Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.




TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - STOTTSNotes, quotes and observations about our sporting world …

Terry Stotts’ three-year contract extension with the Trail Blazers, which begins after next season, calls for him to make an average of more than $5 million per season over those three years — though the Blazers hold an option on the last season (2019-20).

Portland exercised its option for the 2016-17 campaign, which will pay Stotts about $3.5 million. For the three guaranteed years of the deal, Stotts will reap a total package of roughly $13.5 million, or an average of about $4.5 million.

How do the terms of Stotts’ extension compare with other NBA head coaches?

What matters is how they compare with those coaches being hired or re-hired this spring. And judging by comparables, the Blazers got a good deal.

One other coach — Utah’s Quin Snyder — was re-upped. The Jazz picked up the final year of Snyder’s current deal, then added four years (not sure if the final year is guaranteed) at an average about $5 million per season. Snyder was making about $2 million for next season, so the total four-year package would be in the $17-million range.

And Earl Watson, who took over as interim head coach with Phoenix in February after the firing of Jeff Hornacek, was given a three-year contract after the season at close to $8 million.

Eleven coaches were let go after the regular season, and as of Thursday, nine of those positions have been filled. The reported terms:

Tom Thibodeau, Minnesota: Five years, $40 million, though in a dual role as president/basketball operation and coach, with Scott Layden as general manager.

Scotty Brooks, Washington: Five years, $35 million.

Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers: Five years, $25 million.

Dave Joerger, Sacramento: Three years, $12 million, plus a team option for a fourth year.

Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn: Four years, $10 million.

Terms have not yet been revealed for Nate McMillan in Indiana, Hornacek in New York and Frank Vogel in Orlando.

Houston and Memphis are still looking to fill their vacancies.

Was very surprised Jay Triano chose to leave the Blazers for an associate head coach position — really, just a lead assistant, as he was with Portland — under Earl Watson in Phoenix. I’m guessing a significant pay raise, plus the chance to live in the kind of climate Phoenix provides, were enough to sway him to leave Stotts’ staff after four seasons.

Triano, 57, will be a great sounding board for Watson, 36, who spent the 2013-14 season — his final one as a player — with the Blazers. Triano is former head coach of the Toronto Raptors and is head coach of the Canadian national team that is attempting to qualify for the Olympics.

• Another coup for Portland golf promoter Jeff Sanders, who serves as executive vice president for Lagardere Sports. Lagardere has been named the management consultant firm for CareerBuilder Challenge — formerly the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic — at LaQuinta, California.

It’s the second PGA Tour event for Sanders and Lagardere, who have signed a five-year deal to stage the Safeway Open (formerly Open) at Napa, California, in October.

That’s in addition to playing host to a pair of Tour tournaments, including the WinCo Foods Open at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in late August.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity,” says Sanders, the former Sunset High and Oregon golfer who also played professionally. “Some members of my staff will be assuming roles on the CareerBuilder event management team. We’ll implement some ideas we use in putting our other tournaments.”

Sanders will work with PGA Tour star Phil Mickelson, who will replace former President Bill Clinton as ambassador host of the LaQuinta tourney.

“Jeff is a high-energy producer with a tremendous track record,” Mickelson said in a press release. “I know he’ll execute his great plans for the event that has meant so much to me over the years.”

Freeman Williams turned 60 on Monday, which may seem hard to believe for local old-timers who remember him filling the hoops at Portland State in the late 1970s.

Williams left an unforgettable impression on the state’s sporting landscape, averaging 30.7 points in 106 career games for the Vikings under Ken Edwards from 1974-78. The graduate of Los Angeles’ Emanual Arts High still ranks second on the all-time NCAA Division I scoring list behind the legendary “Pistol Pete” Maravich, who scored 3,667 points for Louisiana State from 1967-70. Williams’ No. 20 is retired; he is the only PSU basketball player to have that distinction.

Williams led the nation in scoring as a junior, averaging 38.8 points in 1976-77, and repeated as a senior with a 35.9-point average. That was done without the 3-point shot, which came into effect in the 1986-87 season and would have added several points per game to his scoring total.

The 6-4 guard scored 81 points against Rocky Mountain College as a senior. Only two Division-I players have ever scored more in a game — Furman’s Frank Selvy (100) in 1965 and Villanova’s Paul Arizin (85) in 1949. Williams is the only player to have scored 66 or more in three games as a collegian.

Williams’ NBA career, however, lasted only through parts of six seasons. He averaged 18.6 points in his second season with the San Diego Clippers in 1979-80 and improved that to 19.3 points the next season with the Clippers. But he was traded midway through the 1981-82 season to Atlanta, which shipped him to Utah after the season with John Drew in a trade for Dominique Wilkins. After 18 games with the Jazz, Williams was waived. He played only nine more NBA games — with the Washington Bullets — in the 1985-86 campaign.

After Williams’ pro career ended, he struggled with his lifestyle and substance abuse.

“I was going through depression,” Williams says. “Cocaine. Marijuana. I was drinking. Went through treatment a couple of times. But treatment can’t get you off of drugs. The person has to do that.”

After attending the John Lucas clinic in Houston, Williams finally got his life in order. He served as an assistant coach at his prep alma mater for several seasons in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

“Right now, I’m just retired, sitting back, living in Los Angeles,” says Williams, who says he has been sober for almost two years. He lives off his NBA pension.

“What I’d really like to be doing is coaching high school kids coming up,” says Williams, who has three daughters and two grandsons. “Kind of a tough time for me, but I’ve got to keep on going.”

Three former Winterhawks remain active in the NHL playoffs, though only one is seeing action on the ice.

Tampa Bay’s veteran defenseman Braydon Coburn, 30, is playing a regular role for the Lightning as they battle Pittsburgh for the Eastern Conference title. In his 11th NHL season, Coburn had one goal and nine assists in the regular season and has played in each of Tampa’s 13 playoff games, registering two assists.

Defenseman Derrick Pouliot had seven assists in 22 regular-season games for Pittsburgh but has appeared in only two games in the playoffs.

Right wing Ty Rattie scored two goals in 13 regular-season games but has yet to play in the postseason for St. Louis, facing San Jose for the Western Conference crown.

Beaverton’s Herb Brown will be inducted into the Stony Brook (New York) University athletic hall of fame in October. The former Trail Blazers assistant coach was head coach of the Seawolves from 1964-69 and later had a long coaching career in the NBA, including a stint as head coach of the Detroit Pistons.

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