Perhaps there is something about Terry Stotts that overrides his 115-168 record as an NBA head coach. Usually, such an underwhelming aggregate record would signal that being the head man is above his head. And yet, the Portland Trail Blazers chose Stotts to take over their team. It is a curious hire to say the least.
Being 43 games under .500 just does not inspire much optimism about his skill set. As an assistant, Stotts has been considered a gem. Even Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, Stotts’ boss for the last four seasons, recommended him for Trail Blazers job.
Stotts, 54, replaces Kaleb Canales, who went 8-15 in an interim role after Nate McMillan was fired.
Stotts and Canales emerged as the finalists for the permanent job, and the men reportedly interviewed with owner Paul Allen over the weekend at the London Olympics. Canales has been in the Trail Blazers organization since 2005. It is unclear if he will remain with the club.
“Terry is one of the elite offensive minds in the NBA, has extensive experience with multiple organizations and was instrumental in the Dallas Mavericks winning the 2011 NBA championship,” general manager Neil Olshey said. “He understands the vision for the future of the franchise, appreciates the process involved and will create an environment on the court that will produce championship habits.”
While the team may develop championship habits, it appears to be several seasons away from contending for championship banners.
The roster as constructed is interesting, yet unproven. LeMarcus Aldridge is their best player. The rest of the roster is replete with ordinary talent.
“I’m very pleased to be part of a great franchise in a beautiful city with such a proud history,” Stotts said in a news release. “I look forward to working hard with Neil and our players toward the ultimate goal of bringing another championship to Portland.”
Stotts coached Atlanta to a 52-85 record after replacing Lon Kruger in December 2002. He was an assistant with Golden State before getting his second chance as a head coach with Milwaukee in 2005. He led the Bucks to the playoffs in 2006, but was fired toward the end of the following season.
Hard to see how he will succeed in Portland.