Terry Stotts Rumors
Nazr Mohammed: I have a vivid memory of something that Coach Terry Stotts (now Head Coach with the Blazers) told me when he was my assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks. And it’s something that makes a lot more sense to me now than it did back then! One night before a game he said, “Nazr, just give me your ‘B’ game today. I don’t need your ‘A’ game.” At first I thought he was crazy, but it’s funny because now I understand what he meant. As a young player, I was out there trying to show off all my moves and put on a low post tutorial during games lol. But that’s not what my team needed from me. Coach needed me to rebound, challenge shots, run the floor, set screens, play good individual/team defense and finish plays. He needed me to do a lot of the things that wouldn’t show up in a stat sheet or a highlight reel. You always have to give your ‘A+’ effort in terms of preparation and doing your best, but most importantly, you have to give what the team needs. Some people may get their opportunity earlier to show what they can do, but if you’re a player on a good team, you’re probably going to have to sacrifice your playing time, shot attempts or style of play in order to be part of a winning environment.
Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts first met Saunders when the two work in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) more than two decades ago. Stotts was an assistant coach with the Albany Patroons and Fort Wayne Fury in the early 1990s when Saunders was the head coach of the La Crosse Catbirds. “Flip and I go back to CBA days 25 years ago,” Stotts said. “He was a terrific coach, terrific person and the NBA is going to miss him.” Saunders coached in the college and CBA before becoming an NBA head coach in 1995. He went 654-592 in 17 NBA seasons with the Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards.
The disagreement between Terry Stotts and Doc Rivers apparently stemmed from players on each bench standing up and celebrating on the bench, which the league is evidently cracking down on this season. “Their bench was standing up the whole fourth quarter,” said Stotts. “We’ve been getting memos about keeping the bench down and I thought they were on the court at times. It was a situation that hopefully doesn’t happen again.” “I have a lot of respect for Terry,” said Rivers. “I just don’t think you talk to the other teams’ players, and that’s what I told him.”
“It meant a lot. I almost went over there and patted (Stotts) on the back at the end of the game to let him know, we with you,” said Damian Lillard. “That’s what it is. That just shows how invested he is into this team, how passionate he is about all the time we’ve spent together so far, the camaraderie that we’ve grown together, not just with the team but with our coaches also. He was in the trenches with us. It’s a preseason game, and it’s coming down to the wire and he’s with us. That was him showing that he was with us, so it was good to see it.”
The training camp battle between Tim Frazier and Phil Pressey is expected to go down to the wire. But after more than two weeks of training camp and four exhibition games, it seems as if Frazier has distanced himself in the race to be the Trail Blazers’ third-string point guard. Not that anyone affiliated with the Blazers would say so. “I think they’re both doing a good job of competing,” coach Terry Stotts said Friday after his team’s practice. “We’ll make a decision next week.”
“I am excited to add Jim to our coaching staff,” Stotts said in a release from the team. “He is a young coach with a bright future. He has a terrific work ethic coupled with a refreshing personality. He has already demonstrated a unique ability to work with our players and he will add a new perspective for us.”