Sunday, November 2, 2008

Knowing how your role players fit around your stars

Modeling their team after the Spurs, the Portland Blazers have a bright future, built on a foundation of character, according to SAS coach Gregg Popovich:

"They are way more than just on the right track. I think they're doing what good organizations that want to be successful are doing. A lot of things begin with character. Portland has gotten a crew of guys in (Portland) who have that.

They understand priorities ... and care more about the group than individuals. That has to happen. It doesn't matter how much talent you have. If you don't have (character), it's not gonna fit together, because all the pieces have to fit."

Coach Popovich credits Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard (pictured above), the former KU guard and a former Spurs scout, for the progress in POR:

"We knew from the beginning that he had a feel for the game. He has a passion, is competitive and smart.. He wasn't a superstar by any stretch. Often, it's those guys who know how the pieces fit and how role players have to fit around the stars. For all those reasons, you just knew he was going to be successful, given the opportunity."