Win-win for Blazers -- snag Stotts and Canales

Win-win for Blazers -- snag Stotts and Canales
August 9, 2012, 1:29 am

ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazers Insider (@ChrisBHaynes)

PORTLAND Today the Portland Trail Blazers formally introduced their newhead coach Terry Stotts in an afternoon news conference at the RoseGarden that concluded a search that lasted for over a month.

Duringthe news conference, Stotts confirmed that Kaleb Canales will remainwith the organization as an assistant.

Stotts,along with Canales, were the two coaching finalist to interview withTrail Blazers owner Paul Allen over the weekend in London, and theorganization feels like they came away from this search a winner.

That'sexactly what we consider it a win win...If Kaleb had been anassistant on another team, I think Terry would have been pursuing himand asking for permission, General Manager Neil Olshey said.

Itworks out really well for us. It accelerates the learning curve withthe players. It gives him somebody he can trust on the staff thatknows the culture here. And for Kaleb, he gets to be the protege of aguy who has 19 years of coaching experience in the NBA, and it willmake him a better coach down the road as well.

Olsheyexplained that Stotts told him during his first interview in LasVegas, that if he was to get the head coaching job, he would want tobring Canales on board his coaching staff. Stotts and Canales flewback to the states on the same flight after both interviewed withAllen and Stotts told Canales the same thing.

Havingthe wherewithal to know how Canales could help his transition toPortland illustrated how smart of an individual Stotts is. On top ofthat, the Trail Blazers didn't have to make a tough decision.

They got them both.

Thenext step for the newly crowned head coach is putting together acoaching staff. With Canales already on board, a coach who played thepoint guard position would seem like a logical necessity to helpdevelop the team's franchise point guard in Damian Lillard.

Stottswould not say who he's courting, but said he has already begun theprocess of searching for his assistants.

We'rewaiting to get permission to talk to some coaches that are on staff,Stotts said. I've gotten numerous text from people who areinterested in being on the staff...There's not a specific timeline.

Beingthat Canales was so close to being the Trail Blazers head coach, onewould think that the next step for his career would be the title oflead assistant.

However,Stotts isn't quite ready to assign roles at this current time.

Oncethe staff is put together, then the responsibilities and what'sexpected of each guy, The one thing is, I like my coaches to coach.There might be a little bit of division of labor, but I want all mycoaches to coach the players, I want them to prepared for games, Iwant them to do everything that a coach should do. Once all thepieces are in place, then we'll kind of be able to figure it out.