caseyholdahl

Dec 05

The Way To Przybilla's Heart

By caseyholdahl Posted in: JoelPrzybilla, Clippers, Blazers, NicolasBatum
Joel Przybilla might have said he didn't know what to expect when he checked in for the first time in front of the crowd at the Rose Garden, but I think he was playing dumb. After being here for seven seasons, Przybilla is well aware of the support hardworking players get from the sellout crowds in Portland, and they don't come any more hardworking that Joel. Maybe he didn't want to admit it, but he knew he was going to get a standing ovation. Numerous standing ovations, in fact.

"That was something," said Przybilla. "I means a lot. It just feels good to be out there. It's my seventh year here and I've been through some rough times here at the beginning, turning it around. The show of the fans, to appreciate me, that meant a lot to me and my family."

But that wasn't the most memorable part of the evening for Przybilla. That came with four seconds left to play in the third quarter.

Przybilla lay on the floor after Brian Cook gave Przybilla a two-handed shove while attempting a layup. Immediately, the four other Trail Blazers on the court rushed to Przybilla's aid, seemingly more to help him up that to get into the face of anyone on the Clippers. Baron Davis, who might have been confused by seeing teammates support each other, took this as some sort of aggressive act, and proceeded to shove Nicolas Batum in the back. A fracas ensues, the copout that is offsetting technical fouls are awarded to Davis, Craig Smith, Batum and Przybilla, Cook is tossed for a Flagrant 2 and the remainder of the game is contentious as best, violent at worst.

And it was so perfect for it to go that way. After all, Przybilla is a guy who likes to mix it up, let the opposing team know he's there. But it wasn't the contact or the jawing afterwards that warmed Joel's heart. It was that his teammates, who he had spent much of his career in Portland protecting, rushing to his aid without hesitation.

"It feels good," said Przybilla of the support. "It feels good that the guys got my back. Trust me, I've been on teams where guys get taken down and teammates don't step up for them. That means a lot. It goes a long way.

"I'll probably remember that play. To tell you the truth it might be the highlight of my season. It means a lot, man. I smile when I know these guys have my back because I've been on teams where guys ain't like that. It shows that the guys, we care for each other and we all want to win."

So to the fans who were at the Rose Garden on Sunday night, Joel appreciates the love. He really does. But when it comes to what he'll remember from his first home game in almost a year, you'll have to take a backseat to Przybilla's teammates. 

13 Comments

  1. I don't know why Joel got a tech. he was the one that got hit. It looked like it was going to be a free for all. Glad they got it taken care of.

    Hg

    by Hg on 12/6/2010 12:33 AM
  2. the enforcer is back baby! techs on any blazer was wrong in that situation. props to cunningham for telling davis to get off his frenchie. i knew i should have gone to this game. i loved the thryllas hard foul on griffin. "not in this house punk!" I hope this win sparks the team to come out and move the ball on every possession. i'm loving the fast breaks and ball movement! RIP CITY BABY

    by rasheedfan2005 on 12/6/2010 7:12 AM
  3. Our guys do love eachother...isn't that what being a "TEAM" is all about??? Come on now...we support our guys, they support one another...we ALL win...b

    by beckyfan on 12/6/2010 8:14 AM
  4. I was there at the game and I am perfectly okay with taking a backseat to the guys. That is one thing I love about this team -- they watch out for each other and they have each others backs. They help one another up when they go to the ground, they give props to each other for assists (like when Camby alley oops to LMA for a sweet dunk -- LMA always high fives Camby), I could go on but I think I've made my point :) I've noticed the guys coming together a lot more this season than I did last year and it is a good sign to see. Hope they keep it up!

    by cstreet on 12/6/2010 10:56 AM
  5. that wasnt the highlight of the game for me, but it was damn close. joel is a EFFing beast, we need that in the game so bad right now.

    by Cristi on 12/6/2010 11:21 AM
  6. Always nice to see the team supporting each other. Great to have Joel back and his toughness is definitely needed as well.

    by RedRudy5 on 12/6/2010 11:26 AM
  7. Beautifully said, Casey.

    by occassia on 12/6/2010 11:38 AM
  8. I loved seeing Joels' standing O's but not surprised that the fans did that. I don't think Joel really knows how much he's loved here in Blazer town.
    When Cook pushed him I totally yelled, sending my cats scrambling for cover, but boy, I was p*ssed! WTH, Cook? Was that intentional? You don't mess with our Pryz - especially after he's had a year off due to back injury. Still makes me angry!

    B.Davis, good player, doesn't get it. Maybe the Clippers will learn something about how a real team plays and cares about it's players....Nah, probably not!

    by kaemicha on 12/6/2010 11:42 AM
  9. I was at the game....the initial contact and seeing Joel go down hard on his back the crowd immediately went into overdrive...It was like ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I LOVED seeing the emotion of the team and how they really feel about each other. It also was nice to see Nate run out on the floor...stuff like this is instinct not scripted. ....oh and Joel...I love you

    by debra31098 on 12/6/2010 11:51 AM
  10. I was there last night, and I said it last night, and I'll say it again here:: This team goes hard for each other. They don't back down from anyone. I remember last season, when Juwan went after Charlie Villanueva for a hard foul on Rudy. I mean, for a guy, brand new to the team, to go hard like that? There's something special about the love this team has for each other. I hope we keep it up. Other teams need to fear us. And things like this will help.
    I <3 my Blazers! Rip City for Life!

    by BriBri825 on 12/6/2010 12:32 PM
  11. the fact that all 4 rallied around Joel after that cheap shot says to me that they're not going to be pushed over anymore. it was ridiculous that Joel got teed up; he didn't do anything to warrant that. let's hope this pays off as the season goes on with hopes of looking back at this game as the one that turned their season around

    by blazerdarren77 on 12/6/2010 8:27 PM
  12. Standing ovation was tremendous. Welcome back Joel.

    by Napoleon7 on 12/7/2010 10:56 AM
  13. Sorry that I missed commenting on this piece. Yes, we fans love Joel, but I think we can take 2nd place with a smile. :-) As always, thanks Casey. - Anees

    by Anees on 12/9/2010 7:00 AM
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