Portland Trail Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard Irreplaceable?

| by Dwight Jaynes

That’s basically what this column says. The biggest problem I have with it is the whole idea that nobody of quality would ever take this job:

The Blazers aren’t going to lure any general manager who currently has a good situation. They won’t be able to entice anyone who could wait around for, say, a year or two and find a better situation. They also won’t be able to easily draw from the vast pool of talent that is managed by LeGarie. So what we have here is an old-fashioned search for miscasts, retreads and the desperate.

I’ve got news for you… it’s a good young roster, an owner willing to spend money to win and a job that will pay big bucks. There will be people out there — good people — who would take the job.

And certainly around the league, Kevin Pritchard isn’t seen as the tragic hero he’s being painted as in Portland. There was plenty of resentment about Pritchard’s attitude — where he was seen by many as arrogant or as taking credit for deals that were done only because he had Allen’s wealth to work with.

I’ve said this before. I like Pritchard. I’d like to see him come back. But to think he’s done nothing at all to bring about his own precarious situation is so patently naive I don’t even know what to say about it. And to think he’s the only person in the world capable of leading this team to the next level is really narrow minded.

In fact, there is a lot of evidence that the frustrating thing about the last few years in Portland is a reluctance to make that one big deal, that one big three-for-one or two-for-one that would bring the final piece to a championship team. You could make a case that he’s held on to pieces too long — how about Rudy Fernandez, for example? — and that they’ve been devalued because of it.

Look, I’m not a fan of a management style where people are left to hang without a clue about their future. But at the same time, when they continue to get paid and they’re earning several hundred thousand dollars a year for it, I make it a practice not to pity them.

And I certainly think it’s possible to find a replacement for just about anyone with this franchise — other than the owner. THAT would worry me much more than finding another general manager.

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