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Blazers promote Pritchard to GM post

Posted: Thursday March 29, 2007 3:27PM; Updated: Friday March 30, 2007 1:29AM
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Kevin Pritchard (above) will replace Steve Patterson as the Blazers' general manager.
Kevin Pritchard (above) will replace Steve Patterson as the Blazers' general manager.
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers promoted Kevin Pritchard to their vacant general manager job Thursday, as reported earlier by SI.com's Ian Thomsen.

The 39-year-old had served as the assistant general manager since before the season, and has been credited for masterminding the draft day deals that landed rookies Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Sergio Rodriguez.

"I've mentioned before how excited I was after that draft," owner Paul Allen said at a news conference. "And I think this year has borne out just how successful that draft was. It was a signature day."

Pritchard replaces Steve Patterson, who held the titles of president and general manager before resigning March 1 when Allen decided not to renew his contract.

"We're going to bring a championship team back to Portland," Pritchard said. "I bleed this team. I have for the past 21/2 years. And there's nothing I want more than to bring the pride back to Portland."

A former Kansas and journeyman NBA guard, Pritchard joined the Blazers as player personnel director before the 2004-05 season. He served as interim head coach for the final 27 games of that season after Maurice Cheeks was fired.

Pritchard took over the team as the Blazers began a roster overhaul, using younger players such as Sebastian Telfair in place of veterans such as Damon Stoudamire and Nick Van Exel.

Roy, a shooting guard averaging 16.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists, is considered a leading candidate for rookie of the year, while forward-center Aldridge has become a fixture in Blazers' starting lineup.

Before joining the Blazers, Pritchard served as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs and as coach, general manager and player personnel director for the Kansas City Knights of the ABA.

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