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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

CBA coach Richardson suspended for remarks-

The comments by Michael Ray Richardson were inappropriate and disrespectful to the Jewish race. I am proud to be a Jew and I take offensive to the litany of comments he made about my religion.

While his comment that Jews are ''crafty'' might carry some validity, it was out of place for a person who is in the public spotlight to make those remarks. Richardson has been given several attempts to resurrect his life and be permitted to be around basketball, so for that he must know when it is time to keep his mouth shut. news services

Former NBA All-Star Micheal Ray Richardson appeared to be getting his life back on track after his league suspension in 1986 for drug use. He was coaching in the Continental Basketball Association and had led his team, the Albany Patroons, to the playoffs. But as they say: What goes up, must come down.

The Patroons have suspended Richardson for the rest of the CBA championship series for comments made to the Albany Times Union on Tuesday.

Before Tuesdays game against the Yakima Sun Kings, Richardson made anti-Semitic comments to two reporters in his office when discussing the contract general manager Jim Coyne had offered him Monday to coach his team in the CBA and USBL

I've got big-time lawyers," Richardson said, according to the Times Union. "I've got big-time Jew lawyers."

When told by the reporters that the comment could be offensive to people because it plays to the stereotype that Jews are crafty and shrewd, he responded with, "Are you kidding me? They are. They've got the best security system in the world. Have you ever been to an airport in Tel Aviv? They're real crafty. Listen, they are hated all over the world, so they've got to be crafty."

And he continued, "They got a lot of power in this world, you know what I mean?" he said. "Which I think is great. I don't think there's nothing wrong with it. If you look in most professional sports, they're run by Jewish people. If you look at a lot of most successful corporations and stuff, more businesses, they're run by Jewish. It's not a knock, but they are some crafty people."

And the offensive remarks didn't stop there.

According to the Times Union, Richardson told a fan who heckled him early in Tuesday's game, "Shut the [expletive] up." And near game's end, he shouted at another heckler, "Shut the [expletive] up, you [derogatory term for gay men],"

Assistant Derrick Rowland will coach the Patroons for the reminder of the series. Richardson will not be allowed into the Washington Avenue Armory during practices or games.

"It's terrible and I don't think it's fair," Richardson told the Times Union regarding the suspension. "But I want to make an apology if I offended anyone because that's not me."

The Patroons released a statement apologizing for the coach's remarks.

The Albany Patroons' organization sincerely apologizes to any individuals or ethnic groups that these alleged statements may have offended," the statement read.

The release also stated that the team and league "shall conduct a full and complete investigation as to the validity of these allegations. If these allegations are true, appropriate action will take place immediately."

Richardson, the fourth overall pick in the 1978 draft, is best known for an embattled NBA career that ended because of drugs. He was the subject of a 2000 film "What Happened to Micheal Ray?" documenting his troubled life.

In his second year, Richardson became only the second player in NBA to lead in both assists and steals. In 1986, the four-time NBA All-Star was banned for drug use in what David Stern called "the hardest thing I've ever had to do as commissioner."

Richardson played 14 seasons in Europe before making a comeback in American basketball as a coach.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Seattle Sonics Superstar Guard Ray Allen To Miss Remainder of Season

By David

Seven-time All-Star Ray Allen has decided to shut it down for the season after discovering bone spurs in his left ankle. In his 11th NBA season Allen has established himself as the leader of the Sonics and one of the best guards in the league.

Unfortunately, Seattle has not enjoyed success on the basketball court as they have posted a 27-42 record and with 13 games left in the season they are at the bottom of the Northwest division. Much of their struggles have occurred on the road as they have lost 25 out of their 33 games away from Key Arena.

General Manager Rick Sund said ''it makes sense for Ray to go forward and have the surgery.'' With the team now looking forward to June's draft it was a logical choice for the UCONN alum to shut it down and return next season 100% healthy.

It's disappointing that Ray had to end his season early because he was enjoying his best success on the court. Allen had averaged a career-high 26.4 ppg, 4.5 rpb and 4.1 apg in 55 games played. Not to mention the 11-year pro was shooting 90.3% from the charity stripe and 43.8% from the field. He also added in a 54 point game earlier this year against the division leading Jazz.

