New Milwaukee Bucks superstar Damian Lillard spent nine years playing under Terry Stotts during their time together with the Portland Trail Blazers. This is exactly why Bucks fans were excited to see what Stotts would be able to bring to the table in terms of Dame’s transition in Milwaukee.
As it turns out, the reunion between Lillard and Stotts would not last a month.
Terry Stotts Called Damian Lillard
Naturally, a lot of fans want to know how Lillard feels about his former coach suddenly deciding to leave the Bucks. The seven-time All-Star opened up about this stunning turn of events in an interview on Thursday as Dame revealed how Stotts called him to break the news:
“We spoke directly,” Lillard said, via Shams Charania and Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “I don’t expect anything different. We spend so much time around each other in this league. Seven, eighth months a year, practice every day, flights, hotels, dinners, watching film, we share a lot of intimate spaces and like I said, being with him for nine years and him being my head coach, me being the point guard of his team, we spent a lot of time around each other. We know each other really well, even in the two years without him, we stayed in pretty consistent contact. So, I don’t expect anything different than him to call me directly and that’s how it happened.”
Based on Lillard’s statement here, it is clear that he’s formed some sort of friendship with Stotts through the years. As such, it comes as no surprise that one of the former Blazers coach’s first calls upon coming to a decision to resign was Dame.
Dame Shocked by Stotts’ Milwaukee Bucks Exit
Lillard also admits that he was taken aback by Stotts’ decision. Much like the rest of the team, Dame also did not see this one coming.
Nevertheless, Lillard has also made it clear that unfortunate as this development might be, it will not affect him or the team in terms of their objectives for 2023-24:
“It kind of came out of nowhere,” Lillard said. “I’ve been in this league long enough to know that these types of things happen. Everything continues, so you’ve got to kind of process things like this and other things that may come up and continue to move forward. For me, knowing Terry as long as I’ve known him – playing for him for nine years and him also making this transition for me easier just having a familiar face be such a huge part of it – was a good thing. I think now that I’m settled in, to see him go is unfortunate. It’s sad to see him go, but like I said, everything is still moving forward.”
This is anything but a welcome development for the Bucks just days before the start of the new season. As Dame said, however, all parties will now just have to move on.
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