Terry Stotts stepped down from his role as an assistant coach on the Milwaukee Bucks this week.
Coaches coming and going isn’t big news, obviously, but Stotts’ case is different. He had literally just joined Adrian Griffin’s staff in the Spring, and up until this week, there had been no chatter regarding his departure.
The only thing that had changed between Stotts’ hiring and exit was the acquisition of Damian Lillard. The two men had history dating back to the eight years they spent together on the Portland Trail Blazers.
Stotts and Lillard made eight consecutive trips to the Western Conference playoffs together, but ultimately their inability to get over the finish line led to the former’s exit.
Understandably, many wondered if Stotts’ abrupt departure from the Bucks’ staff was Lillard’s doing.
All signs at the moment point to the answer being ‘no.’
According to Shams Charania and Eric Nehm of The Athletic, an argument between Griffin and Stotts was ultimately the catalyst for all this.
“Griffin wrapped up the shootaround and called the team together for a huddle to close out the day and let the players get to post-shootaround shooting drills,” the report noted.
“During that huddle, Griffin informed the coaches that he wanted to have a separate huddle with them once they wrapped things up. When the players and coaches broke the huddle, Stotts went in the opposite direction of the coaches’ huddle and instead started walking toward players to discuss the offense.
“As Stotts attempted to start a conversation with Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Griffin called to Stotts to join the coaching huddle. When Stotts asked for some time with the players, Griffin yelled for Stotts to join the coaches’ huddle. The incident occurred in front of the entire team, those sources said.”
Clearly Lillard didn’t have anything to do with that dynamic playing out the way it did.
Trevor Lawrence’s wife had quite the private jet ride with her girls on their way to the Jaguars game: https://t.co/dyxmN4jLO0
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 20, 2023
While he is dealing with a number of ugly details coming out of his ongoing divorce, in this particular instance, Lillard seems to be innocent.
Will Griffin shine a bit more light on his fallout with Stotts so that Lillard isn’t forced to shoulder accusations like this going forward? Time will tell.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.