End of this streak can be a good thing for this team-

Kobe's miraculous four-game streak of 50 or more points ended last night with a victory over Golden State. L.A. is currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference and sit 6 games behind Houston for the fifth seed.

March 26, 2007

OK people, move along, nothing to see here. Kobe Bryant scored only 43 points Sunday night.
What's up with that?
"I had an off night," Bryant said.

And the Lakers are better off for it. His four-game streak of 50 or more points served its purpose, got the Lakers back to winning and got the Bryant discussion back to his ranking among the game's greatest scorers instead of its dirtiest players. (Bryant said a change in his follow-through precipitated the 225-point binge; apparently not whacking people in the head anymore helped).

But by Sunday, the points-fest became detrimental as the Lakers veered out of the normal realm of basketball and became just as Kobe-centric as the fans at Staples Center calling for him to shoot every time he touched the ball.

It led to strange things, like Luke Walton bypassing an open path to the hoop on the fastbreak, dribbling to his right and feeding a bounce pass to Bryant. Or Sasha Vujacic heeding Bryant's command to throw him the ball, even though there were three defenders around Bryant, any one of whom could — and did — knock the ball away.

The Lakers really had become a one-man team, and when Bryant cooled off after scoring 19 points in the first 13 minutes, so did the Lakers. They went from a 19-point lead in the second quarter to a 10-point deficit in the second half before the old Lakers reappeared.

Remember the team that looked like one of the four best squads in the Western Conference? It put in a cameo appearance in the fourth quarter. Familiar sights such as Walton creating shots for his teammates, Ronny Turiaf taking to the air or hitting the deck to grab the ball, Lamar Odom making timely plays and putting up All-Star type numbers (24 points and 19 rebounds).

Fun time is over.

"The streak's been so fun and he's been so on fire, it's like, 'Let's keep getting him the ball,' " Walton said.

But in the fourth quarter, "We had to come up with some stops on D and make plays, as opposed to throwing it to Kobe and seeing what he could do."

That's the mode they'll have to get back to down the final regular-season stretch and into the playoffs if they want to even duplicate what they did last year.

That said, let's pause for a moment to appreciate what we've just witnessed. If you're in Generation X or younger, you never got to see Wilt Chamberlain wreaking havoc on the league, so this is the closest approximation we've had. That's saying something.

How did the streak affect your life?

It had me online checking the live box score of the Lakers-Hornets game while covering the USC-North Carolina NCAA tournament game.

Sunday my cell phone battery was dying, but I was afraid to run to the Chick Hearn Press Room because I was afraid I might not get back before the timeout ended and Kobe would have another six points.

Bryant's run even put him back in the most valuable player discussion, which had been a two-man race between Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash. The problem is it's impossible to ignore the losing streaks of six and seven games that occurred on his watch this season.

An MVP should be a component of a great team. People who score such a large percentage of the squad's points usually aren't a member of a great team.

A bad sign for the Lakers: None of the other players with streaks of three or more games with at least 50 points (Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Michael Jordan) won championships in those seasons.

Another bad sign: This 50-point spree brought to mind his run of nine consecutive 40-point games in 2003. That was his best season to that point, the first (and only) time he played in all 82 games, averaging a then-career high 30 points. In the off-season he needed knee surgery.

Last year Bryant averaged 35 points, going for 40 or more 27 times. He launched 2,173 shots. And in the off-season? Knee surgery.

Continuing at this pace, playing at least 44 1/2 minutes every night, putting up 30-plus shots, would wear him out.

Before the game I asked Phil Jackson if and when he would tell Bryant to end the party.

"He's going to know whether he's hot or not at some point," Jackson said. "He's going to know when enough's enough. He's been around this game long enough and shot enough shots to know when it feels right."

Apparently that point arrived after Bryant shot three for 10 in the third quarter. With his meter on cool and the Warriors sending extra defenders his way every time he touched the ball, Bryant took only five shots in the fourth quarter. And the Lakers still outscored the Warriors, 30-25, to pull off a 115-113 victory.

There's still a five-game winning streak to discuss.

And besides, as Odom said, "43 ain't bad."

