After nine seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers and eight playoff appearances, Terry Stotts is out as head coach. Stotts and the Blazers have mutually agreed to part ways, the team announced in a statement late Friday.
The move comes one day after the Blazers, who were 42-30 this season and the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference, were eliminated from the playoffs by the Denver Nuggets in six games in the first round.
“I have the utmost respect for Terry and what he has accomplished these past nine seasons,” president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said in the statement. “This was a difficult decision on both a personal and professional level but it’s in the best interest of the franchise to move in another direction. Terry will always hold a special place in the Trail Blazer family and the Portland community. We relied on the integrity, professionalism and consistency he brought to the job every day and we wish he and Jan nothing but the best.”
Stotts was 402-318 with the Blazers and 22-40 in the playoffs. The Blazers made it to the conference finals once and the conference semifinals twice. Portland also lost in the first round five times, including four of the last five years.
Stotts often made the most of his roster in the regular season but had trouble breaking through in the playoffs in a deep Western Conference. Nine seasons with one team is a lifetime in the NBA, and the Blazers’ front-office is searching for improvement while star guard Damian Lillard is still in his prime.
“We are all grateful for Terry’s contributions and his nine years with the Trail Blazers,” said Blazers chair Jody Allen. “I appreciate his steadfast dedication to the players, the game, and the broader Portland community. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Stotts had one year remaining on his contract. He had the second-most wins behind Jack Ramsay and the fourth-highest winning percentage in franchise history.
Lillard reacted to the news later Friday on Twitter: “100 percent … I will miss him.”