Wesley Matthews, like so many others, was surprised when the Portland Trail Blazers hired Terry Stotts as their new head coach. For months, it was rumored interim coach Kaleb Canales would get the permanent nod. Matthews had developed a rapport with Canales, and lobbied for him to get the job. But even though Stott’s hiring seemingly came out of the blue, Matthews’ excitement for the upcoming season hasn’t waned at all. Per OregonLive.com: “‘Initially, I was a little shocked,’ Matthews said. ‘I thought Kaleb was definitely going to get that job. But after talking to Neil and hearing his reasons, I’m excited. Coach Stotts brings championship experience and I think that’s huge. That’s somewhere we see ourselves in the near-near future.’ Matthews’ sentiment was almost identical to that of his teammates. As news spread from player to player that Olshey had finally ended his extensive coaching search and settled on Stotts, surprise transformed to acceptance before transforming to excitement. ‘He basically had the same reaction as me — shocked,’ Matthews said of Aldridge’s reaction to Stotts’ hiring. ‘But we’re both on board and excited to get this thing rolling. We’ve got a GM in place, got a coach in place and we still have Kaleb on board with the team and organization. We’re ready to get this going.’ There’s little doubt that retaining Canales will buy Stotts some goodwill with the players, almost all of whom have openly endorsed Canales. Matthews called it ‘the best of both worlds for everybody.’”
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