J.A. Adande can be reached at To read previous columns by Adande, go to

Thursday, March 15, 2007

NBA fines Lakers, Jackson $50,000 each- AP

March 15, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Los Angeles Lakers and Phil Jackson were fined $50,000 apiece by the NBA on Thursday after the coach said the league was conducting a "witch hunt" against Kobe Bryant.

Bryant recently received two one-game suspensions this season for striking players in the face after taking a shot. The league retroactively assessed Bryant with a flagrant foul for an elbow to Philadelphia's Kyle Korver last week, a play that didn't even draw a foul when it happened.

NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson said the fine was for Jackson's "public criticisms of the NBA."

Bryant, speaking in Denver before the fine was levied, said he appreciated Jackson standing up for him.

"He was defending his player," Bryant said at a shootaround for a game against the Nuggets.

Jackson clearly was upset with the NBA's actions.

"It shouldn't even have been a flagrant 1," Jackson said Tuesday. "That's crazy. That's a vendetta. They have a witch hunt going on. It's nuts. Guys riding somebody. Everybody does that in this league. It's just becoming a witch hunt now."

Bryant said the suspensions won't change his shooting style. He's second in the league in scoring behind Denver's Carmelo Anthony.

"You have to be careful about how you play the game," he said. "Go out there and play hard and do the best you can. Hopefully you don't get suspended or anything like that."

Asked if the league was overreacting, Bryant said: "I don't really want to get into it too much. You can't say anything about it without saying something inflammatory. I'd rather leave it alone and focus on the game."

Jackson was fined $25,000 in November for critical remarks. He said Wednesday he wasn't afraid of his comments leading to another fine.

Jackson didn't speak to the media after the shootaround in Denver.

Sports Writer Pat Graham in Denver contributed to this report.

Updated on Thursday, Mar 15, 2007 4:02 pm EDT

Milwaukee Bucks Dismiss Head Coach Terry Stotts

Terry Stotts was not successful during his tenure as Bucks head coach and on Wednesday he paid the ultimate price by being fired by general manager Larry Harris.

Stotts had lead Milwaukee to a 23-41 record, second worst in the Eastern Conference and dead last in the Central division. He was not aided by the fact that his best player Michael Redd was out for an extended period of time, as was Maurice Williams, Charlie Villanueva, Earl Boykins. Bobby Simmons and Dan Gadzuric. After being the eighth seed in last year's playoffs there were high expectations for the Bucks.

Assistant coach Larry Krystkowiak agreed to a multi-year deal and will become the next head coach for Milwaukee. The former Montana head coach will get his first taste as an NBA head coach tonight against the Spurs.

The best thing going for the Bucks right now is that they will receive an early pick in this June's NBA draft.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Rasheed Wallace Suspended Due to Technical Fouls-

Posted Mar 10 2007 5:32PM

NEW YORK, March 10, 2007 -- Detroit Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace has received an automatic one game suspension without pay after receiving his 16th technical of the 2006-07 season, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

A player or coach receives an automatic one-game suspension after receiving his 16th technical foul. Every other technical foul beyond 16 (18, 20, 22, ect.) will also result in a one-game suspension without pay.

Wallace received his most recent technical foul with 4:56 remaining in the second period of last night’s 95-82 win over the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Wallace will serve his suspension tomorrow, Sunday, March 11, when the Pistons travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers at the STAPLES Center.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant Suspended By NBA For One Game - ESPN

Kobe serves one-game suspension against Bucks
By Chris Sheridan

The NBA suspended Lakers guard Kobe Bryant for Wednesday night's game at Milwaukee for making contact with the face of Minnesota Timberwolves guard Marko Jaric on Tuesday night.

Bryant was called for a foul on the play. Bryant struck San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili in the face in similar fashion in the waning seconds of the Lakers' 96-94 overtime loss Jan. 28 against the Spurs.

Bryant was not called for a foul on that play, but was suspended for the Lakers' next game.

"I was very surprised to see a similar type of play occur," NBA vice president Stu Jackson said, adding that he'll likely issue a longer suspension if Bryant makes similar contact in the future.

Bryant was suspended in that incident for what Jackson called driving "a stiff arm backward."

