The Los Angeles Lakers interviewed former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts for a franchise coaching position Friday, sources told ESPN.
Stotts join the Lakers search process as a candidate with a history of consistency, offensive creativity and the ability to build relationships with their star players. Prior to his dismissal in 2021, Stotts had reached the Western Conference playoffs in his last eight consecutive seasons on the job—including two trips to the Conference semifinals and a berth in the Conference Finals in 2019.
So far, the Lakers’ research process has been systematic. Sources said the organization interviewed trainers in waves of one or two at a time — eschewing the traditional format of interviewing multiple candidates before narrowing down the roster for follow-up interviews.
Rob Pelinka, the Lakers general manager, is the man behind the organization’s research, but there is an existing committee to screen candidates. Sources said that along with Pelinka and owner Jenny Boss, advisor Kurt Rampes and former Lakers coach Phil Jackson are also an important part of the talks.
Sources said the Lakers reached out to Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Hamm and Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin to discuss the opening.
After missing the playoffs with a record 33-49, the Lakers fired Frank Vogel in April.
Stotts left Portland as the second-best coach in franchise history, including a record 402-318 in his nine seasons as a Blazers coach. He had short hiatus with the Atlanta Hawks (2003 and 2004) and Milwaukee (2006 and 2007) where he had four sub-.500 seasons.