PORTLAND, Ore. -- Furious George has made the always-amicable Terry Stotts sound off on the former NBA coach.
Clearly upset at George Karl's recent disparaging comments about Damian Lillard before Portland took on the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, the Trail Blazers coach irately defended his player and his team. Karl criticized Lillard's personal brand off the court and believed that it was affecting the Trail Blazers on the court. Stotts couldn't disagree more.
"I owe a lot to George," Stotts said. "I got my start in coaching with George. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for him, he's a successful coach. That being said, if he wants to diminish his chances for the Hall of Fame, if he wants to undermine his chances of being a head coach again in this league, if he wants to settle old scores with GMs, players or whoever else, that's his prerogative. But when it comes to my team and my players, he needs to stay in his own lane.
"He doesn't know Damian Lillard. He doesn't know how coachable he is. He doesn't know what a great teammate he is. He doesn't know how much Damian cares about winning and how important he is to this franchise. And however well intended [his comments] may have been, which I don't understand, I can't tolerate."
Stotts used to be an assistant coach under Karl, starting in the now-defunct Continental Basketball Association and then with the Seattle SuperSonics and the Milwaukee Bucks. But whatever relationship they might have had before, it now appears to be a thing of the past.
"I won't reach out, there's no reason to be personable," Stotts said. "Other than it is pretty personable when you start commenting on our players and their character."
And as you can expect, Stotts won't be pre-ordering Furious George or even glancing at the book when it is released.
"I don't plan on reading the book." Stotts said. "I haven't read the book and I won't have any comments on his book. But as I said when it comes to my team and my players, I'm going to defend my guys, especially someone whose been as important to the franchise and to our success as Damian has been."