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Saturday , Jun , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Memo to Danny Ferry: pass on the Portland Trail Blazers

Former Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry has emerged as one of the first front-office targets of the Trail Blazers after they abruptly fired Kevin Pritchard on draft night, according to sources with knowledge of Portland's thinking.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Danny, don't do it! Don't take the Portland Trail Blazers' front office job.

I know you're on the rebound after parting with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I know you're anxious to re-establish yourself as an NBA executive. And I know you're confident -even for a Duke guy.

We get it.

But notice the warning signs. They're redder than David Hasselholff's nose after a night on the town. And they're scarier than 'Hoff's' music videos.

For instance, executive Tom Penn was mysteriously fired by the Blazers. The club justified the move by leaking unsubstantiated rumors of Penn being involved in a human resources dispute.

More recently, GM Kevin Pritchard was fired moments before the NBA draft, but asked to participate in the war room.

Penn and Pritchard are highly respected by their peers around the league; however, they were treated with no respect.

None.

Danny, this could be you if you take the Blazers job. Owner Paul Allen is a Microsoft tyrant who will make your former boss, Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert, look tame.

Allen will scheme behind your back, too. He'll interfere. He'll meddle. And he'll interview candidates for your position while you're on the payroll. After all, Allen allegedly talked to Oklahoma City executive Sam Presti about replacing Pritchard -even though Pritchard was still on the job.

Danny, I know it's hard, but pass on Portland. Forget Brandon Roy. Forget LaMarcus Aldridge. And forget one of the NBA's most loyal fan bases.

None of that will matter when dealing with Allen. His true colors have been revealed these last few weeks.

Got thoughts?  

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Friday , Jun , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

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.

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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.

Got thoughts?