I laughed to myself this morning when I realized what I was reading most frequently in the comments to different stories & fanposts:
1. Kevin Pritchard was the best thing that ever happened to the Blazers.
2. It's time to trade Oden, Aldridge, Rudy, Bayless, and/or Miller
So I looked for specifics and found that while KP was the GM he drafted Oden, bought the draft rights to Rudy and Bayless, signed Miller as a free agent, and negotiated the big dollar contract extension for Aldridge. I concluded that the two opinions cited above cannot coexist in the same person - and if they do, I'd love to know how.
Kevin Pritchard is extremely charismatic and most of us not only drank the Kevinade we became addicted to it. (I certainly am guilty.) We loved his enthusiasm for his players and we saw the future through his eyes. A dynasty in the making! Even Blazer marketing bought into the excitement of The Big Three. KP possibly was the greatest single influence on the return of Blazermania; certainly the trio of KP, Roy, and Oden caught the imagination. Were we duped? Not intentionally, of course, but were those dreams created by KP's zeal for what he imagined he was creating? I am sure he believed in his dreams, but I have a feeling that Nate never saw the pie in the sky that KP did - and he may not have been the only one.
As best I can figure out, this is Pritchard's record as GM (not knowing how much influence he had in his earlier years with the Blazers) : Bought the draft rights to Petteri Koponen and Rudy (and got James Jones in the exemption - for which he thanked Tom Penn). Traded for Channing Fry, Von Wafer, Ike Diogu, Michael Ruffin, Marcus Camby and the draft rights to Bayless, Batum, and Pendergraph. Drafted Greg Oden and Dante Cunningham. (Missing this year's draft transactions.) Signed as free agents : Steve Blake, Juwan Howard, and Andre Miller. Don't know how many free agents we gave offers to and lost - I can only recall last summer's Turkoglu and Millsap. Bought out Steve Francis. We got nothing for RLEC - were there other expiring contracts that we lost? I'd love to know how many trade discussions there were that went down to the wire - and which team was the one that eventually backed out.
I've come back to Earth from my Kevinade high. I don't feel disillusioned, but I know I was swept along in all the excitement. I'm almost to the point of thinking that Kevin Pritchard was a better Marketing agent than a GM. (Which is not saying he is a bad GM, but is a genius at marketing to the fans.) Rich Cho doesn't appear to have any addictive substances to hook the fans - I hope his more grounded approach will yield successes that keep the excitement going. Welcome, GM Cho - may your work keep Blazermania alive for a long long time.