coach because he feels he deserves it.

From the looks of it, Lillard is very serious in his campaign for Vanterpool to be the new head coach of the Wolves.

It’s still a matter of wait-and-see if the Timberwolves will succeed under Finch. However, given Lillard’s endorsement, it won’t be surprising to see Vanterpool becoming a head coach in the league some time in the near future.