The suspension cost the Lakers. Already short-handed due to injuries to Lamar Odom and Luke Walton, Los Angeles was routed by the Bucks on Wednesday night 110-90.

Jaric said he was surprised that Bryant was suspended.

But Jackson stands by his decision.

"I'm not in the business of reading players' minds, I'm simply evaluating the play as a basketball play," Jackson told The Associated Press. "And when you take a shot and follow through, followed by driving an arm back in an aggressive manner that strikes a defender in his face, that's what we evaluated to be a non-acceptable play."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson weighed in on the suspension and defended Bryant, who will forfeit about $161,000 in salary for the missed game.

"If they're going to make a call, even if they're wrong, they'll still be consistent," Jackson said before facing the Bucks.

He added, "I think I'm going to have to put about 50 clips of Kobe shooting his shot and his arms going out like that so the judger of this deed of Kobe's sees that he does this a lot," Jackson said. "It's not an unnatural basketball motion."

It is the fifth time that Bryant has been suspended by the NBA. In December 2005, Bryant caught Memphis' Mike Miller with an elbow in the throat and was suspended two games. In March 2002, Bryant had to sit two games for throwing a punch and fighting with Indiana's Reggie Miller at the conclusion of a Lakers-Pacers game. Then in April 2000, Bryant received a one-game suspension for retaliating by throwing a punch against the Knicks' Chris Childs.

Chris Sheridan covers the NBA for ESPN Insider. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sheriff's report: Kings forward Artest slapped victim- AP

Maybe David Stern and the NBA needs to institute a three strikes and your out rule for its players. NFL players brought this subject up several weeks ago and it would be a smart idea for all leagues to have this rule. Unfortunately, the Kings embattled forward Ron Artest would serve as the poster boy for the rule in the NBA.

By DON THOMPSON, Associated Press Writer

March 6, 2007

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Sacramento Kings forward Ron Artest slapped a woman's face and grabbed her repeatedly, causing visible injuries, according to a sheriff's report made public Tuesday.

Artest was arrested Monday after a woman inside his home in a Sacramento suburb called 911 and said she had been assaulted. In a portion of the 911 tape released by authorities, the woman described injuries to her hand and leg.

"Victim sustained visible trauma after being repeatedly grabbed by Artest and pushed to the floor," said the Placer County Sheriff's Department report. "Artest then slapped victim's face (and) by use of force prevented victim from leaving."

The report also said Artest took a phone from the woman the first time she tried to call 911.
Artest was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and using force or violence to prevent the woman from reporting a crime. He was released from custody after posting a $50,000 bond and is awaiting a March 22 arraignment.

In the 911 tape, released Tuesday by the sheriff's department, the woman calls a police dispatcher upset that Artest is leaving in a vehicle. After learning it's registered in both their names, the dispatcher says Artest has the legal right to take the vehicle.

The woman starts to hang up, then mentions "domestic violence."

"Ma'am, is there some fighting going on right now?" the dispatcher asks.

"Yeah, and he's upset," the woman replies.

"Did he hit you?" he asks.

"Oh, yeah, my hand is bleeding; I've got a scratch on my leg," she replies.

"Do you need medical, ma'am?"

''No. No. My finger's just bleeding. It's not stopping, but it's just bleeding. I'm not worried about my finger," the woman says.

The department released the initial 82 seconds of the call, which continued for about 15 minutes until deputies arrived at the home, said sheriff's department spokeswoman Dena Erwin.

Erwin said she could not elaborate on the nature of the woman's injuries. She also would not disclose the woman's relationship to Artest.

Authorities said a 3-year-old girl was inside the house at the time of the argument. She can be heard in the background of the 911 tape, talking to "daddy" and "mommy."

Placer County Deputy District Attorney Dan Quick said his office had yet to receive the report, but that prosecutors would review the 911 tape, photographs taken at the scene and other evidence.

"In cases like this, we don't do anything special as far as our treatment of them," Quick said.
"We want to see what evidence was gathered before we make a charging decision."

Artest's agent, Mark Stevens, said he planned to release a statement later Tuesday.

"We're trying to get the facts straight," he said.

