After a disappointing fourth first-round exit in five seasons, the Portland Trail Blazers and Terry Stotts have agreed to mutually part ways, first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Now, as the franchise begins its search to replace the second-winningest coach in franchise history, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports says Damian Lillard will have a sigificant say in who the Blazers hire.
Lillard and Stotts both joined the Trail Blazers in the summer of 2012.
During his time with the Blazers, Stotts held a 402-318 overall regular season record while leading Portland to three Western Conference Semifinals and one West Finals matchup. However, after failing to defeat a Denver Nuggets team missing three of its best seven players, it was time for a change in Rip City. Stotts was 22-40 in the playoffs.
After the season-ending loss, Lillard spoke out about the franchise not being in a sufficient position to contend for a championship.
"We didn’t win a championship, so obviously where we are now isn’t good enough,” Damian Lillard said after being eliminated Thursday.
“I don’t know what a shakeup looks like or what changes will be made or could be made, but obviously as is, it wasn’t good enough. We came up short against a team without their starting point guard and shooting guard (Will Barton and Jamal Murray). ... Obviously, where we are isn’t good enough to win a championship if it’s not good enough to get out of a first-round series with two of their best three or four players not on the floor.”
Less than 24 hours after Lillard captioned an Instagram photo with "How long should I stay dedicated? the Blazers franchise star will be a large voice in who replaces Stotts.