PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) There were rumors the Portland Trail Blazers were going to make a big move on draft night. What happened was downright surreal.
A report surfaced less than an hour before Thursday's NBA Draft started that general manager Kevin Pritchard had been fired — but was still going to be involved in the draft process.
The Blazers immediately went into lockdown and no one would comment — even off the record — on the dismissal. Pritchard was sequestered in the so-called war room. A sampling of representatives for current Blazers players were in the dark, having only heard the rumors.
Pritchard ducked out of the Blazers' practice facility without commenting.
"Parting ways with a popular general manager is not something we take lightly," billionaire owner Paul Allen, cofounder of Microsoft, said in a statement. "In the end, we decided to make a change."