Kings coach Eric Musselman told reporters Tuesday that he spoke to Artest by telephone Monday night but would not describe their conversation. The Kings indefinitely removed Artest, the central figure in the 2004 brawl between Indiana Pacers players and Detroit Pistons fans, from the team while they seek more information about the arrest. Artest, who joined the Kings in January 2006, continues to receive his salary.

"We're just kind of wait and see," team spokesman Troy Hanson said. "I think there's a lot of things we still need to look at."

Sheriff's deputies were called to Artest's five-acre estate in a gated community 25 miles northeast of Sacramento about 9:30 a.m. Monday. They said they found the player sitting quietly outside, the windshield of his Hummer shattered by a pot thrown by the woman.

Monday's incident was Artest's latest run-in with local authorities. Last month, county animal-control officers seized his Great Dane, Socks, because it wasn't being fed.

Updated on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2007 7:13 pm EST

Rockets' Yao Ming Returns To The Lineup After Leg Injury

By David

Houston center Yao Ming played in his first game Monday night after missing 32 games. He had been out since December 23rd with a non-displaced fracture in his right tibia. The team was optimistic that he would be out only six weeks, but he ended up missing a little over eight weeks of action.

In his first game last night against LeBron and the Cavaliers' Yao had 16 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. In 27 minutes of play Ming looked rusty as he shot a disappointing 5 for 15 from the field. He was not helped out by the fact that teammate Tracy McGrady went a woeful 10 for 32 from the field.

It will take a few games for the All-Star center to return to form, but when he does Houston will be very competitive in the ardent Western Conference. The Rockets' are 36-24 on the season but have dropped 6 out of their last 10 games. They currently are the fifth seed in the West and would have a first round matchup with the Jazz if the playoffs started today.

Miami's Dwyane Wade Delays Surgery In Hope Of Returning For The Playoffs

By David

Miami's superstar guard Dwyane Wade decided that rehab was the right answer for him and not surgery. After dislocating his left shoulder the NBA Finals MVP had the strenuous choice of either shutting it down for the season with the anticipation of being fully healthy for next season, or risking further injury by attempting a comeback towards the end of this season.

I'm not shocked by D-Wade's decision, but I feel that it is the wrong choice to make for a player who is 25, is entering the prime of his career and is one of the best players in the league. Is it worth returning for the playoffs when your team has no chance of winning? Granted, Dwyane Wade at 75-80% is better than anything Miami presently has, but what happens if his shoulder pops out of its socket and he re-injures himself, then what? At that point, it will be obvious to everyone that he should have opted for the surgery.

The Heat are currently 30-29 and hold the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. The East is woeful, but at any point a team like New Jersey, Orlando, Indiana or even New York can over take Miami for their playoff spot. They are being lead by a 35-year old Shaquille O'Neal who can break down at any moment and their best shooter Jason Kapono just went down with a severely sprained ankle. The NBA's best three-point shooter will now be out indefinitely.

I congratulate Wade for being brave and attempting to return, but I just worry for his long- term health. He plays relentless and fearless basketball and that can result in him hurting his shoulder very easily. I understand that he's ''Flash'' but he will be forced to tone his game down once he returns. I also question if it's worth returning just to defend the NBA title when Wade will have numerous opportunities in his career to return. Shaq probably has another 2-3 years with the Heat and after he moves on Wade will still have the bonus of playing in the East.

Dwyane Wade proved during last year's playoffs that he's a clutch shooter, leader and premier NBA guard, but maybe ''Flash'' is trying to do too much. Remember, he's been in the league for a mere four seasons and the Heat's franchise player must look to his future, not the present situation.

Kings' Ron Artest Arrested Monday On Domestic Violence Charge

Wow. He's sealed his fate now. What is going on in his head?

Kings forward Artest arrested after woman reports violence
By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer
March 5, 2007

AP - Mar 5, 7:49 pm EST
More Photos

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Sacramento Kings forward Ron Artest was arrested Monday and excused indefinitely from the team after a woman said he shoved her to the floor inside his home and prevented her from calling 911.

Placer County sheriff's authorities said the woman reported she and Artest were arguing inside the home Monday morning when he pushed her. The argument moved outside when Artest tried to leave in his Hummer, sheriff's Sgt. Andrew Scott said during a news conference.

