Petrie's life started to change in 1984 when the Trail Blazers hired him to do color commentary on radio broadcasts. Soon he began working one-on-one with players, then he joined the front office in customer relations. Following the '89-90 season, owner Paul Allen promoted Petrie to VP. In his four years in that role the Blazers were among the league's top teams, reaching the Finals in '92, when they lost to the Chicago Bulls in six games. Petrie seemed to have everything—he loved Portland (still does) and had close friends around him ( Adelman was the coach) and a vibrant new wife (Anne-Marie, a former actress and dancer who is remembered around the NBA for her butt-wriggling dance with the Charlotte Hornets' mascot at the '91 league meeting). But in May '94 he abruptly resigned. He has kept quiet about his reasons and continues to do so, though it's an open secret that the Trail Blazers organization had become splintered. Petrie and Adelman, among others, favored keeping together the nucleus of the team to make another run at the title; others felt it was time to break it up and, perhaps, to send Adelman packing, too. Indeed, shortly after Petrie left, Adelman was fired.
Petrie's life in Sacramento has gradually become comfortable and familiar—he compares the city with Portland in its small-town feel and in its fervor for the NBA. He enjoys having his son, Mike, the Kings' assistant video coordinator, working in an office near his own. He can still "lope around a little" on the knee and plays tennis with Carril. He sketches landscape plans for his backyard. He cooks, trying to replicate dishes that he and Anne-Marie have enjoyed at gourmet restaurants. He picks up his acoustic guitar and works out Van Morrison tunes. "You always had the sense there was a lot more ticking inside of him than he showed," says John Hummer, a Princeton teammate whose NBA career was also cut short by injury. "I'm so glad it's come out." Anne-Marie never knew the junkie, only the exec. "He's good at every single thing he tries," she says. "You know what it's like living with somebody like that?"
Petrie also likes staring out his Arco Arena office window and seeing his old coach. He might catch the 5'6" Carril demonstrating an old-school hook shot to the 7'1" Divac or see Carril's countenance turn sour if the Kings bungle a half-court set. Later on, Petrie knows, he will mosey back to the coaches' room, and he and Carril will pick up the thread of an old discourse, plunge into what Petrie calls "our endless My Dinner with Andre conversations." Those moments are even more special for Carril, because he sees in Petrie the past and the present, the boy and the man, the raw material and the finished product. And he very much likes what he sees.