The Los Angeles Lakers interviewed former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts for the franchise coaching job on Friday, sources told ESPN.
Stotts joins the Lakers’ search process as a candidate with a history of playoff consistency, offensive creativity and an ability to build relationships with his star players. Prior to his 2021 dismissal, Stotts had reached the Western Conference playoffs in his last eight straight seasons on the job — including two trips to the conference semifinals and a berth in the conference finals in 2019.
So far, the Lakers’ search process has been methodical. The organization interviewed coaches in waves of one or two at a time, sources said – avoiding the traditional format of interviewing many applicants before narrowing down the list for follow-up interviews.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is the organization’s search go-to man, but there is a committee in place to vet applicants. Besides Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss, adviser Kurt Rambis and former Lakers coach Phil Jackson are also a big part of the conversations, sources said.
The Lakers have also reached out to Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin to discuss opening, sources said.
After missing the playoffs with a 33-49 record, the Lakers fired Frank Vogel in April.
Stotts left Portland as the second most earning coach in franchise history, including a 402-318 record during his nine seasons as Blazers coach. He had brief stints with the Atlanta Hawks (2003 and 2004) and Milwaukee (2006 and 2007) where he had four sub-.500 seasons.