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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 10, 2009 1:52 AM. The previous post in this blog was Last chance to park on the Portland transit mall. The next post in this blog is Dubious distinction. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blazers' business, poker, spelling skills belong in the D League

The insanity to which the Trail Blazers succumbed when they signed a big contract with wayward underachieving forward Darius Miles was bad enough. But now that it's come back to haunt them, the team's management has managed to make the situation far, far worse by trying to play hardball without a bat.

This week, the Blazers sent an e-mail around the league threatening to sue any other team that hires Miles and plays him in league games "for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions." If Miles plays in two more games anywhere in the league this season, the Blazers, who I believe have to pay his fat salary anyway, apparently will also have to pay a steep "luxury tax" to many other teams. Portland will also be severely hampered in spending big bucks to sign free agents after the season is over.

To our untrained eye, the Blazers' threat is laughable. Proving that another owner had some sort of bad "purpose" in putting Miles in a uniform and handing him a ball would seem an unlikely proposition.

This appears to be just another example of Paul Allen making a huge mistake and then huffing and puffing about court action when he's got no real ammunition. Remember the arena bankruptcy? Bluff called; the Big Vulcan folded. We asked the same question back then: Why draw more attention to your own lack of professional acumen by engaging in boorish behavior?

And of course, the Blazers are losing their latest game of Truth or Dare. The Grizzlies just re-signed Miles.

Poor business judgment and arrogance don't smell any sweeter when you stir in hypocrisy. Which is what makes this quotation so amusing:

"Persons or entities involved in such conduct may be individually liable to the Portland Trail Blazers for tortuously [sic] interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers’ contract rights and perspective [sic] economic opportunities," [Blazer President Larry] Miller wrote, according to the reports.
Gosh, Larry, aside from the comical misspellings -- what about Darius Miles's contract rights and economic opportunities? Anybody interfering with those?

Already the union has said it will file a grievance against the Blazers. No kidding.

Comments (19)

I think the Blazers have a case to a certain extent if a team signs him to a 10 day contract, plays him twice and than cuts him. The thing that really pisses me off is that Miles was fat and out of shape, got the medical release thing, then decided to get back into shape. I would like to see him try to play 10+ minutes a night, his knee won't take it.

Also, the talk is Paul Allen and the Blazers have a team of lawyers who gave the go ahead for the email to the GM's. Should be interesting....

I think the Blazers have a case to a certain extent if a team signs him to a 10 day contract, plays him twice and than cuts him.

A case of what?

Also, the talk is Paul Allen and the Blazers have a team of lawyers who gave the go ahead for the email to the GM's.


Attorneys vetted the memo before the executives sent it, but did not participate in the decision to send it, Miller said.

Nobody vetted the spelling, that's for sure. This was Allen and his Vulcan yes-men up in Seattle. Like the bankruptcy, they're wasting their breath.

And the other big issue is that the Doctor who said Miles was unfit to play in the NBA anymore was mutually picked by the Blazers, Miles, NBA, and Player Union. I think it is stupid that the Blazers will be held responsible for Miles salary on their cap, because he was deemed unfit to play by a 3rd party doctor.

Anyways, I hope the Blazers look at all avenues available to them to fight this.

Just my opinion. Go Blazers!

Luxury tax, guy. It's too bad, but that's the way it's going to be.

Ah, and I now recall that at least part of Miles's salary, which the Blazers have to pay, is being covered by some sort of insurance policy that the Blazers have.

At first I thought maybe the Blazers did the math, and figured the negative publicity from the letter was worth more than the risk of another team playing Miles.

But, it doesn't appear they have any real claim. So their threat looks foolish.

I'll say this, if they do manage to scare a team away from playing Miles, it might be worth it in the end. But it is still Bush-League.

Gosh, Larry, aside from the comical misspellings -- what about Darius Miles's contract rights and economic opportunities? Anybody interfering with those?

Nailed it.

If Darius can play, he should be able to.

The Blazers' e-mail is about as stupid as saying, "you better not pick that guy in the draft, because we were planning to." Yeah, right. Sometimes you pick someone, or sign someone, just to mess with a rival's chances. How is this any different?

The good that might - MIGHT - come of this is that maybe now PA will listen to the professionals he hires to run the team. For too long he's treated the Blazers like a fatasy sports team and not a business enterprise. Things seem to finally be coming together.

Am I missing something? Tortuous is a word; one of its meanings is 'marked by devious or indirect tactics.'

Yeah, it's an untrained eye, all right.

The word is tortious.

Let's not be too harsh on the Blazers for their bad spelling. The Bush regime has been under constant criticism during the past few years for torturing people, and the Blazer exec who wrote that email was subconsciously thinking about that instead of tortious offenses of the legal kind.

Well, this may not actually be the case, but it's the best explanation I can come up with to explain why they wrote such a ridiculous email.

This is just the last remnants of that horrible relationship you were in that you thought was over 'til she put your sex tape on the Internet. Maybe I'm projecting.

I agree we screwed this up but not by anything in this email. We should have hired Darius to be the Trailblazer Ambassador to the Nightclubs of America. Community outreach and all that. Darius would have signed for 2 million or 1 million plus drinks and we would be clear once and for all. By the end of the season he would weigh 350 and his chances of returning would have been zero. It's called getting creative.

On a more positive note: LeBron James has now entered another level. He's bringing so much greatness to his game that I now favor Cleveland to win it all. I really do.

When asked - after he beat down the Celtics last night - how he got so much better at defense, LeBron credited his time on the Olympic team, specifically working with Coach Nate McMillan, whom he called, "One of the great defensive coaches that we have in this league."

If LeBron James is bragging on our coach, then things are going great in Blazerland. Despite this embarrassment.

The story I heard was that several league GM's had been chattering about signing Miles SOLELY to hurt the Blazers cap. This got back to the Blazers and that precipitated the email.

If you can prove a GM said that, then went out and signed Miles only to play 2 games, I would think you could win that case, at least in the court of public opinion.

It's possible this is a screw up only because it became public. It was a risky move, but the armchair cynic in all of us craves this sort of peek behind the curtain. In reality, this is nothing compared to the legal battles fought every day in other corporate industries.

Miles is going to get income until the end of his contract, no matter who is paying it or what his employment status is. The Blazers have a right to protect themselves. Every party had a stake in the exams that proclaimed Miles' injury "career-ending". The appropriate action would be for the NBA and union to void the contract and have Miles prove himself to get a new one... this would be fair considering the circumstances, but it won't happen. Thus, aren't the Blazers due some sort of hardship, or at least some slack?

It may seem difficult to prove any malicious intent, but aren't equally hard judgments made every day in our legal system? This issue very clearly cuts both ways... and the Blazers could very well argue other franchises are meddling in their financial house.

To argue, as Canzano and others do, this action takes us back to the Steve Patterson days is freaking delirious. Do we really have a memory that short?

Canzano shouldn't bring up the Blazers' past. Wasn't he the guy who got a urine sample from a Trailblazer, also irritating the union? I always felt if reporters are getting bodily fluids from the person they're writing about, then they're way too close to the story.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Portland Trial Blazers!

If Miles is unable to obtain new employment in the NBA, I wonder if he might be able to sue the Trailblazers for tortious interference with his business relationships by threatening other NBA teams.

It's too bad the Blazers don't show this level of interest in forcing an agreement between CSN Northwest and Dish Nework, DirecTV, and Charter cable. That fight might make more sense.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
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Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
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Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
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Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
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Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
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Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
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Dunham, Trautina 2012
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
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Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
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Sara Varon - Bake Sale
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Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
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Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
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Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
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Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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