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Trail Blazers' Whitsitt Steps Down

May 08, 2003|From Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazer President and General Manager Bob Whitsitt resigned Wednesday, days after the team ended a turbulent season marked by legal troubles, suspensions and infighting.

Whitsitt's resignation takes effect June 30. Owner Paul Allen said the team would immediately begin separate searches for a president and general manager.

Since Whitsitt took the job with the Trail Blazers in 1994, the team has a 426-280 record (.603) with 14 successive winning seasons and 21 consecutive trips to the playoffs. This season, Portland went 50-32.

But he has faced increasing criticism for the team's on-court performance and off-court problems.

This season, Rasheed Wallace, Damon Stoudamire and rookie Qyntel Woods were cited for marijuana possession. Ruben Patterson was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault, but his wife asked that charges not be pursued.

Wallace was suspended for seven games by the league for threatening a referee on the loading dock after a game in January, and Patterson scuffled with forward Zach Randolph during practice. Randolph was suspended for two games by the team for punching Patterson and breaking his eye socket.

The Trail Blazers, who have the highest payroll in the league at $105 million, were ousted from the playoffs in seven games by Dallas after first-round sweeps by the Lakers the previous two seasons.

During Whitsitt's stay, players have been suspended 20 times. There have been 15 arrests.

Allen asked for the fans' "patience and support as we bring in a new general manager and president."


The Philadelphia 76ers might have to play Game 2 against the Detroit Pistons tonight without point guard Eric Snow, who injured his right foot in the series opener.

Coach Larry Brown doesn't expect to know if Snow will be available until just before game time. Snow did not practice Wednesday.

"I know that if Eric can be out there, he will," Brown said.

Snow was hurt Tuesday night in Philadelphia's 98-87 loss at Detroit in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Tests were negative for fractures. Snow does have inflammation of the soft tissues and tendinitis. If Snow can't play, former Piston Aaron McKie will start at point guard.

Piston point guard Chauncey Billups also might sit out Game 2. Billups has been averaging 33.7 points the last three games.


Rookie of the Year Amare Stoudemire and No. 1 overall draft choice Yao Ming were unanimous choices for the NBA All-Rookie team.

Phoenix forward Stoudemire and Houston center Yao received the maximum 56 points in balloting by the league's head coaches.

Miami's Caron Butler (55 points), Orlando's Drew Gooden (45) and Denver's Nene Hilario (40) also made the team.

Stoudemire led rookies in rebounding (8.8) and tied for second in scoring (13.5) and blocked shots (1.06). Yao led rookies in blocked shots (1.79), was second in rebounding (8.2) and tied Stoudemire in scoring average.

The all-rookie second team: San Antonio's Manu Ginobili, Orlando's Gordan Giricek, Cleveland's Carlos Boozer, Chicago's Jay Williams and Boston's J.R. Bremer.


New Orleans Hornet General Manager Jeff Bower resigned to become an assistant coach at Penn State.

Bower has been with the Hornets for six seasons, two as general manager. He'll stay with the team through the NBA draft on June 26.

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