THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE
: Blazers owner Paul Allen has just released this statement
about the departure of vice president of basketball operations Tom Penn and what all that means for general manager Kevin Pritchard (My insta-translation of what Allen says below is there's not exactly a long-term vote of confidence in there for Pritchard)
The Trail Blazers made a change in the vice president of basketball operations position, and that's all. Decisions like this are made at the top levels of Blazer management, and are not made unless we have good reason, have worked through the issues involved, and feel we should make an immediate change.
We are not going to make any more long-term decisions today. When the season ends we will evaluate how best to move the Trail Blazers forward. That's no different than the way we have operated for the past 21 seasons.
I support everyone who works for me, including Kevin Pritchard, and that's why he's our general manager. We all have the same goal -- to bring another NBA Championship to the great fans of Portland.
Here's the original post from earlier this week about fan efforts to save Pritchard's job:
, a passionate fan of the Portland Trail Blazers
(and Oregon Ducks), is taking matters into his own hands when it comes to defending Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard
The quick background on this flap around Pritchard: Reports
that have surfaced over the last few days say Pritchard has gotten into hot water with his bosses at Vulcan
. All this definitely fits into the dreaded "distraction" category for sports franchises, especially ones like the Blazers during their drive at the end of this season to move up in the playoff seedings.
So Libby started this epetition
on March 19 titled "Dear Vulcan, leave Pritchard and the Blazers alone." As of 1:15 pm today, 220 people signed this petition that says in full
The Portland Trail Blazers have made a very ominous move by firing vice president Tom Penn that, according to The Oregonian, could be a harbinger of general manager Kevin Pritchard's exit. This would be a catastrophic disaster for our beloved Trail Blazers team. "These guys are intelligent and well-educated, but not basketball smart," The Oregonian's John Canzano writes. "And that makes them dangerous." By signing this petition, you are telling the Portland Trail Blazers franchise that we want Pritchard here to stay, and we want Vulcan to keep its hands off the team.
if you want to sign.
Libby tells me "some fellow fans and I are also considering a protest with picket signs and a petition table outside the Rose Quarter. We have to act fast to get the Vulcans' attention and send them a strong message not to mess with Rip City."