Saturday, February 14, 2009

Setting a foundation for success

At the All-Star beak, the Blazers are 12 games over .500 with a 20-5 home record.

As this article describes, Portland GM Kevin Pritchard began setting the groundwork at the 2006 NBA draft when he "took out a red pen and wrote: 'We’re Back!!!' on a board in a hotel room."

Pritchard's background has prepared him well for his current role in Portland. He played four seasons at Kansas for Larry Brown and Roy Williams before playing four seasons in the NBA.

He coached at the college level and in the minor leagues, then scouted for the Spurs under GM R.C. Buford. He's also worked in player personnel and, in 2005, coached the Blazers on an interim basis. In 2007, he took over as POR's GM.

"I first wanted to change the culture, have both talent and good guys,” Pritchard said. "It’s all about team, putting individual awards and statistics last and put the team first. I can only control what I can control,” Pritchard said. "There are a lot of opinions out there. We focus on us. We try to do the best we can do, learn from everything that happens and move forward. We have a very good coach and guys that play the right way. You have to get lucky and gel together. We need our young guys to grow. And they are growing."