Terry Stotts hopes Trail Blazers fans “keep Portland weird” as he departs after nine years on the sidelines.
The Trail Blazers have made the playoffs eight consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in the NBA. But that unparalleled track record of annual competence wasn’t enough for Terry Stotts to keep his job, not after Portland fell in the first round for the fourth time in five seasons.
Maybe parting ways with a coach who’s led a team to its most sustained level of success in franchise history is unfair. You wouldn’t know it by the grace Stotts has shown on his way out of Rip City.
In an open letter team personnel, fans and the city of Portland at large, Stotts expressed undying gratitude for the “incredible ride” of being the Blazers’ coach for the last nine years.
In 2012, when I was hired as the Trail Blazers’ Head Coach, I could not have imagined the incredible ride this coaching journey would take. The extraordinary opportunity to be the Head Coach of the Blazers for the last nine years has been such an honor and privilege. It certainly has been far more than a “good thing”, and now it has come to an end.
Stotts saved special thanks for Damian Lillard, who showed him similar love and appreciation in an Instagram post on Saturday.
Obviously, a special thank you must go to the Damian Lillard. These last nine years would not have been possible for me if it were not for the talent, leadership, and trust of Damian Lillard, a true MVP. I am immensely proud of the culture Neil, Damian and I created with the Blazers.
Stotts, a 27-year coaching veteran, is Portland’s second all-time winningest coach behind Hall-of-Famer Dr. Jack Ramsay. He took the reins with the Blazers in 2012-13, finishing his career with an overall regular-season record of 402-318 (.558)
Though he’s reportedly already being considered for the Orlando Magic’s coaching vacancy and could also garner interest from the Indiana Pacers should they make a coaching change, Stotts’ home will still be in Portland.
Being the Head Coach of the Trail Blazers has been a life changing experience. There have been so many special memories that my wife, Jan, and I will always cherish; memories involving wonderful people and lasting friendships. We thoroughly enjoy living in Portland and all that Oregon has to offer. We are proud to call Portland home.
Stotts final message to Rip City? “Keep Portland Weird.”