The head coach position in Portland next season will belong to either Kaleb Canales (who took over for the fired Nate McMillan last year) or Terry Stotts (currently the top assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks). Reports the Oregonian: “Stotts, 54, is the former head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks, where he compiled a combined 115-168 record. He has never had a winning season, but did advance the Bucks to the 2006 NBA playoffs, where they lost in the first round. He has been the top assistant in Dallas since 2008, and head coach Rick Carlisle credited Stotts’ offensive innovation in helping the Mavericks win the 2011 NBA title. Canales, 34, is the former video intern hired by the Blazers in 2004 whose ascension has included stops as video coordinator, assistant coach and interim head coach for last season’s final 23 games after Nate McMillan was fired. He went 8-15 with the Blazers and was overwhelmingly supported by the players after the season to be the next head coach. When GM Neil Olshey was hired in June, he also gave a strong endorsement, saying Canales had ‘set the bar high’ for other candidates to clear. Olshey interviewed more than 10 candidates for the position, then interviewed four finalists in Portland on Monday and Tuesday. Joining the interviews in Portland were Bert Kolde, the head of the Blazers’ board of directors, and Sarah Mensah, the team’s chief operating officer who is head of the Blazers’ business operations while the organization conducts a search for a president to replace Larry Miller, who resigned in July. Owner Paul Allen is attending the Olympics in London and it is unclear if and when he will interview one or both of the candidates.”
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