The Portland Trail Blazers are going through somewhat of a transformation in their front-office. A new GMwas hired this off-season,Neil Olshey formerly of the Los Angeles Clippers, and they have searched for a permanent head coach to guide their franchise. Now it seems that the head coaching search is down to two men, at least that is what is being reported my multiple media outlets, and was first reported by the Oregonian.
Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Terry Stotts, and Trail Blazers interim head coach Kaleb Canales are reportedly the final two candidates for the head coaching job. Stotts, who is the former head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, and Milwaukee Bucks, possesses an overall win-loss record of 114-168, in four seasons. Not exactly a great record but then again you never know, Joe Torre also had a losing record when he was hired by the New York Yankees, and we all know how that saga played out.
Stotts was Rick Carlisle’s lead assistant last season while with the Dallas Mavericks. Stotts took over that positionbecause Dwayne Casey left the team, following their 2011 NBA championship run, to take over head coaching duties for the Toronto Raptors. Carlisle, following Stotts’ interview for the head coaching job, gave his stamp of approval for his former assistant, “Of all the coaches presently in play, Terry is by far the best available.”
Of course the second candidate, and presumably the favorite at this point, is the Trail Blazers interim head coach for the 2011-2012 NBA season, Kaleb Canales. Canales, a 34 year old who took the Erik Spoelstra route to head coaching by starting off as a video intern in 2005 with the Blazers, also holds a strong case to become head coach. Kanales took over a struggling Trail Blazers team last season and, at a time when they could have given up, kept them relevant in many games.
There has been no indication from the Blazers camp as to when a decision should be expected. Surely one within the next few weeks is likely, as Olshey will want to get the players familiarized with the coaches schemes and whatnot.