Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Terry Stotts will step down, just four months after returning to the team, a league source said. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Bucks hired Stotts as an assistant in June, marking his return to the franchise after serving as head coach for parts of two seasons from 2005-2007 and as an assistant coach from 1998-2002.
- Prior to his hiring this summer, Stotts spent two years away from coaching after leading the Portland Trail Blazers for nine seasons (2012-21).
- Stotts recently reunited with Damian Lillard, who was coaching him in Portland when Milwaukee acquired Lillard in a trade last month.
What is Stotts’ role with the Bucks?
After missing coaching for two seasons, Stotts, 65, joined the Bucks’ coaching staff at the beginning of Adrian Griffin’s tenure in Milwaukee to help run the offense. Stotts’ offensive experience was a useful contrast to Griffin’s defensive focus as a coach, but the hiring ended up being even more beneficial when the team traded for Lillard, the superstar whom Stotts coached for nine seasons in Portland.
In recent weeks, Lillard has discussed how the transition to Milwaukee was easier for him because many of the sets they were running with the Bucks were things he was already running in Portland with his former coach. Lillard has also been helping his new teammates understand some concepts better. — Eric Nehm, PAX writer
How will this affect Lillard?
I don’t expect this to have a major long-term impact on Lillard’s adjustment to the Bucks, but in the short term, Stotts’ departure will likely cause Lillard to lose comfort. The two view offense similarly — players become better when they are trusted to make decisions quickly, and when the bots of fixed movements are replaced by flow. It would likely be a luxury for Lillard to have Stotts lean on him in the early weeks.
However, in the big picture, we’re still talking about an offense with two of the top 75 players of all time — Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo — and the duo will figure out how to run the pick-and-roll regardless of the assistant. On the bench. — Jason Quick, Trail Blazers writer
What did the Bucks say about him?
In a recent press conference, Lillard said his teammates often ask him questions about the offense since he previously played for Stotts.
Lillard said The athlete How familiarity with Stotts’ offense helped him move to Milwaukee.
“It’s all familiar. That’s a positive. … When we get into a new situation and the staff is new as well and because I’m as familiar with Terry as I am, I understand a lot of what he wants to achieve with the sets he wants to run. I’m getting to know the sets themselves, so I’m familiar with How to make plays and put guys in a position to do what they need to do and also where I can find myself within that, so it’s been smooth, actually.
At the time of Stotts’ appointment, Griffin said Stotts would be “the person I count on.”
“Getting a guy like Terry is a home run. He brings incredible experience. And yes, he’s a mastermind on the offensive side, but he’s very knowledgeable. He brings a wealth of experience. He’s coached elite players in Lillard and C.J. McCollum, so I don’t see him as just an offensive coach. He’s going to be someone I can count on.”
Stotts’ assistant coaching experience includes stints with Seattle (1993-98), Atlanta (2002), Golden State (2004-05), Dallas (2008-12) and Milwaukee. He was also the coach of the Atlanta Hawks from 2002 to 2004.
During his time in Portland, Stotts led the Blazers to eight straight postseason berths, including the team’s first trip to the Western Conference Finals in 19 years in 2019 and a 402-318 regular season record. He holds a career coaching record of 517-486 in the regular season.
(Photo: Troy Wairinen/USA Today)
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