Brian Wheeler

Dec 07

Terry Stotts: The Right Man At The Right Time For The Right Job

By Brian Wheeler Posted in: terrystotts

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Terry Stotts for almost 20 years now. I was working for the Sonics at the time, serving as their radio host, Terry was an assistant learning about the NBA from one of the brightest coaching minds the league has ever known, George Karl. The Stotts/Karl relationship blossomed over 10 years with both the Sonics and then the Bucks. Terry then got head coaching opportunities with Atlanta and Milwaukee, and by now you probably know he was a key member of Rick Carlisle’s staff in Dallas, and helped the Mavericks win a World Championship in 2011.

One of the great things about Terry is he’s the same guy to me today that he was when we first met in Seattle. Cordial, amicable, and a sharp clever wit that always keeps those around him on their toes.

I’ve often mentioned when talking about wins and losses in the NBA that it’s usually just as important to look at when a game is played as it is to look at the teams who are playing it. In other words, if one team is playing a fourth game in five nights and the other has had two days off, the latter team is going to have an advantage going in.

Using the same thought process, I think sometimes the ability for a head coach to be successful in the NBA is often predicated on him getting to the right team at the right timeand being provided with the proper resources that will enable him to take advantage of his opportunity. I’m pretty convinced the two earlier head coaching opportunities with Atlanta and Milwaukee were not good fits for Terry, so perhaps it wasn’t a surprise when neither ultimately panned out for him.

But now I think situation and opportunity are moving together at just the right time. I believe Terry Stotts is the perfect guy to help oversee the Trail Blazers return to prominence in the NBA. He’s very patient, something critical to a young team that wants to do well, but right now isn’t always sure how to go about doing that. Terry is a teacher, and I’ve seen that aspect of his coaching in play not only at games and at practices, but on plane and bus rides when we travel. In fact, he rarely misses a chance to share his wisdom with any of the players and you can tell they’re buying into what he’s selling. Check out a Trail Blazers timeout next time you’re at a home game. See how attentive everyone is when Terry steps in to talk or to draw up a play. Not every coach has his players’ undivided attention, but Terry has done enough to convince his team that they can continue to get better if they follow what he and the rest of his staff are teaching. Terry said in training camp back in October that his main goal for this season was to have a team that would be better in April than they would be in November. I think he’ll be able to look forward to that goal being fulfilled.  

Long term, Terry Stotts has found the fit that wasn’t quite there in his earlier head coaching stops. And the Trail Blazers organization has cast its lot with a guy who has a proven track record of success. So with the right man holding the right job, it won’t be long until it’s the right time for Terry Stotts to lead the Trail Blazers back into the group of the top teams in the NBA!

2 Comments

  1. Hey Brian,
    I agree about the right man. I like the progress so far. Lots of work to be done yet. The future looks good. Patience now, joy ahead.

    by the golden ladder on 12/7/2012 10:34 AM
  2. Hey this is great:
    IMO, we are better already in Dec then we was in Nov. We are batting .500 LOL, so by April we should be offensive and defensive juggernauts
    Seriously, I can almost see an improvement from game to game. Although some of the players goes through droughts, you can almost see more consistency from game to game. And While I am on that subject, there was a couple of plays at least in the Indy game that the ball was zipping around so fast the Pacers didn't have time to scramble, and we ended up with great shots.

    I love the excitement the Blazers bring and we are getting better almost daily.

    by Hg on 12/7/2012 10:54 AM
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