Steve Patterson Rumors
Remember the time Patterson fined Darius Miles $150,000 and publicly scolded the small forward for berating his coach in a film session? I do. So does then-coach Maurice Cheeks. Because that act of support for Cheeks was followed by a back-room deal between Patterson and Miles in which the small forward would receive every penny of the fine back, plus interest. When I informed Cheeks of the arrangement, he said, “I might as well pack my bags.”
Patterson likes to take credit for the Trail Blazers “rebuild,” but anyone who was there knows better. During a four-year period beginning in 2003, Patterson fostered an unhealthy culture inside the organization, he fired more than 100 employees, he threw what was then the Rose Garden Arena into bankruptcy, cracked down on anyone who crossed him, and plotted from his president’s office to also become the team’s general manager (2006-07).
The Trail Blazers hired Chris McGowan as president on Monday. He replaces Larry Miller, who replaced Steve Patterson, who replaced Bob Whitsitt. Also, McGowan will work alongside general manager Neil Olshey, who replaced Rich Cho, who replaced Kevin Pritchard, who replaced Patterson, who replaced John Nash, who replaced Whitsitt. Point is, it hasn’t felt easy to explain around here since Whitsitt left, has it? The hope here isn’t that McGowan will walk on water, or help a basketball team that feels headed to another NBA Draft Lottery find a miracle way out of this mess. Rather, the hope is that McGowan can work closely enough with Olshey to end the convoluted decade of madness and again make the basketball, not the business (or some gobbled combination) feel like it’s driving the bus again.
National Basketball Association arena operators would miss out on more than $1 billion in ticket revenue if a labor shutdown wipes out the 2011-12 season, probably leaving their buildings dark those nights. “Most all the dates would go unfilled,” former Portland Trail Blazers President Steve Patterson wrote in an e-mail.
Patterson was fired three months before the 2007 draft and Miller was hired eight days before the draft and admits that he was not intimately involved in the draft process. However, Patterson said that as far back as March the Blazers were gathering information on draft picks and that there were concerns about Oden’s body. Oden had hip surgery in sixth grade, and one of his legs is shorter than the other, causing a natural limp. While in high school, he also had ligament damage to his right wrist, which was later operated on at Ohio State University. “I did have concerns with a guy who was hurt as much as Oden,” Patterson said, noting that he was in favor of drafting Durant.
Steve Patterson, who served as Blazers president from June of 2003 through March of 2007 as well as handling general manager duties from 2006-2007, said the Blazers’ medical staff was consistently spot-on in their evaluations. He called Blazers doctors Don Roberts and Tom Reis “among the best doctors in the NBA.” “They had an unique talent to look at a player – particularly Dr. Roberts when it applied to knees – and with great precision predict what would happen to that player in the future,” Patterson said. Patterson said the recommendations of Roberts and Reis were not always followed. “There were points in time when there were others within the organization who weighed in on decisions who didn’t have the same perspective as the doctors,” Patterson said. “And those decisions came back to haunt the organization.”
The team’s new general manager, Rich Cho, said he values medical history and the advice provided by medical personnel when acquiring players Meanwhile, Miller insists that the team has never ignored medical information and will continue to make it a part of their player evaluations. “Talent, medical and character all need to be on an equal plane,” Miller said. “Sometimes you can get all three, but sometimes you only get two of the three. Sometimes the talent doesn’t always pan out. Sometimes the character doesn’t pan out. And sometimes the medical doesn’t pan out. I think there will always be risk involved.”