Terry Stotts was the first domino to fall within the Portland Trail Blazers organization after what was yet another disappointing campaign for them. The organization announced on Friday that they had decided to part ways with the 63-year-old after being at the helm for nine memorable years.
There is clearly no bad blood between Stotts and the Blazers organization. Their divorce appears to be a mutual decision — one that was forged with the betterment of the franchise in mind. Stotts recently penned an emotional farewell letter for the Blazers, which also highlighted the type of relationship he had formed with team superstar Damian Lillard.
Stotts started off his letter with a quote (h/t NBA.com):
“All good things must come to an end”. An English Poet
In 2012, when I was hired as the Trail Blazers’ Head Coach, I could not have imagined the incredible ride this coaching journey would take. The extraordinary opportunity to be the Head Coach of the Blazers for the last nine years has been such an honor and privilege. It certainly has been far more than a “good thing”, and now it has come to an end.
The veteran head coach then went on to single out Lillard in his letter:
Obviously, a special thank you must go to the Damian Lillard. These last nine years would not have been possible for me if it were not for the talent, leadership, and trust of Damian Lillard, a true MVP. I am immensely proud of the culture Neil, Damian and I created with the Blazers.
There are few more passionate fans than that of the people of Portland, and Stotts showed his appreciation for them:
THANK YOU RIP CITY fans! You are incredibly special and unique. The passion and love you have for your Blazers are second to none. Every season, your support and overwhelming enthusiasm made Moda Center the most difficult arena for opponents and the best home court advantage in the NBA. I know of no more loyal fans than those of Blazer Nation. I cherished it and never took it for granted.
Stotts then ended his letter by expressing how he will always cherish the memories he was able to build during his time with the Blazers:
Being the Head Coach of the Trail Blazers has been a life changing experience. There have been so many special memories that my wife, Jan, and I will always cherish; memories involving wonderful people and lasting friendships. We thoroughly enjoy living in Portland and all that Oregon has to offer. We are proud to call Portland home.
Thank you RIP CITY. Stay safe and be well
The good times and memories will last forever.
Keep Portland Weird.
Terry and Jan Stotts
Farewell, coach. It was an awesome ride. Thank you for all that you brought to the city of Portland and the Blazers organization for the past nine years. You will be missed.