"It resulted in some pushing," Scott said of the argument. "Mr. Artest had shoved the victim to the floor several times, then he attempted to leave."

The woman threw a pot at the Hummer, shattering its windshield, Scott said. He would not disclose the woman's relationship with Artest but said a 3-year-old girl was inside the house during the incident.

Deputies arrived around 9:30 a.m. at Artest's five-acre estate in the Sacramento suburb of Loomis and arrested him on suspicion of domestic violence, sheriff's spokeswoman Dena Erwin said. He also was arrested on suspicion of using force or violence to prevent the woman from reporting a crime.


"He was very cooperative," Scott said of Artest, found sitting calmly outside the home. "He gave no problems to any of the officers on scene."

Artest, the central figure of the infamous 2004 brawl between Indiana Pacers players and Detroit Pistons fans, was booked into the Placer County Jail and released later on $50,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for March 22.

Sheriff's deputies have been called to Artest's home at least once before, but there were no arrests, Erwin said.

Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations, said the team was removing Artest from the team, pending a full investigation.

"The Kings have excused Ron Artest indefinitely from any further participation with the team due to his arrest today for domestic violence," Petrie said in a statement.

Team spokesman Troy Hanson told The Associated Press that Artest had not been suspended and still was being paid.

An emergency protective order obtained by sheriff's officials prevents Artest from returning to his home or contacting the woman until she can obtain a restraining order. Scott said this was normal procedure.

Sheriff's officials said the woman had injuries but would not describe them. She declined medical treatment.

Artest, who joined the Kings from the Indiana Pacers in January 2006, has had previous run-ins with police.

He was at the center of the Nov. 19, 2004 brawl between Pacers players and Pistons fans at The Palace in Detroit. Just when a confrontation between players seemed to be over, Artest, lying on the scorer's table, was hit with a cup filled with an icy beverage. He bolted into the stands in a rage, followed by fist-swinging teammate Stephen Jackson. Artest and teammate Jermaine O'Neal later slugged fans on the court.

Two days later, Artest was suspended for the rest of the season -- 73 games, plus the playoffs -- in a move that cost him almost $5 million.

Artest and Jackson were sentenced to one year of probation and 60 hours of community service after pleading no contest to misdemeanor assault charges. In January, Artest was released from that probation.

Artest has spent nearly 14 months with Sacramento since the Kings acquired him in a blockbuster trade for fan favorite Peja Stojakovic. His short tenure is following a familiar script for the volatile former St. John's star: Initial excitement and outstanding play, followed by disinterest, distractions -- and now, more legal trouble.

Last month, county animal control officers seized Artest's Great Dane, Socks, from his home in a gated community about 25 miles northeast of Sacramento. They said the animal wasn't being fed.

Last season, Artest guaranteed the then-struggling Kings would make the playoffs shortly after he arrived, and they surged to the No. 8 seed and an impressive performance in a first-round loss to San Antonio.

Artest's dogged defense and passion fit in well with Sacramento's devoted fans, who adopted him as a community favorite.

This season hasn't been as easy for Artest, who's averaging 18.7 points and 6.6 rebounds while the Kings struggle at 27-32. Sacramento, which hosts Artest's former Indiana teammates on Tuesday night, has battled poor team chemistry and inconsistent play under new coach Eric Musselman.

Though Artest had been a model teammate in his abbreviated first season, he sparked controversy two months ago by indirectly criticizing Mike Bibby's defense. Artest also missed a handful of games with a knee injury that came as news to the Kings -- and last month, he sat out of the Kings' visit to Indiana for undisclosed personal reasons.

The Kings were rumored to be exploring trades for Artest but didn't make a deal at last month's trade deadline.

Sacramento has won its last three games, with Artest playing well in road victories over Portland and the Los Angeles Lakers -- after shaving the word "Kings" into the back of his head.

AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham in Tucson, Ariz., contributed to this report.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


It will be a long and ugly road ahead for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Steve Patterson to Resign

Immediate Search Begins For a Team General Manager and New President of Business Operations

PORTLAND, March 1, 2007 -- Vulcan Inc. announced today that Tod Leiweke will assume management oversight for Trail Blazers Inc., which operates the Portland Trail Blazers franchise in the National Basketball Association. It was also announced that Steve Patterson has resigned as President and General Manager of the Portland Trail Blazers, effective immediately. Mr. Leiweke announced that an immediate search would be conducted to name a team General Manager and find a new President of Business Operations, both will be Portland-based positions responsible for the day-to-day operations of the franchise. Mr. Leiweke will continue his role as Chief Executive Officer of the Seattle Seahawks.

"I am excited about this new opportunity and look forward to being a part of the Trail Blazers," said Mr. Leiweke. "Over the last couple of years, we’ve created some great memories for Seahawks fans. I look forward to creating the opportunity for Portland and all the Trail Blazer fans to have those same experiences."

"Under Steve’s direction many of the fundamental pieces have been put in place," said Paul Allen, owner of Vulcan, Inc. "I look forward to Tod’s leadership in building our Portland based management team and executing our transition and improvement plan so we can again assume our rightful position as one of the premier franchises in the NBA. Putting the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks under a common management umbrella underscores my commitment to the future of both franchises. Tod has done great things for the Seahawks, and I fully expect similar results for the Trail Blazers."

"With my contract soon to expire and after discussions with Paul and Tod I concluded this was simply the right time to step away," said Mr. Patterson. "I take great pride in what we achieved during my time in Portland and am confident we have placed this organization on a path that will result in success for many years to come. We have faced and overcome significant challenges in the past four seasons and now is the right time for the team to push ahead with new management. I would like to wish Paul Allen and Tod Leiweke success going forward and thank all the Blazers fans for their support during these past seasons of transition."

Mr. Leiweke also will become the CEO of a newly formed management company, Vulcan Sports & Entertainment ("VSE"). VSE will assume oversight responsibilities for all of Paul Allen’s sports-related properties including the Trail Blazers, the Rose Garden Arena and Memorial Coliseum, upon the successful completion of Vulcan’s negotiations with Portland Arena Management and all properties currently run by the Seattle Seahawks.

Mr. Leiweke, 47, has spent over 24 years in professional sports. Under Mr. Leiweke’s supervision, the Seattle Seahawks have achieved success both on and off the football field. In 2005, the Seahawks were named the NFL Sports Fan's Quality Award as the league's "Fan Friendliest" team. Additionally, the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC Championship and advanced to Super Bowl XL. In 2006, the Seahawks won their third straight NFC West title and increased their consecutive game sellout streak to 35. Prior to joining the Seahawks organization, Mr. Leiweke served as President of the Minnesota Wild and Chief Operating Officer of Minnesota Sports & Entertainment (MSE). Under Mr. Leiweke's tenure, the Sports Fans of America Association, Inc. awarded its NHL Sports Fan's Quality Award to the Wild as the league's "Fan Friendliest" team. Moreover, in an ESPN survey conducted in the same year, among 123 sports franchises, the Minnesota Wild ranked first in stadium experience and second in fan relationships. Leiweke has also held executive positions with the PGA TOUR, the NHL's Vancouver Canucks and the NBA's Golden State Warriors.

About Trail Blazers Inc.
Founded in Portland, Oregon in 1970, the Portland Trail Blazers won its only World Championship in 1977 under the leadership of basketball great Dr. Jack Ramsay. The team has a rich history of community involvement supporting issues focused primarily on children and education. With a corporate culture that promotes volunteerism, the Blazers Community Builders employee volunteer program was a key centerpiece in the Trail Blazers receiving the prestigious National Points of Light Award for Excellence in Corporate Community Service. The Trail Blazers were the first and continue to be the only professional sports team to achieve this honor.

About Vulcan Inc.
Vulcan Inc. creates and advances a variety of world-class endeavors and high-impact initiatives that change and improve the way people live, learn, do business and experience the world. Founded in 1986 by investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, and under the direction of president and CEO Jody Patton, Vulcan oversees various business and charitable projects including real estate holdings, investments in more than 40 companies, including Charter Communications, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Digeo Broadband, the Seattle Seahawks NFL and Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchises, First & Goal Inc., Vulcan Productions, the Seattle Cinerama theatre, Experience Music Project, the Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame, and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. For more information about Vulcan, please visit