But, as Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen investigates his team’s problems, Lillard is going a step further.
The players, he says, are 100 percent behind Stotts.
“And I think it’s unanimous for a reason,’’ Lillard said. “Like I always say: we play for a great person, and whatever struggles that we have, it’s not his fault. I will tell you that: it’s not his fault.’’
I doubt a single NBA coach holds unanimous support from his players. Want to find unhappy players on any team? Search in reverse order of playing time.
But successful teams win too much for bickering from benchwarmers to infect chemistry.
Does Portland (21-18) win enough to keep any Stotts detractors quiet? I’m not sure.
On one hand, it’s difficult to speak out publicly against a coach while he still holds the job. On the other hand, this is a relatively lengthy list of players, and several of their statements – especially Lillard’s – go beyond reluctant support.
At minimum, Stotts has vocal supporters among his team’s best players. That counts for a lot.