LeBron James has a lot of respect for the job Terry Stotts did with the Portland Trailblazers this year. To recap: the Blazers lost just about everyone this offseason. It wasn't just LaMarcus Aldridge. They also lost Wesley Matthews (remember the Rain Brothers?), Robin Lopez, and Nicolas Batum. Damian Lillard was the only returning starter.
The Blazers didn't get worse. Somehow, they made it even further this year, with their season ending last night after a hard-fought five-game series vs. the Warriors.
"I think Terry Stotts should have been or could have been Coach of the Year," LeBron said, according to Cleveland.com. "I can’t remember the last time that I’ve seen a team lose four starters and still be in the same position as far as the postseason success they had."
Yes, that means LeBron thinks Stott deserved the award over the recipient, the Warriors' Steve Kerr. Before you attribute this to LeBron's jealousy toward the Warriors, consider his point. Stotts did a remarkable job with Portland this season. Kerr was the head coach of the best regular-season team in NBA history, but they won the championship last year, and he missed the first 43 games of this season.
There's no debating Kerr was a deserving candidate, but so was Stotts. Stotts finished second in voting. If Kerr won the award last year instead of Atlanta's Mike Budenholzer, it's possible Stotts would have received this year's recognition.
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