One day after seeing their season end in the first round for the fourth time in the last five years, the Trail Blazers have begun a search for their next head coach. However, Jason Kidd will no longer be on that shortlist.
The Lakers assistant took himself out of the running for the job on Sunday despite Damian Lillard telling Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that Kidd was his top choice.
"Portland's a first-class organization and will have great candidates for its head coaching job, but I've decided not to be one of them," Kidd told ESPN. "Whoever they choose will have big shoes to fill from Terry [Stotts]."
Portland and Stotts agreed to part ways on Friday in a move first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and confirmed by the team. Stotts had just completed his ninth season with the franchise, making the playoffs eight times.
As the Blazers look for new leadership, Lillard is expected to have significant input in helping to choose a replacement for Stotts, according to Haynes. Lillard posted a seemingly cryptic Instagram post after Portland's Game 6 loss, hinting at potential dissatisfaction with the caption, "How long should I stay dedicated?"
The Blazers have reportedly already zeroed in on other potential candidates. Per Wojnarowski, the list includes: Jeff Van Gundy, Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni, Michigan’s head coach Juwan Howard and Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups.
Stotts leaves as the second-winningest coach in franchise history, though he seldom was able to translate regular season success into deep postseason runs. Portland advanced to the conference finals in 2019 but was swept by the Warriors. The team won four of its 12 playoff series under Stotts, but only had home-court advantage for three of them.
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