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Is the Pritchard Blazer empire crumbling?

Mar 20, 2010, 9:54 AM EST

The Blazers were in ruins. The ‘Jailblazers’ moniker was firmly etched upon them. They needed a complete overhaul, and hope seemed lightyears away. Then Kevin Pritchard entered on a rainbow riding a unicorn. He spread his magic across the land and brought in stellar acquisition after stellar acquisition through the draft (with a little bit of a hand from the lottery Gods). They were prepared to dominate for years, maybe a decade, with their core.

Now, it looks as if things are crumbling away. Camelot is not fallen, but there is unrest and the foundations have cracks forming at their bases.

We told you last week about the odd, unexpected firing of Blazers assistant general manager, and Kevin Pritchard’s right hand man, Tom Penn. It was a bizarre move, one that caught many completely off-guard.  A strange occurrence, but execs get canned all the time. No big deal, right?

Well, it turns out that there’s more to this than meets the eye. Henry Abbott did some sleuthing into the events after reading fans at Blazers Edge and elsewhere go into full blown panic, and his findings are fascinating.

Basically, Penn’s firing may be indicative of a significant divide between owner Paul Allen and the Pritchard camp. There’s talk of concern over too much power being held by the dynamic young GM, and that this could spell the end of Pritchard’s reign in  Portland. Warren LeGarie, the agent for both Pritchard and Penn, is taking the opportunity to leverage some public support for his clients. And he indicates Pritchard could be “next” on the chop block.

Pritchard departing Rip City would be devastating to the fanbase and send shockwaves throughout the league. Pritchard would be unemployed for approximately .04 seconds (just enough time for a Derek Fisher turnaround), and the Blazers new era of league domination would become Atlantis. Beautiful, iconic, and sunk beneath the sea.

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