This one could get a little complicated. They don't have a GM, they have a team president that is the "interim GM" only he's not actually trying to find anyone to be the GM, and they've got a director of player personnel that everyone thinks is a great candidate but isn't being given the job, and they've got an owner who likes to be involved in player decisions who's only real scouting technique is "wow, that guy can dunk hard". Jesus, kind of makes you dizzy doesn't it? Well, luckily, that's why I'm here, to try and sort out this mess. The Blazers season preview continues with a look at the front office, this is where the silver lining talk ends and the claws come out.
Subterfuge Stevie Patterson, the man responsible for it all. At least Bob's collection of jerks won games, you have to give him that. Subterfuge Stevie has managed to build a team with a slightly less jackass factor, only with about 30 less wins per season. Awesome. SS hired a GM, didn't let him make any decisions, and then fired him. Sounds like quite a boss, I'd rather work for Michael Scott at Dunder Mifflin. I particularly like the story in the Oregonian this morning when asked if they are actually looking for a GM and he countered essentially with "nope, next question". Let's just say he's not too high on my list right now. As long as he's in charge, I'm not sure how the franchise can ever get going again without falling ass backwards into a star (Roy, Oden). Other than being a stand off-ish jerk, a bad judge of talent (5 first round draft picks in 04 and 05, zero players in the rookie/soph game), and managing to detonate a once proud franchise faster than Rick Neuheisel, he's great.
Kevin Pritchard, the guy everyone thinks would make a great GM. It certainly appears that he's able to weasel his way in to some of the decisions, and judging by the track record of his boss, all the good ones are probably his doing. You just know he was furious when they drafted The Marcus and begged and pleaded for them to pick up Roy and they threw him a bone. I suppose I'd vote for him if I had to pick one guy to clean up this mess.
Nate, he has to be included here. I think he's done an admirable job with the collection of suck he's been given so far. Rumor has it he's in the inner circle and gets to at least say "hey guys, how about we actually get a backup center this season?" and they listen to him from time to time. As for his coaching, who knows really? I think he's better than Mo, worse than Dunleavy, and he doesn't do anything that makes me want to spike the television on my own head, so that's a plus. Overall, I'd say he's adequate.
Paul Allen, surprisingly, I don't have a whole lot of bad things to say about him. He's got his quirks, but I still truly believe that if the Blazers had a chance to compete, he'd spare no expense to try and win a title again. He's just been given some absurdly bad advise due to one awful hire in Subterfuge Stevie, but one bad hire that high up in an organization can burn the whole thing to the ground. I like Paul, and I think he's a good owner, despite what has gone on recently.
Needless to say, the front office is a serious problem. It's a slippery slope obviously, and maybe down the road I'll be wrong about this, but I'd rather tweak playoff teams and take my chances every year than lose 65 games every year and keep hoping to get lucky in the draft. They call it a lottery for a reason, a lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math. The Blazers front office apparently is in dire need of a copy of Microsoft Excel.
Next up, the fearless Moderator of this board will be giving you his Western and Eastern Conference previews, followed by our general outlook on the Blazers upcoming season.