This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 1, 2005 4:06 AM. The previous post in this blog was Wrecking Randy's weekend, again. The next post in this blog is Wiggle room. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, August 1, 2005

Is it time to get back with the Blazers?

With reports that guard Damon "Weed" Stoudamire is on his way to Memphis, the last condition that I imposed to end my exile from Blazermania is apparently coming to pass. Until the team had parted company with both Rasheed Wallace and the 5'9" gangleader of ganja, there was no way I was setting foot in the arena or otherwise spending a nickel on those louts.

It wasn't about winning or losing on the court, I said. I've rooted enthusiastically for lots of weak Blazer teams in the past. I just wanted some of our more egregious poster children for bad judgment to be sent packing.

There are still lots of warts on the characters of some of the players the team has left. They're mostly young, and they're going to lose lots of games before they're any good. The ownership and management are, well, downright weird, to be honest. And all the noise and other junk that they fill the arena with at every game instead of basketball is a real annoyance. But the Blazers are still our only big league team, and perhaps it's time to show back up for a game or two this year.

My older daughter and I like to watch Houston center Yao Ming on television. If he's playing in Portland on a convenient night, maybe we'll have to blow some cash and be there.

UPDATE, 3:23 p.m.: Extra added bonus: Maurice Lucas will be on the bench as an assistant coach.

Comments (9)

Yeah, I'm back on board as well. I like this new team, and I really like Nate McMillan. We're gonna lose a lot of games this year, but I like the direction the team is going.

I'm encouraged by McMillan (or "McMullen," to quote Diane Linne) as well. Someone in Seattle said, in reference to Darius Miles' outburst against Cheeks, (paraphrasing) "had he tried that with Nate, he wouldn't have gotten to the second syllable of the first "n word" before Nate's fist would have been halfway down his throat." Sounds like just what this team needs. Plus with the talented group of Outlaw, Telfair, and Webster, I think the Blazers are going places. Even if they lose, they are least pointed in the right direction, not just treading water or moving backwards like they have been the past few years.

Although Damon never bothered me as much as Rasheed, I thought that claiming a search was illegal when the weed you had wrapped in tinfoil was discovered GOING THROUGH AIRPORT SECURITY, was a low point of the last few years. The other pot discovery at his house led to one of my better Blazer jokes: “Looks like Damon lost a few pounds in the off-season.”

OK, so besides Zach and Miles, do we have any bad contracts left? I am hoping Nate McMillen can at least give some semblance of control to this team as opposed to Cheeks (I could never figure out where he learned to coach unless he was watching old Doug Moe films.)

I really do wish the best for McMillen, but it took him 3 or so years to get Seattle to a playoff contender and I just think the timeline (heck everybody they have drafted for the past 2 years would need another 3 years to be legal) is working against them.

Unfortunately, I think they need to work a big trade that means rolling the dice again to get them back to a playoff home team (unless we can engineer a move to the Eastern Conference).

Back in my personal blogging days, I used to have regular tirades on the unlikeability of the Blazers and the moves they needed to make.

Conditions for my return:
-Trade Zach
-Trade Darius
-Trade Ruben
-Trade Damon
-Trade DA

Now, my criteria for return changed over time. For instance, Ruben professed personal change and the elimination of alcohol in hopes of improving his off-court life, and turned into the on-court soul of the team. So I could handle keeping him. Damon took the infamous pee test, and passed, despite the condemnation he faced from players in the league. So I could handle keeping him. Both Zach and Darius have good times, as well as bad. I'd like them much more if we weren't paying them as much as we are, and if Zach wasn't offensive option one, which gives him a big head and legitimizes his me-first, no-pass style of play.

I still think we should find a way out of DA's contract. He's unwatchable. I still would rather we found a taker for Darius and, to a lesser extent, Zach. But, given the moves made by the team in new players and coaches, and given my honest belief John Nash "gets it" while Whitsitt didn't, I think I can go back this year. I think the team has shown that they are committed to taking good steps to make the right things happen.

And I feel good about the fact that it's going to be off-the-court improvement first. This year likely won't be pretty on the court. Probably the same next year. But I can handle a re-build as long as it doesn't look like a 7 year process, and as long as the players on the team are quality, likeable guys who are obviously trying.

So, sign me up for actually paying for a ticket this year, and for publicly cheering for the home team.

Hmmm, that one's twice the 150-word limit. It's like herding cats...

Nice story in the paper today about Darius buying shoes for a guy who's trying to stay out of trouble by pursuing a hoop dream. Maybe there's hope for Darius.

They won't admit that Zach was a mistake, probably ever. Maybe Lucas and Nate can make half a player out of him.

DA was a total bust. His body's like delicate glass. I can't believe they'd waste the bench space on him. It's time to retire.

I'm with Rusty, although I was waiting to see if Billy Ray Bates would come out of retirement before I went back to a Blazer game.


I am coming around too.

John Nash, the gm of the Trailblazers, is my guest this week on Outlook Portland with Nick Fish.

Sunday, August 7 at 6:30 on KWBP.

He's on a roll. I asked him if this was all a prelude to a run for public office....

The draft moves...the free agent signings...waiving Damon...a new coach...Maurice Lucas....

We may not win 40 games this year. But I won't be as reluctant to take my 12 year old daughter to a game.

Nick Fish

I read that story about Daruius and the shoes and thought..how nice.. .Then I thought -why not give 10 guys shoes (or whatever) instead of giving one guy 52 pairs of shoes. Still, the thought was very nice.

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