NBA Commissioner David Stern held a press teleconference today and was asked a pair of questions about the Blazers.
UPDATE: Here’s the full transcript regarding Portland:
Q. The Portland Trail Blazers have been remarkably successful this season despite numerous injuries. What are your thoughts on the blazers accomplishments this season?
COMMISSIONER STERN: I think that Larry Miller and his staff have done a great job. Really, retooling the roster, the pick‑up of Marcus Camby when the center position was so weakened by injury, the sellout streak, the sponsorship streak. But most importantly the attachment to the community or should I say reattachment, has been terrific.
And it’s a very forward looking team. I know they recently got the gold league certification of the building, and that was celebrated last weekend. It’s really turning into a model franchise.
And Paul Allen is to be applauded for staying with it and really justifying the team to the good people of Portland who are responding in an extraordinary way.
Q. Also, as you’ve known, there has been some turmoil in the Blazers front office with the assistant GM Tom Penn being fired about a month ago, and Kevin Pritchard’s job status being in question. Wonder if you have any thoughts on or comments on that?
COMMISSIONER STERN: I’m not going to ask if there were any physical altercations. Welcome to the NBA. There are always comings and goings at coaching level, front office level and the like. I think the people of Portland have, I think, taken it very seriously because they’ve become quite attached to their team, and it makes interesting reading and interesting headlines. Just shows how much they care and how much the team cares about the city. But I don’t have an opinion on that subject.
No mention of Kevin Pritchard, even when Stern praised the Blazers for the Marcus Camby deal. Stern then dodged a follow up question — as he does regularly — about the Tom Penn firing and Kevin Pritchard’s job status. Stern usually picks his words very carefully in public interviews, so it should worry you at least a little that he said “Larry Miller and his staff.”