The Portland Trail Blazers are experiencing a resurgence thanks to the addition of some young talent, but it wasn’t enough to save the job of team president and general manager Steve Patterson.
Two days after Patterson’s resignation, Portland (25-34) looks to build off a convincing win when it hosts the Sacramento Kings on Saturday.
The Blazers defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 127-90 on Thursday - their most lopsided victory since a 120-82 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 24, 2002. However, the game was overshadowed by Patterson’s resignation, which came after Portland owner Paul Allen refused to renew his contract.
At a halftime press conference Thursday, Allen said Tod Leiweke, chief executive officer of the Seattle Seahawks, will take over until a full-time replacement is found.
Patterson had been team president since 2003 and GM since last May when John Nash was fired. During his tenure as team president the Blazers endured two of the worst seasons in franchise history, going 21-61 last season and 27-55 in 2004-05.
“I think you get to the point you have a certain number of successes and you know it gets to the point that sometimes it’s better for somebody to take the ball the last 10 yards than somebody’s who’s taken it the first 90 yards,” Patterson said.
With the two rookies making solid contributions, Portland is in fourth place in the Northwest Division and 13th in the Western Conference - 3 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the final playoff spot.
“I don’t know much about that situation,” Roy said about Patterson’s resignation, “but I do know that if we play well the fans will come.”
This is the second of a four-game homestand for the Blazers, who announced Thursday that starting center Joel Przybilla will miss the remainder of the season after an MRI on his left knee revealed the need for arthroscopic surgery.
Przybilla signed a five-year, $32 million contract extension this summer and started 43 games, but was averaging just 2.0 points and 3.9 rebounds. Aldridge started in his place Thursday and scored a career-high 30 points in his eighth career start.
This is the final meeting between the Blazers and Kings (26-32) this season. Portland has won two of three in the series, including a 110-105 overtime victory on Jan. 6.
The Kings have won three of their last four games overall, including a 116-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. Mike Bibby scored 10 of his 33 points in the final 4:04, while Ron Artest added 19 points and six assists.
“We played hard all the way through, and you can’t ask for any more,” Bibby said.
Sacramento is 10th in the West, two games behind the Clippers for the final playoff spot.