|ESPN.com: NBA||[Print without images]|
"I've reached out to them," Porter said, one day after he was fired by the Bucks. "Obviously, with my history there, I would be very interested in trying to help them bring back the glory days."
And it appears that Porter's wishes will be granted. The Oregonian reported in Friday's editions that Blazers general manager John Nash expects the team "will make contact soon" with the Porter camp, but not until after next week's draft. The Blazers have the third overall pick.
"We are focusing on the draft exclusively now," Nash told the newspaper. "We will resume the coaching search on or about July 1."
It's believed that Portland is prepared to offer its vacancy to Phoenix Suns assistant Marc Iavaroni if it cannot lure Seattle's Nate McMillan away from the rival Sonics. McMillan will not be able to speak to other interested clubs -- like Portland and Detroit -- until after his Seattle contact expires June 30, and now it appears that Nash will consider Porter as well as his chances of landing McMillan before making a hire.
ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher reported on Wednesday's SportsCenter that the Blazers, according to sources, initially considered themselves too far along in the process to bring Porter in.
But Porter's popularity with Blazers fans would make him hard to overlook, even though he became available at the 11th hour.
"I don't know how far down the road they are," Porter said of the Blazers. "The lateness of the whole thing ... has thrown a wrench in things."
Porter was named coach of the Bucks in 2003. He led Milwaukee to a 41-41 record and a playoff appearance in 2003-2004. But the Bucks struggled to a 30-52 finish last season.
The Blazers fired coach Maurice Cheeks on March 2 and replaced him with interim coach Kevin Pritchard, the team's director of player personnel. The team went on to finish with a 27-55 record, tying their worst season of 1973-74.
Porter played 10 seasons with the Blazers, who drafted him 24th overall in 1985 out of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.