Trail Blazers, Terry Stotts parting ways after 9 seasons

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Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard shoots a 3-pointer Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic during the second half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, June 3, 2021, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

PORTLAND, Ore. – No team in the NBA has a longer active streak of postseason appearances than the Portland Trail Blazers, who have gotten there in each of the last eight seasons.

That wasn’t enough to save Terry Stotts, and Portland will have a new coach next season.

The Trail Blazers and Stotts parted ways Friday, ending a nine-year run that saw the team good enough to get to the playoffs — but not good enough to get past the first round in four of the last five seasons.

“I have the utmost respect for Terry and what he has accomplished these past nine seasons,” Blazers President Neil Olshey said. “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.”

It was being termed as a mutual decision. The move was made one day after Portland’s season ended with a six-game, first-round ouster at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, a defeat that had Blazers guard Damian Lillard taking to social media after the game to indicate his frustration.

“Just like at the end of every year, we are all evaluated,” Stotts said after the season finale against Denver and as speculation about his status immediately started to grow. “We will see what happens.”

It didn't take long to get an answer.