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Kevin Pritchard says goodbye to Portland

Jun 27, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

“The man was just a GM.” I’m sure that’s what representatives of the Portland Trail Blazers’ ownership group are telling themselves this morning. He was just a GM. He didn’t mean as much as a player, or a coach. He was just a guy signing paperwork and making phone calls. 

But Kevin Pritchard’s dismissal at Thursday’s NBA Draft was a lot more than just the release of a GM to the fans in Portland. Pritchard had lodged himself in the community of the Blazers, in their culture. He was considered as much an asset with his trades and shrewd drafting as LaMarcus Aldridge is for his rebounding and mid-range jumper. 
And if you needed evidence of how he connected with the city, nebulous ownership group? Just check the paper. 
The Oregonian features, on this fine Sunday morning, a goodbye letter from Pritchard to the fans in Portland. In it, he lobs no grenades, parries no swords. Instead he thanks Paul Allen for the opportunity to work with the Blazers, thanks the fans, and says that in the end, “it’s just basketball.” It is classy and sincere and fairly honest, many of the things that Pritchard was reported not considered to be by the Blazers’ ownership collective. 
Pritchard won’t be out of work long. He’s likely already fielding calls and offers. He’s aggressive, smart, and dedicated. But like he says in the goodbye letter, he’ll always be a Trail Blazer. 
Of course, if I’m the Blazers, I tell the next guy not to make any deals with ol’ KP under any circumstances whatsoever, no matter how good the deal may seem. They’ve already reaped the benefits of Pritchard being one step of the game. It’s just a shame that the final step saw the rug pulled out from under him. 
  1. mac - Jun 27, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    What is the official reason for firing Pritchard? Something must have happened behind the scenes because the move makes absolutely no sense..

  2. Zack - Jun 27, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    What organization wouldn’t want Pritchard, yeah there were stories about his attitude towards his contract or whatever, but look at the team he built, speaks for itself.

  3. mike - Jun 27, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    Took a team that was a laughing stock on and off the court and made them a contender with good character guys. Paul Allen you sir are a horrible business man! I don’t care how much money you got you don’t know what the hell your doing and worst of all you can’t get out of your own dam way. Who ever gets Pritchard will be very lucky.

  4. Cody Franklin - Jun 27, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Although Paul got rid of Pritchard..we should also feel lucky to have Allen..I mean think about what he’s done for Portland. Until the official reason is released, we all just need to calm down. I was appauled at the fact that he was fired too. Pritchard was great, and did a lot for us through drafts and trades. But Pritchard didn’t do all of that stuff single handily, and we need to realize that Allen isn’t just going to bring in some scrub GM.

  5. Bonzi Wells Jr. - Jun 27, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    Hey Mike, I can’t tell if your watching the game closely enough or if you’re being swept away like your the bride and the bias Portland media is your groom. Bob Whitsitt put together some serious talent who, actually did play well together; it was a combination of the Rasheed Era Blazer’s character issues and the league’s over marketing of Shaq and Kobe that brought this REAL contending team down. These current Trail Blazers aren’t even close in comparison to the GREAT 2000 PTB team (I’m a basketball fan, not a house wife from Bethany.) Pritchard was GREAT in the draft, not so much in free agency and Allen gave him more than enough chances to save his own job. Always remember that John Nash, certainly not Bob Whitsitt (this is a classically wonderful human being), was our worst GM. Allen will find a solid replacement for Kevin, of whom will not need to romance the media and coax the communtity with anything other than quality basketball players. Hopefully, if you are willing to admit it, the next chap will put “players on the court” like “Trader” Bob Witsitt did. Except for this time, let’s hope the next GM gets more marketable characters.

  6. kate - Jun 27, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    i love him the letter was great this morning he is a classy guy and i will always remember him as the guy who brought back the blazers.

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