Posts Tagged ‘Kim Hughes’

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, 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.

Can Clips’ Small Step Mean Big Things?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — With the Clippers, it’s always about the little things. Of course, that’s often because there aren’t a lot of big things.

But there was the announcement that L.A.’s little brother franchise had exercised its fourth-year contract option on Mr. Dunk-Over-the-Car Blake Griffin and also picked up options on Eric Bledsoe and Al-Farouq Aminu, who just completed their rookie seasons in the NBA.

Then over there in a separate release was the quiet mention that the club had also extended a qualifying offer to DeAndre Jordan, making him a restricted free agent.

Is it just a case of them taking care of the necessary details so that they wouldn’t lose the 22-year-old center without a fight? Or is it a clear sign that the Clippers are ready to move veteran big man Chris Kaman and take the next step in building something solid toward the future?