Unsurprisingly, the romance between Terry Stotts and the Blazers is officially over. ESPN tells us that the 63-year-old coach has reached an agreement with Portland executives to leave his post. Nine years after joining the bench of the Oregon franchise and the day after an elimination (2-4) against the Nuggets.
A small earthquake in « Rip City », as Terry Stotts (who had two years of contract left, including a guaranteed year) was part of the walls at the Blazers. Damian Lillard, for example, has not known any other coach since his Draft! But both sides were undoubtedly at the end of the cycle, especially since rumors about it had already emerged during the season.
Landed in the summer of 2012, Terry Stotts has since established himself as the second most successful coach in the franchise in the regular season (402 wins in 720 games, or 55.8% success) and the third most victorious in the playoffs (22 victories in 62 matches, or 35.5% of success).
» I have deep respect for what Terry has accomplished [Stotts] over the past nine seasons GM Neil Olshey said in a statement. » It was a tough decision to make, both personally and professionally, but going in a different direction is in the franchise’s best interests. «
Five names come back to succeed him
Leading, above all, Portland to eight qualifications in the playoffs, in nine seasons: from 2014 to 2021. These eight consecutive qualifications also represent the longest series currently underway in the NBA. Only downside: the Blazers have crossed the obstacle of the first round only three times since the arrival on their bench of Terry Stotts: in 2014 (conference semi-final), in 2016 (conference semi-final) and in 2019 (conference final).
» Terry [Stotts] will always hold a special place in the Blazers family and the Portland community », Continues Neil Olshey, in the same press release. » We will not forget the honesty, professionalism and consistency that he brought to us in his daily work. We wish nothing but the best, on Jan [sa femme, ndlr] and him. «
With this decision, the Oregon franchise seems to be starting a new chapter in its history for good. Because the departure of Terry Stotts may well announce the start of a particularly turbulent summer for Portland, which will first have to find the identity of his new coach, before proceeding with any transfers.
And to succeed Terry Stotts, the names of Chauncey Billups (assistant with the Clippers), Mike D’Antoni (assistant with the Nets), Juwan Howard (coach of the University of Michigan, recently distinguished in the NCAA) and Jeff Van Gundy (former coach of the Knicks and Rockets) are already returning to the table. Four names to which must be added that of Jason Kidd, assistant to the Lakers, and who would be Lillard’s darling …
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