There are certain interview questions you know are coming: What is your biggest weakness? (“I tend to work too hard.”) And what you may have learned or regret from a previous job.
New Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts was asked about his biggest regret from his two previous, unimpressive stops as a head coach in Atlanta and Milwaukee.
His answer was out of the blue. Via Blazers edge.
In a game against Memphis, I wish we had purposefully missed a free throw.
Travis Hansen had a free throw [at the end of the first overtime]. If he had missed, [time would have run out]. He made it, and James Posey made a 40-footer to tie the game and we lost in double overtime. Now I know.
Ben Golliver at Blazers Edge looked up the date and the game, March 29, 2004, when Stotts coached the Hawks.
The Grizzlies forced overtime with a Jason Williams three-pointer with 5.7 seconds remaining in regulation. The Hawks went on to take a 121-119 lead in overtime before Hansen, a BYU guard who played just this one season in the NBA, was fouled by Grizzlies forward Shane Battier with 2.1 seconds left. Hansen missed the first of two free throws but made the second, pushing Atlanta’s lead to 122-119 and giving the Grizzlies the opportunity to set up from a baseline inbounds situation rather than a rebounding scramble.
That, people, is how you do an interview. Pick a relatively minor incident from your past that will not scare off an employer and talk about how you learned from it.
One other good note on Stotts, pointed out by Henry Abbott at TrueHoop — if you believe that guys can learn and get better at their job, Stotts could be a good hire. He didn’t win in his first stops, but nobody was going to win with the rosters he was given to work with. He did win as an assistant coach with the Mavericks.
We don’t know what kind of coach Stotts will be this time around (he’s not winning a lot with this Portland roster right now, either) but if you believe coaches can learn and grow — like Bill Belichick from the Browns to the Patriots — then giving him a shot is not a bad call.