Terry Sttots Rumors
And there would be no quibbling if Olshey wanted to do it behind closed doors. But judging from Stotts’ unease, it is clear Olshey hasn’t afforded him that courtesy. I asked Stotts on Wednesday night if he has been given that assurance that his future is secure in Portland. Stotts, as he is wont to do lately, was curt. “I don’t think I have to answer that,’’ he said.
Soon, Stotts will have plenty of kids with which to work. The Blazers will be one of the youngest teams in the league during the 2012-13 season, and he will be expected to nurture them into a productive unit at some point not too far into the future. It will require some patience by owner Paul Allen and new general manager Neil Olshey. “I don’t know if patience is the right word,” says Stotts, 54, who served as chief assistant to Rick Carlisle in Dallas the past four years, helping the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA title. “We’re going to come out and compete. That’s what people want to see. We’re going to play hard and develop young talent. That’s going to be a priority with our roster. “But I’ll say this: When you have players like LaMarcus (Aldridge) and Nicolas (Batum) and J.J. Hickson and Wes Matthews, and an excellent young point guard in Damian Lillard, that’s a solid core that is going to put you in position to win games. We are going to compete to try to make the playoffs.”
Stotts isn’t the same man who took over the Hawks in 2002. “There’s no question I’m a different coach,” he says. “I’ve learned some things being a head coach. The biggest thing is my last four years with Rick. I’d been with George for so long. He’s a fantastic coach, a Hall of Fame coach, but being with Rick gave me a different perspective. It broadened my view of how to approach the game, how to approach players. “I’m older now. I’ve done a lot. l’ve seen a lot. I’ve learned a lot. Communicating with players is so vital in this league. I’ve changed my approach about that. I’m more comfortable as far as who I am and what kind of coach I am and what needs to be done after the experience with Rick and winning a championship. I’ve done a lot the last 10 years. I’ve grown in a lot of different ways.”