The Portland Trail Blazers fired GM Kevin Pritchard Thursday night after three years in which he led the Blazers from utter disaster to one of the most promising core of players in the league. He was fired despite being known for “winning” nearly ever transaction he was involved in and being one step ahead of the rest of the front offices in the NBA.
The Blazers may be looking to replace him with a man that somehow managed to not win a championship with the best player in basketball, despite an open checkbook to accomplish that goal.
ESPN reports the Blazers are interested in former Cavs GM Danny Ferry for their open general manager position.
Ferry led the Cavs to the Finals in 2007, and multiple 60+ win seasons. But he did so despite having the MVP LeBron James on roster and having the authority to spend what he needed to in order to win a championship. Ferry is widely considered shrewd, but unable to land the marquee deal, repeatedly failing to capitalize on opportunities given with long-term expiring contracts.
For example, he opted for Wally Sczerbiak as a marquee shooter for LeBron, Ben Wallace as a defensive stopper (despite his offensive liabilities) and Shaquille O’Neal as the Big Kahuna he caught. Then he made the big trade that netted Antawn Jamison instead of Amar’e Stoudemire. It was the right move at the time. It also probably resulted in his firing, as Jamison was unable to capitalize on what he was brought in to do against the Boston Celtics.
Ferry did deliver multiple 60+ win seasons, but has proven to be the opposite of Kevin Pritchard, opting for the safe move instead of swinging for the fences. Is that really what the Blazers need, with an injury prone roster and Brandon Roy as their only real star? We’ll find out if he lands the Blazers gig.
Matt Barnes is an instigator. He has been arrested for domestic violence. He also had a weird thing where he implied he was dating Rihanna only for her to claim they’d never never met.
Which is to say this is believable – that the Grizzlies forward attacked Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating his estranged wife.
Ian Mohr of the New York Post:
Sources said Fisher was at the LA home of Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife, who stars on “Basketball Wives LA” — on Saturday. Fisher and Govan have been dating for “a few months,” a source said, after Fisher filed to divorce his wife of 10 years, Candace, in March.
But when Barnes learned that Fisher was at his former home with Gloria, he drove 95 miles to LA to “beat the s–t” out of Fisher, sources said.
“Derek was in Gloria’s back yard with about 10 people having a bonfire on Saturday,” said a source. “Derek’s separated from his wife and there’s a relationship with [Gloria].”
The source added, “Barnes was in Santa Barbara [at Memphis Grizzlies training camp] and heard that Fisher was in his house. He went crazy. He got in his car and went to the house and went after Fisher.”
A source close to Fisher confirmed the fight but said, “Matt came after Derek but he only had a few scratches … Derek’s not going to press charges, he’s going to let it go.”
Even if Fisher – who missed practice Monday for what the Knicks called “personal reasons” – isn’t pressing charges, the NBA is investigating.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
This is a weird jurisdictional issue, especially if no criminal charges are filed. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the league punishes Barnes – a former Lakers teammate of Fisher – if it finds evidence to support the Post’s description of events.
Caron Butler wrote an autobiography, a recently published excerpt details his accounting of the Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton gun incident when they were with the Wizards.
An excerpt of the excerpt in The Washington Post:
When I entered the locker room, I thought I had somehow been transported back to my days on the streets of Racine. Gilbert was standing in front of his two locker stalls, the ones previously used by Michael Jordan, with four guns on display. Javaris was standing in front of his own stall, his back to Gilbert.
“Hey, MF, come pick one,” Gilbert told Javaris while pointing to the weapons. “I’m going to shoot your [expletive] with one of these.”
“Oh no, you don’t need to shoot me with one of those,” said Javaris, turning around slowly like a gunslinger in the Old West. “I’ve got one right here.”
He pulled out his own gun, already loaded, cocked it, and pointed it at Gilbert.
Other players who had been casually arriving, laughing and joking with each other, came to a sudden halt, their eyes bugging out. It took them only a few seconds to realize this was for real, a shootaround of a whole different nature. They all looked at each other and then they ran, the last man out locking the door behind him.
Somebody outside the locker room called 911. Flip Saunders was the coach back then, but he was too scared to even come into the locker room.
Click through to read the entire excerpt. It’s captivating.
Arenas is essentially retired and still spouting off silly takes.
Crittenton is currently serving a 23-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter.
Butler plays for the Kings.