NBA Rumors Surrounding Kevin Pritchard and the Blazers

| by Dwight Jaynes

A few stories making their way around the NBA:

– You know, there’s always more than one side to every story. And I’m getting a little tired of the idea that Pritchard has done nothing to put himself in a bad light with ownership other than take a little too much credit for the team’s success.

There must be something, right?

There is one explanation out there in the NBA that lends a little more insight into Pritchard’s problems. And it goes back to the whole Tom Penn situation. You know — how Penn was fired merely as a “shot across the bow” against Pritchard.

Well, I think a lot of people suspected Penn’s firing went a lot deeper than that and this one story indicates that it did. The explanation making the rounds in the NBA is that Penn made a very inappropriate remark about a co-worker, in front of other co-workers. The co-worker was a female. I’ve heard the remark and it’s something that would probably get you fired at YOUR job, wherever you work. And it had NOTHING to do with basketball, or KP.

Now we could debate whether you would fire someone for it, but one thing we probably couldn’t debate is what has gotten Pritchard in the doghouse — his reaction to it all. When Penn (and Pritchard’s) agent, Warren LeGarie, come forth with the proposition that Penn’s firing was a move against Pritchard, KP did nothing to dispute that — EVEN THOUGH HE KNEW WHY PENN WAS ACTUALLY FIRED. And he knew it had nothing to do with him, or even with basketball.

Can’t you understand why this would anger upper management? I mean, if this is all true (and a lot of NBA people seem to be buying into it), Pritchard seems to be throwing Larry Miller and Paul Allen under the Vulcan bus — when he actually knew better.

True or not? Well, I trust those who have told me the story and I am convinced there is more than KP’’s side to this story.

– Why hasn’t Pritchard quit? Well, they owe him money and if he’s fired, he’ll get that money. If he quits, he won’t. It reminds me a little bit of Bob Whitsitt’s situation in Seattle before he came to the Trail Blazers — where Whitsitt kept reporting to work every day, even though everyone knew he was out as the Sonics’ general manager.

– Yes, that search firm is out there and I hear it’s been making inquiries for a few weeks now.

– Portland is rumored to be attempting to extend the contracts of head of college scouting Chad Buchanan and pro scouting director Mike Born. They’re worried both will leave when Pritchard does, following him — which is likely. If they stay, they’d be crazy not to ask for significant raises.

– Jason Quick blogged this Sunday: “Name heard today as a possible target for Paul Allen in his hunt for the next Blazers GM: Jerry West” Interesting. But THAT would take a lot of money and West probably wouldn’t move here. Not at his age. I’d expect him to commute from Los Angeles. Certainly West would be a HUGE impact hire.

– I would assume Kiki Vandeweghe, long ago a Paul Allen favorite, would also be considered for Pritchard’s job.

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