(bum steer. and on the left, Bevo)
As Texas prepares to hire a men’s basketball coach
who doesn’t resemble Scott Weiland to replace Rick Barnes, The Oregonian’s John Canzano — mindful of UT Athletic Director Steve Patterson’s miserable tenure as Portland Trailblazers club president (“he pretends to know where the money is buried. He grew up in arenas, learning how to work the room. The surprise is how woeful he is once he gets control of the room,”) — warns alleged target VCU’s Shaka Smart that perhaps he could, y’know, do better?
Patterson likes to take credit for the Trail Blazers “rebuild,” but anyone who was there knows better. During a four-year period beginning in 2003, Patterson fostered an unhealthy culture inside the organization, he fired more than 100 employees, he threw what was then the Rose Garden Arena into bankruptcy, cracked down on anyone who crossed him, and plotted from his president’s office to also become the team’s general manager (2006-07).
Remember the time Patterson fined Darius Miles $150,000 and publicly scolded the small forward for berating his coach in a film session? I do. So does then-coach Maurice Cheeks. Because that act of support for Cheeks was followed by a back-room deal between Patterson and Miles in which the small forward would receive every penny of the fine back, plus interest. When I informed Cheeks of the arrangement, he said, “I might as well pack my bags.”
In Patterson’s short time in Texas, he’s talked about playing football games in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He ran off Mack Brown from the football program like a teenager who didn’t know how to break up with his girlfriend. Rick Barnes revealed this week that Patterson told him after his NCAA Tournament loss that he’d be back for another season, then shifted course, demanding that he fire assistants or be gone himself. Also, that tidbit was leaked, in a move that had familiar fingerprints all over it.