Monday, June 25, 2007

Paul Allen Opens Up

As the Portland Trail Blazers try to figure out who to pick with the No. 1 pick on Thursday, Blazers owner Paul Allen has sat down for a couple of chats, one (video) with Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett for and one (print) for The Oregonian with beat writer Jason Quick.

Both interviews are interesting, but we'll quote from the latter as it's easier to work with.

Are you leaning one way?
I'm back and forth. Sometimes I like to play devil's advocate, just to make sure everybody is looking at the other side of the coin. Of course, there are some people, like earlier in the year, Kevin Pritchard was only talking about Durant, he didn't mention Oden at all. So, I kind of kid him about that. We would sit at Blazers games and I would ask him who he is watching, and he would say "Durant. I love Durant." So it's a real interesting decision. I think (Friday's) workout made it even a tougher decision than before.

[. . .]

I have a feeling you have a lot of trust with Kevin Pritchard.
Yeah, if you are the owner of a franchise, you look for somebody who has what I call the "golden gut" -- a sense for talent. I think (Seahawks president of football operations) Tim Ruskell in Seattle has that with football players. We've had past general managers who've had a good sense for talent, but Kevin looks for talent and character at the same time.

Does anything in there change your opinion of which direction Portland is going with the pick?