Interview: Pritchard discusses Camby, Oden, Przybilla
Transcript of an interview conducted Tuesday with Portland Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard.
Pritchard on signing center Marcus Camby to a two-year extension:
I think the big thing was, he went from Denver, and he struggled leaving there. Then, he left the (Los Angeles) Clippers, and he struggled leaving there. The one thing we wanted to do was make him feel good about coming here. And once he started getting comfortable, we saw a player that — he’s really an amazing player, what he’s done. As competitive as they come. And we saw it, and it sort of rubbed off on everybody else. He’s the ultimate unselfish person. He doesn’t look to shoot. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. He takes pride in that. He’ll call out our guys on the court. And he’s just a winner. But I think what probably took it over the edge was, we had conversations with Rick Kaplan, his agent. And the thing is, he started to really like Portland. And not just the city, but the players, the coaches. And he thought: ‘This is where I want to be for a couple years.’ And as soon as Rick and I had that discussion, I knew that’d we engage in negotiations. And in any negotiations, we want the other side to do it in good faith. And Rick has always been in good faith. And so we feel like it was a great deal for us; it really was. We feel like if we have everybody healthy, we have a front line that can compete with the better teams in this league.
On not just renting Camby out, but for him to be a fixture in Portland for at least two years:
I think Mr. (owner Paul) Allen showed his commitment to success. We always have to be careful with our finances. But he wanted Marcus, and was willing to do what it took to keep him.
On Camby tutoring center Greg Oden:
No question. We also feel that they can play next to each other. Marcus can play the 4. He’s played the 4 in the past. We feel like those guys can be on the floor at the same time.
On how Camby’s signing will possibly affect Joel Przybilla returning to the team:
Well, I know this: To be and play at the highest level, you have to have size. And if we’re going to look to compete with the best in the (Western Conference), we’ve got to have big guys that can compete night in and night out on an 82-game basis and be healthy. But when you get into the playoffs, you’ve got to have all those fouls to look down the bench and be prepared to play. Joel’s always been a super-pro in terms of that. We know Greg is going to work his tail off to get back. And Marcus is shown that he’s pretty durable. We feel like that with adding LaMarcus (Aldridge) to that group, we’ve got a front line that can compete.
On whether there’s a chance next season the Blazers have Oden, Camby, Aldridge and Przybilla on the same roster: