Blazers Owner Paul Allen: ‘I Have No Plans to Sell the Team’

by December 20, 2011

The boogey man of NBA team owners, Paul Allen, emerged from his underground lair to finally address the media last night (he hadn’t done so in almost two years.) Allen discussed his plans for the team, his health, the lockout, and talked about the front-office turmoil in Portland. From the Oregonian: “The question that comes up most in Portland is people are always worried you are going to sell the team … : ‘Right. I have no plans to sell the team. So …’ … Can you put in your own words what happened with the Rich Cho firing: ‘I think whether it’s Rich or Kevin (Pritchard) – which was a really unusual situation – you end up going through these transitions. But I sit with the general manager down on the court and I talk through every game with them and get a sense for his thinking and his evaluation of players, how he thinks about our team, how he thinks about our coaching, all those things. And when I think about a general manager there are a lot of factors that come into play … there’s what I like to call the ‘Golden Gut’, which is how good you are at evaluating talent, and obviously we have added the importance of evaluating character and it (chuckles) becomes more important to evaluate medical conditions and all these things. So there are that set of components. And then there is how well does he relate to the coaches and the players and gain their respect and engage with them. Then there is the chemistry of working with me, because I like to be very involved, and everybody knows I like to ask a lot of questions, I’m sure you people have burned your ears off hearing how many times I like to ask questions about different things. That’s what I do. I like to ask a lot of questions and challenge assumptions and see if we can’t come out in a better place. So, all those factors come into play for a general manager. You can have a good interview with somebody and be optimistic, then when it comes to getting into the season and sitting next to them and talking about the players, where you are going, potential trades, uh, you know sometimes you realize it’s not a good fit. So, that’s basically what happened with Rich. He’s a great person and I wish him well, but it wasn’t a good fit. And once you realize it wasn’t a good fit it doesn’t make sense to keep someone even though they are a good person and all those things, if you don’t think the working relationship and what they are doing as your general manager is as good as it could be. So we had to make that change, and I decided to make that change before the draft because of what had happened with the previous general manager where draft day was so … how to put it … puzzling and unusual.'”