Randy Pfund: Fact Vs. Fiction

S. JujersonContributor IJuly 12, 2010

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 21:  Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen celebrates  his team's 10th consecutive victory  during the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Rose Garden on December 21, 2007 in Portland, Oregon.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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As Paul Allen continues his search for a GM to replace Kevin Pritchard, let's inject some facts back into the Randy Pfund as a "great GM" mythology. Just because he was around and GM at the time of many of the best Miami moves doesn't mean he engineered them, any more than Larry Miller should get credit for the moves Portland has made over the past several seasons just because he was President (during Kevin Pritchard's tenure as Blazers GM), right?

You may or may not recall, but when Pat Riley was made President and Head Coach, the deal was for control and authority on coaching and personnel moves. This meant that any future Heat GM would be a GM with substantially less authority than typical GMs.

You also may or may not remember that, at the time of most (if not all) the moves being credited to Pfund now, it was Riley (not Pfund) who was seen as the person responsible for the moves -- so, revisionist history today troubles me, particularly when Pfund has a vested interest in rewriting that history and greatly exaggerating his role there then since he is interviewing for a job with Portland now.

Here is but one of many, many examples you can find if you spend a little time looking for them: http://www.nba.com/heat/news/oneal_presser_040720.html. This is an important example, since adding Shaq to Wade, who at the time was only a 2nd year player, was and is seen by most as the critical transaction in the Heat's championship drive (and for those who again suffer from revisionist history and want to say that Shaq was washed up by then, in Shaq's first Miami year he made 1st team All-NBA).

This is a mere example of many you will find if you spend a bit of time googling some of the deals Pfund allegedly put together and now takes credit for - it is clear to me, as it was at the time, that Riley was the architect of the Heat, not Pfund.

If you don't want to bother reading the story on the press conference, just know that it is Shaq's official first press conference after joining the Heat, Riley and Shaq make statements but Pfund does not (and Riley says owner Micky Arison wanted to be there but doesn't mention Pfund), Shaq thanks Riley, owner Arison and then-Coach Stan Van Gundy for bringing him to Miami but never mentions Pfund, and finally Pfund is referred to or mentioned by Riley, Shaq or the media asking questions a grand total of zero times during the entire, lengthy presser. Could Pfund have really been that important to the Shaq acquisition if he wasn't even really part of the presser and is never mentioned by anyone? For a guy who Jason Quick (Oregonian Blazers beat writer) and others have credited with "bringing Shaq to Miami", that's a little hard to believe after being reminded of facts rather than fiction and mythology, right? But, it appears to be true; just read the story.

Don't we all know guys at work who don't do much but have a nice title, and then years later after they are gone are known to take credit for every great thing that happened at the company since most people really can't remember exactly how things went down and they can get away with it because things get a little fuzzy for everyone after a while? Too bad for Pfund we have the internet and news stories, no? Hehehe.

(Also, without looking it up, do you even know who the Heat GM is now, and five years from now, should we similarly give that person credit for bringing Bron, Wade and Bosh together rather than the person (Riley) who is being credited now?)