Stotts out as Blazers' coach
The Portland Trail Blazers have parted ways with coach Terry Stotts.
The NBA team announced the decision Friday evening, June 4, framing it as a mutual decision.
The move is no surprise and comes a day after the Blazers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by a short-handed Denver Nuggets team.
Though a Blazers' press release described the decision as mutual, the statement included a comment from Neil Olshey, the club's president of basketball operations, calling the move a difficult decision.
"I have the utmost respect for Terry and what he has accomplished these past nine seasons," Olshey said in the press release. "This was a difficult decision on both a personal and professional level, but it's in the best interest of the franchise to move in another direction. Terry will always hold a special place in the Trail Blazer family and the Portland community. We relied on the integrity, professionalism and consistency he brought to the job every day and we wish he and Jan nothing but the best."
Blazers' owner Jody Allen thanked Stotts for his nine seasons guiding the franchise.
"I appreciate his steadfast dedication to the players, the game and the broader Portland community. We wish him the best in his future endeavors," Allen said.
Stotts, 63, has the second most wins in franchise history, behind only Jack Ramsey. Under Stotts, the Trail Blazers were 402-318 (.558) in the regular season.
His downfall was postseason. He guided Portland to the playoffs the past eight seasons, but won only three first-round series. Portland's playoff record under Stotts was 22-40. They reached the Western Conference finals in 2019 and were swept by the Warriors.
That playoff legacy is the one blemish on an otherwise successful run in Portland for Stotts. In addition to guiding the Blazers to the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons, Stotts ran a team that was consistently among the NBA's better offenses and was known for its strong team culture.
The fact that Olshey made the announcement (and will be addressing the media on Monday, June 7) indicates that his job remains safe.
An ESPN report lists Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, Nets assistant Mike D'Antoni, former Rockets and Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy and Michigan coach Juwan Howard as potential candidates to replace Stotts.
Chris Haynes of YahooSports on Friday reported that Damian Lillard said his preference is current Lakers' assistant coach Jason Kidd, a fellow Oakland native who has been head coach for the Nets and Bucks.
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