You’re fired Kevin Pritchard, but can you stay for the NBA draft?
Firing Kevin Pritchard an hour before the NBA draft, the Trail Blazers revealed themselves as extremely dysfunctional. Pritchard was told he was fired, but was asked to stay in the "war room" and participate in the draft. Then, after his dismissal was reported, the Blazers media relations department refused to confirm the firing or answer questions about it. Also, the organization heard the Blazer radio broadcast team discussing Pritchard’s firing in the opening 30 minutes of their broadcast and ordered them to stop discussing the matter. Paranoia ran wild again. People feared for their jobs. It was like old times on Thursday. Distraction followed by avoidance wrapped in absurdity. And the common denominator ends up being owner Paul Allen.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Right now, Portland fans may be thinking The Jail Blazers weren’t that bad.
Who fires their general manager minutes before the NBA draft, but asks him to stay and work the war room? And these shenanigans came days after the team mysteriously let go of highly respected cap expert Tom Penn.
Now owner Paul Allen always has the right to make changes; however, no decent executive will take the Blazers gig if they have to deal with a Microsoft tyrant.
Remember those rumors about Oklahoma City prodigy Sam Presti having an interview with Allen? Well, forget it. After this debacle he’ll certainly stay with the Thunder. For good.
Fair or not, Penn and Pritchard may not have been the front office duo to take Portland to the ranks of championship contender. This is a judgment call, though.
What isn’t a judgment call: employees are deserving of greater respect. For instance, the New York Knicks gave Isiah Thomas a better send off than Pritchard -despite ‘Zeke’ ruining one of the NBA’s classic franchise.
After dealing with arrests, dog fighting, and assaults, the Blazers had turned the corner with a young, good-guy nucleus of Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge.
All these efforts may be stunted by an overzealous owner in Allen. As usual, it’s the NBA’s most loyal fans who’ll suffer.