Terry Stotts could be on the outs if the Blazers suffer another early playoff exit this season, but that’s not necessarily in the forefront of the players’ minds.
Portland reached the Western Conference Finals just two seasons ago, but it unfortunately ran into a red-hot Golden State squad loaded with talent. Otherwise, the Blazers may have had a legitimate shot at winning a title.
But it wasn’t to be, and now the Blazers are focused, with their eyes on the prize, knowing that this roster could be blown up if they don’t advance far in the postseason in the coming weeks. Not only that, their head coach, Stotts, could be relieved of his duties as well. He’s coached the team since 2012, and given all the talent the team has had, an underwhelming result in this particular campaign could spell the end of his tenure there.
CJ McCollum, however, isn’t thinking about Stotts’ job security. Instead, he’s focused on the task at hand: winning.
“You have no control over those things,” he said, via The Athletic. “I like Terry. Terry has been great for me, my career, my development, he’s given me a chance. I will forever be grateful for everything he has done for me. But your job as a player is to play. And his job as a coach is to coach. Like, you can’t worry about what could happen. That’s every year. Every year, I could be traded. Every year, a coach could lose his job. There is enough pressure to perform on its own.
“… I don’t need any extra motivation to help Terry keep his job. I’m gonna go hoop and do what I do no matter what. And I think that’s Terry’s mentality. If something happens, Terry is OK. He’s gonna be all right, and he’s probably going to get another head coaching job.”
He’s probably speaking for the entire locker room with these comments as well. Winning a title is all that the Blazers are worried about, not what lies in store for them or their head coach later this summer.