The Terry Stotts era as the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers has finally ended after nine seasons.
After a fourth first-round playoff exit in five seasons, the Portland Trail Blazers and coach Terry Stotts mutually agreed to part ways on Friday, sources told ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 5, 2021
The mutual separation should not be much of a surprise. There were numerous reports that Stotts would be fired if the team did not make a deep playoff run. A bad slump in April with a record of 5-10 was the beginning of the end along with the lack of playoff success.
Blazers’ executive Neil Olshey weighed in on the final decision via ESPN.
“I have the utmost respect for Terry and what he has accomplished these past nine seasons,” president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said in a statement. “This was a difficult decision on both a personal and professional level but it’s in the best interest of the franchise to move in another direction.
“Terry will always hold a special place in the Trail Blazer family and the Portland community. We relied on the integrity, professionalism and consistency he brought to the job every day and we wish he and Jan nothing but the best.”
Stotts finished as the second-winningest coach in franchise history behind the late Dr. Jack Ramsey with a record of 402-318. He has eight consecutive playoff appearances which currently stands as the longest streak in the League.
Yahoo! Sports, insider Chris Haynes reports that Damian Lillard will be consulted on the immediate coaching search and Jason Kidd is his preference.
“Jason Kidd is the guy I want,” Lillard told Yahoo Sports on Friday night.
Source: Damian Lillard to have major input on the next head coach. Stotts was the only coach he’s played for in his nine seasons in the league. After the way the season ended, it was time for a change. https://t.co/opzDtX7LP3— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 5, 2021
Early candidates include Chauncey Billups, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike D’Antoni and Juwan Howard.