The Blazers have announced that John Nash will not be retained as GM after his contract expires on June 30. Actually, Steve Patterson immediately assumes the role of interim GM, so I guess you could say he's actually been fired a month before his contract comes due, though I'm sure he's still collecting a check for the month of June.
This probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone, as the Other White Nash, while given a very difficult job of cutting payroll, bringing in "character guys" (whatever that means), and reconnecting with the fan base, was generally regarded as somewhat of a failure. Most vilify him for drafting Sebastian Telfair, trading the pick that could have been Chris Paul, and signing Theo Ratliff, Darius Miles, and Zach Randolph to inflated contracts. While I don't feel as though Nash did a horrible job, I certainly don't feel as though he performed well enough to deserve another go-round.
So the focus now turns to who is to be the next GM. Some think its Kevin Pritchard (whose contract as Director of Player Personnel expired yesterday). Maybe Kiki Vandeweghe? At this point it's a real mystery, but you'd have to think that no established GM is going to want to step into the maelstrom of poor performance, bad attitudes, and uncertain ownership that the Blazers currently inhabit.
Is there any other professional franchise that has more unanswered questions than the Portland Trail Blazers? If so, they have my sympathies
Update: John Nash has released this statement (via Eric's OregonLive Blazer Blog):
"I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the Trail Blazers organization for the opportunity afforded to me to be a part of this Team and this Community over the last three seasons. Although we shared some successes as an organization, I wish we could have made more rapid progress on the court. I am very proud of the young men that have joined the team in recent years and under the guidance of the outstanding coaching staff that is in place, progress will be made in subsequent seasons. The upcoming draft will render another talent to the roster. I would also like to thank the fans who were so supportive and patient during this difficult time of transition. Portland is a wonderful place filled with terrific fans who want nothing more than for the Team to succeed. I share their sentiments and I will be rooting for the day when the Team makes Portland proud again. The past three years gave me a marvelous opportunity to meet new friends and gain an appreciation for Portland, the Northwest as well as the Trail Blazers."
Update 2: Eric's got a great overview of the press conference today regarding Nash getting the boot and the search for his replacement. The fact that Patterson wouldn't rule himself out as a canidate gives me chills. Aren't you usually supposed to accomplish something in your original job before you take on more responcibilities?