When Jason Quick Earlier this month, when asked about the Blazers’ president of basketball operations, Neil Orsh, about how the 1997 rape allegations would affect the team’s influence on head coach candidate Chauncey Billups, Orsh replied Said: “I have not commented or discussed anything about our candidates, nor have I speculated until this search is complete.”
It turns out that Olshey didn’t want to talk more after the search was over.
Portland introduced Billups as its next head coach on Tuesday, and Press conference Focus on resolving (not resolving) the details of the incident more than two decades ago. In November 1997, Billups, then a rookie of the Celtics, played with teammates Ron Mercer and Antoine Walker in a comedy club.A woman who asked not to be named claimed that after leaving the club, Billups and Mercer took her to Walker’s apartment, and Had repeated “unwanted” sexual acts on herBillups claimed that any sex between him and the woman was consensual and took place in his car, not Walker’s apartment. He never faced criminal charges and settled the civil lawsuit filed by the woman.
Olsey told reporters on Tuesday that when reports last week that Billups would accept the job, the team understood the initial strong opposition and concerns. He said the Trail Blazers took these allegations “very seriously” and treated them “as serious as they should be.”
“Although other NBA organizations, business partners, television networks, and regional networks have enthusiastically provided Chauncey with high-profile positions in their organizations, we want to make sure that we have our own thorough process, because some things are just bigger than basketball. ,” Orsh said. “With Chauncey’s support and encouragement, we not only conducted a traditional background check after offering him a position, but also commissioned an independent investigation of the incident in 1997.
“The investigation results of that incident confirmed Chauncey’s recollection of the incident and nothing happened without consent. We support Chauncey, support everyone in the organization, and believe that he is the right choice for our head coach, and he is also the right choice for our head coach. That type of ambassador to the Portland community is rightly chosen, everyone here is used to it.”
After Orsh’s speech, Billups expressed his views on the matter in his opening speech:
“There is no day when I don’t think about how every decision we make can have a profound impact on a person’s life. I learned as a player at a very young age-not only a player, but also a young man. Young adults-every decision, every decision has consequences. This has caused me to have some very, very healthy but difficult conversations with my wife, who was my girlfriend in 1997. There are my daughters about what actually happened and what they might have to read about me in the news and media. But this experience has shaped my life in many different ways. It’s clear that my decision, I allow My life, the friendships and relationships I have and how I deal with them. It affects every decision I make. It does. It shapes me in some incredible ways. So I know to have the right The support system is really important by your side, especially in difficult and difficult times. In my career, I try to instill in all the players who have played with me, just share some of my experiences and things, maybe this will Help them at some point. But I really, really look forward to providing leadership and insight to our young people, they are young and bear a lot of responsibilities, just like I was at the time, but able to support them and guide them through It’s my business and I have to take responsibility. I’m grateful and happy to do this, because today, today is a good day for me and my family. It’s true. I mean, this is my dream Work in China. We know we have to solve this problem, but this is my dream job. This is one of the best days of my life. This is a big day for my family. My youngest daughter just finished yesterday At 15 years old, she celebrated her birthday with my mother. So this is an incredible birthday gift for them to come here to celebrate. So I want to thank you again, Neil, [Trail Blazers chair Jody] Alan, [Trail Blazers vice chair] Burt [Kolde]Because of this belief in me, I look forward to starting work. “
Chauncey Billups was asked @jwquick Explain in detail the sexual assault allegations in 1997 and how the allegations shaped him in incredible ways.
Trailblazer PR cut it off.
-Evan Schreiber (@SchreiberEvan) June 29, 2021
It seems that Billups and Orsh are both willing to tackle a difficult topic head-on, but when asked for details, they did not provide much answer.
Olshey announced that the Trail Blazers were “doing our best to review this incident” and did not find any “disqualification”. [Billups] From employment. “However, when asked Sean Haykin of the Bleaching Report Regarding which group the organization hired to conduct an independent investigation and the content of the investigation, Orsch declined to give specific details.
“It’s exclusive, Sean,” Olshey said. “So you just need to believe our words. We hired an experienced company to investigate and provide us with the results we have discussed.”
When Quick asked Billups how this incident shaped him in an “incredible way,” the host of the press conference interrupted Billups before he could speak.
“Jason, we thank you for your question. We have solved this problem,” the host said. “Someone has asked and someone has answered it. I’m glad to continue to the next question here.”
Although Portland’s public relations department may tell you, the key issues have not been resolved—not even resolved.
The Trail Blazers probably hired an outside group to get as much information as possible about the woman’s allegations. But if Olshey essentially said, is the organization really questionable? “Trust me” When asking a straightforward question?
If the Trail Blazers are aware of the concerns of hiring Billups, then why don’t they let this person respond to them? Why doesn’t Billups tell the host that he understands this problem and, as one of the faces of the franchise, needs to be honest and open about the incident?
Billups, Orsh, and the Trail Blazers all know that Portland fans want to know the answer to this process. Instead, they only have more questions left.