Portland Trail Blazers Hire Terry Stotts: At Least It's Somebody
"At least it's somebody" is generally how I feel when anybody is put in charge of anything within the Blazers or Clippers organizations. Both franchises are wanting to trudge along with power vacuums in tow.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski's sources, Portland has a new somebody:
The Portland Trail Blazers have hired Dallas assistant Terry Stotts as head coach, the team says in a statement.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 7, 2012
While Terry Stotts does not boast an inspired reign as NBA head coach between 1997 and 2004, he at least spent time working for the Mavericks, one of the better coached teams in the league.
After fashioning a creaky Dallas roster into a 2011 Finals winner, Rick Carlisle became known as the game's preeminent active coach. Mark Cuban has since gushed about his team's penchant for preparation, even when ripping Skip Bayless down to wood chips.
So in a way, Stotts is a mix of experience and coaching tree pedigree. He knows what it's like to run a team, and he's worked under a well respected white-board savant.
The move is intriguing because the Blazers may have considered interim coach Kaleb Canales, an ambitious 34-year old who—much like Erik Spoelstra—once worked as a video coordinator. The new-look Blazers could have entered into the season with a rookie point guard in Damian Lillard, a new general manager in Neil Olshey and a new head coach.
Olshey (or Portland owner Paul Allen) elected to go the more conservative route, and you can speculate for a minute as to why it happened. It would seem that Neil lost a power struggle to Vinny Del Negro in Los Angeles, so one wonders if Stotts was chosen because he's not so politically threatening.
Again, this is mere speculation. Hires are made for a variety of reasons, unless you're Donald Sterling, in which case the overriding concern is usually, "He costs less."
Paul Allen has never been one to skimp, so Olshey's restrictions are different than the ones he faced in L.A.. Allen's rep is more as someone who over-involves himself in his team plans.
Even if this move has Allen's imprint, it has precedent for working. Last year, the Toronto Raptors hired ex-Mavs assistant Dwyane Casey. The Raps may not have made the playoffs, but they went from being last in defensive efficiency in 2011 to No. 12 in 2012. They're also a hot playoff pick for next year among the savvy.
After much turmoil in the ranks, the Blazers are settling down. We went long into the offseason, but they finally have a GM and a coach. We'll see how long that holds.
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