<
>

Miller reportedly not interested in Blazers' president position

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The former global sports marketing chief
for Nike Inc. says he is not interested in becoming president of
the Portland Trail Blazers.

Steve Miller told The Oregonian he has withdrawn from the search
for a new leader for the NBA franchise.

Miller, 63, was considered the front-runner for the job. He
declined to comment on his reasons, saying only that he sent a
letter to notify Vulcan Sports & Entertainment, a division of
Blazers owner Paul Allen's investment firm.

Miller's withdrawal comes as the search for a new president,
which began in mid-February, enters its fourth month.

The Blazers have been without a team president since March, when
Vulcan notified Steve Patterson that it would not be renewing his
contract.

But Tod Leiweke, chief executive of Vulcan Sports &
Entertainment, said he does not believe the search is dragging out.

"I think this is a really important position," Leiweke said,
adding that "I don't view the process as being off track or having
taken any longer."

Leiweke declined to comment on Miller's withdrawal or to even
confirm that Miller was a candidate, noting that he does not want
to disclose information about candidates.

Miller, a brand consultant and graduate-school lecturer who
lives in Portland, formerly led Nike's sports marketing growth in
the late 1990s and headed the Professional Bowlers Association from
2000 to 2005. The outspoken Chicago native and former Kansas State
University athletic director also is a frequent speaker at
conferences and is a board member for organizations, including the
Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation.