Portland's Lillard upset that Timberwolves didn't hire from within

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard blasted the Minnesota Timberwolves for going outside their organization to hire their new head coach, saying he would have preferred to see David Vanterpool get the job.

The Timberwolves announced on Monday they had hired Toronto Raptors assistant coach Chris Finch with the move coming less than 24 hours after they sacked head coach Ryan Saunders.

"How the hell do you not hire David Vanterpool and he's right there on the bench... and has been in front office SUCCESSFULLY and on the front of a bench of a winning team SUCCESSFULLY (7 years) ... and also has played a major role in the development of a dominant backcourt smdh!," Lillard wrote on his social media account.

Vanterpool is in his second season as the Timberwolves associate head coach after spending seven seasons with the Trail Blazers.

Lillard said he has nothing against Finch but feels Vanterpool would be good for the Minnesota locker room.

"I don't know him to have nothin against him. Congrats to him .... but I'm sorry Vanterpool is a coach that I know for sure is needed in these locker rooms," wrote Lillard.

Portland guard CJ McCollum echoed Lillard's feelings.

"Make it make sense," McCollum reacted to Lillard. "Respectfully."

This will be the first NBA head-coaching job for the 51-year-old Finch, who has coached for professionally for nearly 25 years.

He was in his first season with Toronto following stops with the New Orleans Pelicans, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets.

Saunders, 34, had a 43-94 record in two-plus seasons as Minnesota's head coach. The Timberwolves are in last place in the Western Conference this season a 7-24 record.