Blazers’ assistant Hughes gone, too, in wake of Aldridge comments


LaMarcus Aldridge no longer is a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. And now, the same goes for assistant coach Kim Hughes just days after he made statements about Aldridge’s likely departure.

Hughes was terminated, a league source told NBA.com, because of statements he last made about Aldridge’s free agency.

Portland’s president of basketball operations, Neil Olshey, confirmed Hughes’ departure to The Oregonian Saturday. “We can confirm Mr. Hughes is no longer with the team,” Olshey said. “It is our policy to otherwise refrain from commenting on personnel matters.”

Hughes made his comments last week, before NBA free agency began July 1, in an interview with a television station from Terre Haute, Ind., while working at a basketball camp for Blazers big man Meyers Leonard in Robinson, Ill. Video of the interview was posted on WTHI’s Web site Tuesday, a few hours before Aldridge officially was eligible to negotiate with any of the league’s teams.

“Well, people don’t realize we just went young,” Hughes said in the interview. “We didn’t publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge. It hasn’t been declared yet, but I’m sure he won’t come back. We will go young.”

Last week, Olshey denied reports that Aldridge had told the Blazers he would not be re-signing with the team, even as Hughes was indicating otherwise. In a matter of days, the core of the Blazers’ roster has been overhauled: Aldridge reaching a verbal contract with the San Antonio Spurs, Nicolas Batum traded to Charlotte, Wesley Matthews agreeing to a free-agent contract with Dallas and center Robin Lopez heading to the New York Knicks.

Hughes, 63, had been a member of head coach Terry Stotts‘ staff since August 2012, working with the Blazers’ big men. He previously worked as an assistant coach and scout for the Denver Nuggets, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Clippers. A 6-foot-11 center from the University of Wisconsin, Hughes played professionally in the ABA, NBA and Europe from 1975-1989.

Hughes has had several serious health issues in recent years, including a battle with prostate cancer in 2004 and a near-fatal intestinal condition requiring surgery in 2013. He currently has been diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms, the league source said.

17 Comments

  1. harriethehawk says:

    Why do people write in caps? Are you that mad? C’mon, it’s not that serious and you look ridiculous when you do it.

  2. Emily Perez says:

    I don’t get that last part with this web page talking about Hughes’ medical conditions. Why would they put it in this article? Is this blogger friends with blazers staff and is it to get back at him for speaking?

  3. Undeniable Truth says:

    HAHA its so funny to see PORTLAND fans dumping Aldridge like they don’t even know him, when they were like a few years back admiring him like he was micheal jordan. HAHA, PORTLAND WILL NEVER WIN IN ANYTIME SOON!!! MAYBE PORTLAND FANS SHOULD WATCH THE LAKERS, IT MIGHT BE MORE ENTERTAINING! CAN”T WAIT TO SEE ALDRIDGE PLAY AGAINST PORTLAND, HE”S GONNA WHOOP THEM LIKE NOOBS!

  4. Undeniable Truth says:

    EMPLOYEES FIRED BY PORTLAND: HUGHES, ALDRIDGE, MATTHEWS, LOPEZ, AND BATUM

  5. patman says:

    Yea thats pretty ridiculous they fired him for that. And as for lillard…..well his shooting slumped last year to terrible low percentage. Idk if it was the increased load or teams planning better for him. He may be one of those guys who peaked real early and will be on the downslope ie tyreke evans….I really hope not tho cuz I like his game. But no1 can put up steph curry like shooting numbers forever….except steph that is

  6. fashoom says:

    “We can confirm Mr. Hughes is no longer with the team,” Olshey said.
    What a pig. You’re the one whose whole team split town.

  7. GGTPT says:

    THE GUY GOT FIRED FOR OBVIOUS REASONS, NAMELY HIS CONCTRACT DOESN’T ALLOW FOR STATEMENTS THAT CAN REVEAL CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.

    THE TEAM HAD TO LET HIM GO, AND i BELIEVE MOST PEOPLE WHO HEARD THE STATEMENT WHEN IT CAME OUT WERE FLOORED HE’S SAY IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. IT CAN EFFECT THE PLAYERS FINAL DECISION, NOT TO MENTION UNDERMINE THE GM.

    I’M GOOD WITH THE FIRING, ANY COMPANY WITH STRENGTH WOULD DO THE SAME.

  8. Carlo says:

    Personnel members shouldn’t reveal “secrets”, but… According to Hughes’s tone, Aldridge’s departure was an accomplished fact so it was just out of petty behaviour by Blazers not admitting it and going ahead.
    They didn’t even have the excuse that the presence of LMA in roster was important for luring other players. If they kept LMA with a huge salary increase – together with Lillard huge increase – they wouldn’t have been able to hire anybody valuable.
    Therefore, they were trying to hide LMA’s departure just for the sake of it or because they’re ashamed of being unable to retain a man who’s been their pick and the face of the franchise for many years.
    All considered, Hughes’s firing makes Blazers’ reputation even worse.

  9. Bu says:

    I’m sure he’s aware of team policy, and he probably already is disgusted with the situation, or he has other plans (eg. retirement, another job) and decided to say this.

    Portland in complete blow up rebuild mode. Wonder what will happen to Lillard.

  10. pewpew says:

    Thing is if word like this goes out way before it was supposed to be announced you can have other free agents change their minds. Good thing this did not affect the Damian Lillard extension

  11. toddybowl says:

    Kim Hughes was once the LAC interim head coach. Doc ought to bring him back as his BIGS coach, now that the team has sustained the HORRENDOUS loss of DeAndre, maybe he can console him.

  12. Stonedog23 says:

    Dude got fired for telling the truth. Every thing he said came to fruition.

  13. Bill says:

    Wow, that was all he said? If true, think twice before taking a job with Portland