Billups can picture himself staying with Clippers

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Chauncey Billups didn’t want to end up with the Clippers.

He didn’t want to get shipped out of his hometown Denver to New York at the whim of Carmelo Anthony. He didn’t want to get waived by said Knicks to clear the way for their signing of Tyson Chandler. Then he told teams not to bid on him while on waivers, but the Clippers did anyway.

But once he stepped back and looked at the situation, Billups realized things in Los Angeles are not so bad. He could picture himself staying with the Clippers past this season, he told Scott Howard-Cooper at NBA.com.

“I’m not going to worry about that until the summer,” he said after practice at the team’s training facility. “But I want to be in a situation where guys are ready to win. Not just win the regular season, but win in the playoffs. We’ll see how this thing shapes up, but if we continue with the mentality that we have and players keep getting better, this maybe the opportunity that’s best for me.”

But how is that going to work, you ask? Chris Paul is the Clippers point guard and Billups has played the point his entire career. How well Billups adjusts to playing off the ball will be one of the keys to the Clippers season.

Billups doesn’t see the issue.

“Chris and I have been two players that have pretty much dominated and had a lot of success in our careers at that position,” Billups said. “For us now to be here together is a little strange, but at the same is a delight for me to be able to have somebody on the floor that’s the same cerebral player that I am. I’m used to seeing things that most people on my team didn’t see. We’re seeing things together and looking at each other, saying, ‘Yeah.’ ”

Eventually the Clippers are going to have to address the two guard spot for the long term, but if they can keep Billups around a couple seasons and he adapts, that is a guy who can help a young team through the how-to-win-in-the-NBA learning curve.

Rich Cho on Trail Blazers getting swept: ‘Being a previous Portland GM, that didn’t disappoint me’

AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, Jeff Willhelm
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In 2011, the Trail Blazers surprisingly fired Rich Cho after only season as general manager.

Cho – since hired and fired by the Hornets – seems to be holding a grudge.

John Canzano of The Oregonian:

That’s a sentiment many people hold toward their former employer. Few say so publicly. That Cho did indicates just how strongly he feels.

Under owner Paul Allen, the Trail Blazers have run through numerous executives. It’s part of the culture in Portland, and it leaves a lot of outgoing people bitter.

Current general manager Neil Olshey ought to be mindful of that.

Josh Allen’s old tweet: ‘I hate LeBron!!!!! #LeBronSucks’

AP Photo/Margaret Bowles
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Josh Allen, a quarterback from Wyoming, could be the No. 1 pick in tonight’s NFL draft. But his recently unearthed high school tweets – which include using the n-word with an ‘a’ at the end – are the sports story of the day.

And there’s an NBA tie.

Via Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports:

I hate LeBron!!!!! #LeBronSucks

— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) June 7, 2011

Damian Lillard went down this same road with LeBron James, and they got past it.

But it would be a little more awkward if the Cleveland Browns – who have the Nos. 1 and 4 picks – take Allen. Then, Allen will face more scrutiny over this tweet – the most innocuous of the bunch.

Donovan Mitchell tells Thunder fans, Jazz teammates Utah not returning to Oklahoma City this season

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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The Jazz blew a 25-point second-half lead in Game 5 last night, extending their series with the Thunder. Up 3-2, the Jazz are still in control. They can close out in Game 6 tomorrow in Utah. Blow that, and they must return to Oklahoma City for Game 7 Sunday.

But Utah rookie Donovan Mitchell is making it abundantly clear he doesn’t plan to do that.

Gabe Ikard of The Franchise 107.7:

Jake Edmonds of KUTV:

A confident proclamation that rallies his team or youthful exuberance run amok?

The narrative will be decided after Game 6. That’s just how this is done.

Report: Grizzlies moving toward keeping J.B. Bickerstaff as coach

AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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From the moment Robert Pera opted to retain control of the Grizzlies and end a prolonged ownership saga, it seemed interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff would remain Memphis’ coach.

Lo and behold…

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Bickerstaff did a decent job before the Grizzlies started tanking. But that was a small a sample, and his prior work as Rockets interim coach was uninspiring.

To be fair to Bickerstaff, those were both difficult situations. He’s an experienced assistant who might be ready for this challenge.

To be less fair to Bickerstaff, this looks like Memphis taking the cheap route. The Grizzlies didn’t appear to conduct much of a coaching search, if any. Nor has Bickerstaff been mentioned with other openings. It probably won’t cost as much to hire him as it would a more-established option.

Memphis seems to be operating under the belief that a healthy Mike Conley and Marc Gasol will right the ship next season. And they might. But given the age and injury history of those two, I wouldn’t assume they stay healthy and productive all season. Even if they do, they’d have to carry an underwhelming supporting cast – with limited room for upgrade this summer – in a deep Western Conference.

The Grizzlies want Bickerstaff, who’d be a first-time non-interim head coach, leading that team trying to win now? That doesn’t seem like the right risk-reward balance – at least until considering his salary, and even then.