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Lowe: Trail Blazers Almost Fired Terry Stotts After 2018 Playoffs

Zach Lowe says Neil Olshey had to fight to save Terry Stotts’ job following Portland’s embarrassing 2018 playoff performance.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Toronto Raptors Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers suffered one of the franchise’s most humiliating and demoralizing defeats when they were swept by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2018 NBA Playoffs. The loss not only bundled the Blazers out of a series they were expected to win, but also raised serious questions about the future direction of the team, including coach Terry Stotts, moving forward.

On his Lowe Post podcast earlier this week, ESPN Analyst Zach Lowe let slip that the Blazers’ organization was ready to fire Portland’s second most winningest coach after the sweep.

Lowe, who praised Portland’s resilience this season, said it was Portland’s President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey who stepped in to “fight for” Stotts’ job.

“I thought they were done, I thought that series for them last year was going to be unrecoverable. I thought it would break them in a fundamental way that they could not come back from.”

“I thought they’ll go through this year, they didn’t make any changes in the offseason, they almost did, they got very close to firing Terry Stotts.”

“Neil Olshey fought for him, they fought for the stability of the team.”

Podcast guest and fellow ESPN Analyst Kevin Arnovitz then suggested that if the firing had taken place, Stotts may have taken the then vacant Phoenix Suns Head Coaching job.

Lowe and Arnovitz talk about Stotts’ potential firing nine minutes into the podcast. You can listen here.