Blazers Choose Stotts, Not Canales, as New Head Coach
Stotts, after his time with the Hawks and Bucks, has spent the past four NBA seasons as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks. Stotts will take over for Kaleb Canales (8-15) who replaced form coach Nate McMillan who was fired mid-season.
“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 sent out by the Blazers’ organization. “I look forward to working hard with Neil and our players toward the ultimate goal of bringing another championship to Portland.”
The job came down to Stotts and Canales, and it appears that Olhey and owner Paul Allen were interested in rebuilding from the top up. Mavericks’ head coach Rick Carlisle greatly praised Stotts to the Oregonian saying, “Of all the coaches presently in play, Terry is by far the best available. He’s a professional and understands the process of NBA coaching and how to communicate and teach young players.”
But the praise didn’t stop there. Carlisle emphatically repeated his belief that Stotts will be the perfect candidate for the Blazers’ organization.
“I had two others jobs prior to going to Dallas,” Carlisle said last month. “There are a lot of inexperienced coaches who might lose four or five early games and get paralyzed. Terry wouldn’t blink. It pains me to say this, but I think he’s 100-percent the right coach for Portland.
“My biggest concern then would be how do I replace him?”
Stotts inherits a Blazers’ team led by PF LaMarcus Aldridge and inconsistencies across the rest of the lineup. Portland has what appears to be a budding young star in Damian Lillard, but his potential is still yet to be determined. Also, the Blazer’s second-best player (Nicolas Batum) made it quite clear this summer that he would rather be with Minnesota.
Portland is a franchise in rebuilding, but they fortunately have an owner in Allen with the pocketbook to turn the team around. It all starts with the development of Lillard. If he can develop into a premiere PG, the Blazers will have one of the strongest “big man/little man” combos in all of the NBA. Portland’s front office believes that Stotts can do just that.
“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,” said general manager Neil Olshey. “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 hiring of Stotts isn’t all that shocking, what is surprising is Canales’ decision to remaining with the Blazers’ organization (according to reports from CSNNW). No one would blame him for wanting to take his talents elsewhere. After all, how awkward will meetings between him and Stotts be?
This hire certainly means something, as to what that “something” is will be discovered later. For now, Blazers fans will have to sit back and wait for the season to start.