Terry Stotts defends Damian Lillard against George Karl criticism
Terry Stotts on Wednesday defended his star point guard Damian Lillard against the unsolicited criticism he received from George Karl.
Karl has received attention in the past week for the controversial contents of his new book, which includes criticism of many of his former players. The former coach spoke with New York Magazine’s David Marchese for an interview to promote the book. In the interview, Karl attributed the Portland Trail Blazers’ struggles this season to Lillard.
From the NY Magazine interview:
I was watching the Portland Trailblazers play, and I was trying to figure out, What the hell is wrong with this team? My conclusion is that Damian Lillard is getting too much attention.
What makes you think that?
Who controls the team? The coach and the point guard. And that team is not working. I think their coach, Terry Stotts, is a great coach. So I’m going to say the problem is Lillard. They were a together, connected, committed team last year. This year they’re not. What changed?
Stotts was asked prior to Portland’s game Wednesday against the Kings about the criticism from Karl. His response was that Karl should lay off Lillard and the Blazers.
Terry Stotts says George Karl should "stay in his lane" when it comes to talking about his players and his team.
— Jason Quick (@jwquick) December 29, 2016
— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) December 29, 2016
Lillard’s agent Aaron Goodwin also defended his client.
Damian Lillard's agent, Aaron Goodwin, to ESPN on George Karl's criticisms of his client. pic.twitter.com/7Lg9CPaTGA
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 28, 2016
The Blazers are a disappointing 13-20 this season, a year after they went 44-38 and reached the second round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, Lillard’s numbers are up in almost every category, including points where he’s averaging a career-high 27 per game.
If you’re going to speculate about why the Blazers are not faring as well this season as they did last year, pointing the finger at Lillard might not be the best place to start. As for Karl, well he continues to create ripples with his criticism, which included more comments about Carmelo Anthony.