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News » Portland Trail Blazers Getting Inside 2009-05-30

Portland Trail Blazers Getting Inside 2009-05-30

Portland Trail Blazers Getting Inside 2009-05-30
Tom Penn is staying in Portland, but with a different title.

The Trail Blazers' assistant general manager, who turned down an offer to become the general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves, has been promoted to Blazers' vice president/basketball operations.

Portland GM Kevin Pritchard said the new title wasn't an inducement to get Penn, 41, to stay.

"It was deserved," Pritchard said. "He has been a big part of what we've done, and we wanted to reward him. Once he said he wanted to stay, we gave him a bump in the title."

Penn, reputed as a salary cap expert, is expected to take on more duties with tasks such as contract negotiations with the Blazers. After flying to Minneapolis last week to meet with Minnesota officials, Penn says he seriously considered the Timberwolves' offer.

"It was a tough decision, but coming back here is actually quite easy," said Penn, who spent seven years with the Grizzlies' front office in Vancouver and Memphis before joining the Blazers in 2007. "I feel blessed to have this chance and to keep doing what we're doing. With our management group, we complement each other really well, we challenge each other and enjoy working with each other.

"We have a great culture, a great family, a great group of people. I'm still so excited about where our team is and the work left to be done. I feel privileged to have a chance to do it with people I really love working with, and for an owner (Paul Allen) who is the best in pro sports."

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: A 100-99 victory over San Antonio in the home opener set the stage for a 34-7 record at home, best since the 1990-91 team went 36-5. With the pressure on in a tight Western Conference playoff race, the Blazers went 19-6 over their final 25 games to grab fourth place and home-court advantage in the first round.

TURNING POINT: With Brandon Roy on the sidelines with a sore knee, the Blazers knocked off defending NBA champion Boston 91-86 at home on Dec. 30. That let them know they were capable of beating the best on a given night, even without their top player.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 30, 2009


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