Blazers Hire Nate Bjorkgren, Chris Fleming As Assistant Coaches

The Trail Blazers have added a pair of assistant coaches to Chauncey Billups‘ staff, confirming today in a press release that they’ve hired Nate Bjorkgren and Chris Fleming. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link) first reported that Bjorkgren and Fleming were joining the Blazers.

Bjorkgren, who was the Pacers’ head coach for one season in 2020/21 and also has previous head coaching experience in the G League, was a Raptors assistant from 2018-20 and again from 2021-23 before the club parted ways with Nick Nurse a year ago. Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report noted earlier this month that Bjorkgren was attending some of the Blazers’ pre-draft workouts and speculated that he might join Billups’ staff.

Fleming, meanwhile, became a coaching free agent after the Bulls decided not to retain him beyond the 2023/24 season. He had spent the last five years as an assistant on Chicago’s staff, with previous stints on coaching staffs in Denver and Brooklyn. Like Bjorkgren, Fleming has some previous head coaching experience, though his came exclusively outside of the NBA — he coached Brose Bamberg in Germany from 2008-14 and the German national team from 2014-17.

The Blazers had been on the lookout for experienced assistants after deciding not to renew the contracts of Scott Brooks or Rodney Billups. They also lost Steve Hetzel, who left Portland for a job on Jordi Fernandez‘s new staff in Brooklyn.

There had been some speculation early in the spring that Chauncey Billups might not return as the Blazers’ head coach for 2024/25. That speculation has since died down, but it looks like Billups will have a revamped coaching staff to work with in the fall.

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