Stotts and the Blazers, it’s over

The elimination in the first round of the play-offs against Denver was one too many for Terry Stotts. The Blazers coach, in place since 2012, and the Oregon franchise decided to separate by mutual agreement on Friday. “I have the greatest respect for Terry and for what he has accomplished over the past nine seasons. It was a tough decision both personally and professionally, but it’s in the franchise’s best interests to move in another direction. Terry will always have a special place in the Blazers family and the Portland community. We have been able to count on his integrity, professionalism and consistency every day and we wish him the best. Franchise basketball operations president Neil Olshey wrote in a statement.

Eight play-off campaigns but only one Conference final for Stotts

Terry Stotts, who was having his third head coaching experience after Atlanta (2002-04) and Milwaukee (2005-07), managed to take the Blazers to the play-offs for eight consecutive seasons, but only crossed three times the first round: in 2014 before a Conference semi-final loss against San Antonio (future champion), in 2016 before a Conference semi-final loss against Golden State (future finalist) and in 2019, during the franchise’s first Conference Final in 19 years (loss to the Warriors). With 402 wins and 318 losses, the Iowa native (who played Roanne and Sceaux to end his playing career) is the Portland Trail Blazers’ second most successful coach, behind Jack Ramsay. According to the always well-informed Adrian Wojnarowski ofESPN, Chauncey Billups (44, assistant to the Clippers), Jeff Van Gundy (59, consultant on ESPN) and Mike D’Antoni (70, assistant with the Nets) would be the candidates to replace Terry Stotts. And Oregon franchise superstar Damian Lillard should have a say in the future coach.

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