03.23.10

Dead GM Walking

Posted in Basketball, Portland at 4:07 am by

Ok, I’m not even that much of a Sixers fan, but I’m now officially daydreaming about Kevin Pritchard and his former Kansas coach Larry Brown in Philadelphia. One thing’s for sure, the apparently inevitable departure of KP seems about as smart as when the Sixers dumped Pat Croce. From Jason Quick of the Oregonian.

After more than 10 years of covering this team for this newspaper, this development would go down as one of the strangest and dumbest I’ve encountered.

All of this reeks heavily of a certain Western Conference general manager who is widely known to envy this job. He happens to have experience with the workings of the Vulcans. He has been on a constant smear campaign since Pritchard took over, harboring feelings that Pritchard “gloats” about his success, “rubbing it in the nose” of colleagues.

If some want to tout that source as credible, and not recognize the motives, that’s on them. And if Vulcan wants to play that way, then maybe this isn’t the place for Pritchard after all.

What Quick won’t say, CBS Sports’ Ken Berger has:

Two people familiar with the situation said one strong possibility to replace Pritchard is Denver GM Mark Warkentien, the reigning NBA Executive of the Year with ties to [Blazers president Larry] Miller through their Nike connections. Warkentien has a home in Portland, and is on the last year of his contract with rumblings of a serious front-office shakeup afoot in Denver. He also had a hand in the creation of the Jail Blazers, something that will be difficult -“ if not impossible -“ to sell to a community that will never forget that damnable era.

Meanwhile, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski continues to be the main voice for the case against KP. Is he carrying the water of Vulcan and rival GMs, as some in PDX believe, or is he an objective voice of sanity compared to all the crazy Pritchard love expressed by Portland fans and media, this writer included?

What’s also gone mostly unmentioned, for reasons that are understandable, is owner Paul Allen’s recurrence of cancer. But it seemed like Pritchard had a direct line to Allen in the past, by text message if nothing else. I was also at the press conference announcing the hiring of Miller, and my impression then is that he was supposed to be the business CEO, separate from the basketball decisions, and that both he and Pritchard would report to Allen and/or Vulcan director Tod Leiweke (who mostly runs the Seahawks), rather than Pritchard reporting to Miller. Things have obviously changed since then.

Dave at Blazers Edge’s post is both thoughtful and sad.

A week ago the questions surrounding the team were simple: Will they make the playoffs? Will they succeed there? Those were beautiful, vibrant questions speaking of goodness among us no matter how they were answered, even to the negative. Now the lingering question is, “Will this organization ever learn?”

One Response to “Dead GM Walking”

  1. matt says:

    what the fuuuuck. hopefully he goes to the east so the rockets will be able to be the new big dog in the middling team w brilliant gm race. dare to dream

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