Should Terry Stotts have had another season with the Trail Blazers?

Terry Stotts, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Terry Stotts, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Did former Portland Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts get fired from the team a little too soon? Did he deserve at least another season as the head man on the bench? The answer to both of those questions is likely no, depending on who you ask.

The Blazers sent Stotts packing on June 4th of last year, after compiling a record of 402-318, making him the second-winningest coach in franchise history behind only Dr. Jack Ramsay and his 453 wins. Before Stotts, Portland had not been past the first round of the playoffs since the “Jail Blazers” and Mike Dunleavy era in 1999-2000.

Terry Stotts, Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers
Terry Stotts, Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Terry Stotts deserved better end with the Portland Trail Blazers

Under Stotts’s command, who took over for the 2012-2013 season, the Blazers made their return to the second round of the NBA playoffs by defeating the Houston Rockets 4-2 in 2014, featuring the iconic series-winning, buzzer-beating three by Damian Lillard. He took the Blazers to the Western Conference Finals in 2019 before getting swept by the Golden State Warriors. The last team to do so? The same Dunleavy team.

Stotts became the scapegoat for a team that failed to seriously contend for a championship thus far despite being helmed by a Top-75 All-Time player in Dame. Former General Manager Neil Olshey thought it easier to fire Stotts than to admit his own failings in building a roster capable of competing with the top teams in the league.

Nevertheless, Olshey was dishonorably discharged shortly after he fired Stotts. Perhaps Stotts would have been an even more successful coach had he been given a different general manager. He and Joe Cronin could have built a new team together in a vision outside of Olshey’s egotism.

Alas, now comes word that Stotts was interviewed and is a serious candidate to take over for the Los Angeles Lakers. It’d be a shame if he had to inherit an equally precarious roster, but it would be nice to see him back on the sidelines again — even if it’s in purple and gold.

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