Trail Blazers part ways with coach Terry Stotts; potential candidates for the next generation are emerging

Trail Blazers part ways with coach Terry Stotts;  potential candidates for the next generation are emerging

The Trail Blazers didn’t wait long for a change after a disappointing first lap outing.

Just one day away from a Game 6 loss to the Nuggets, Portland and coach Terry Stotts agreed to go their separate ways, the team announced on Friday evening. Stotts, 63, leaves the Trail Blazers with the second most coaching wins in franchise history (Record 402-318), behind only Jack Ramsay (453-367), who guided the team to its only NBA championship in 1977.

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“I have the utmost respect for Terry and what he has accomplished over the past nine seasons,” Neil Olshey, president of Portland basketball operations, said in the team statement. “It was a tough decision both personally and professionally, but it is in the franchise’s best interest to move in a different direction. Terry will always hold a special place in the Trail Blazer family and the Portland community.

“We have relied on the integrity, professionalism and consistency he brought to the job every day and we wish him and Jan nothing but the best.”

Portland has made the playoffs in eight of Stotts’ nine seasons, but has failed to come out of the first round on four of his last five playoff trips. The writing was on the wall for Stotts after the Trail Blazers failed to defeat a Nuggets team that entered the 2021 NBA playoffs without starters Jamal Murray and Will Barton and backup goaltender PJ Dozier .

Now the Trail Blazers are heading into a pivotal offseason in search of a coach who can lead the team to a deep playoff run. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that Portland has a few potential replacement candidates in mind: Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy, Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni and Michigan coach Juwan Howard.

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, whose four-year supermax extension will start next season, should have a “major contribution” on the next coach, by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.



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