Damian Lillard Threw His Full Support Behind Embattled Blazers Coach Terry Stotts

Getty Image

In a somewhat surprising development, The Oregonian reported last month that billionaire Blazers owner Paul Allen had organized some sort of investigatory probe to try and pinpoint the source of the team’s issues, with head coach Terry Stotts and GM Neil Olshey quickly emerging as its central targets.

Despite boasting one of the most expensive rosters around the league, the Blazers have been mostly treading water the past few seasons, performing just well enough to qualify for the postseason only to be promptly ousted by a superior Western Conference contender.

Clearly not content to carry on with this charade, Allen is exploring all of his options. But if superstar point guard Damian Lillard has his say, it won’t be Stotts who’s on the hot seat.

Via Jason Quick of NBC Sports Northwest:

On Friday, after the Blazers’ victory over the Hawks, Lillard said the players all hear criticism of Stotts, and just like in November, he says it is unwarranted. The players, he says, are 100 percent behind Stotts.

“And I think it’s unanimous for a reason,’’ Lillard said. “Like I always say: we play for a great person, and whatever struggles that we have, it’s not his fault. I will tell you that: it’s not his fault.’’

Stotts has always been a popular figure among his players, making the most of the roster he’s been given. The roster itself, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely.

Olshey has been unable to land any marquee free agents during his tenure with the organization, and the front office has long operated under tacit understanding that Portland is simply too small of a market to attract superstar players.

Still, Olshey has made several costly missteps along the way, like overpaying Allen Crabbe, Evan Turner, and Meyers Leonard in an effort to compensate for largely disappointing offseasons. If Allen is looking to shake things up, Olshey seems like he would fit the description of a fall guy better than Stotts.

(Via NBC Sports Northwest)