Mike Rice

Apr 18

Paul's "All In"

By Mike Rice Posted in: PaulAllen

I owe the Blazers a blog this month and was trying to figure out what to write in on, when I read a column in Wednesday's Oregonian about the short comings of Paul Allen and his attention to his basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers.

Paul Allen and the Trail Blazers have been a big part of my life for the last 21 years.

My years coincide with Paul's ownership of the Blazers.

I go back to the Memorial Coliseum days when this city needed someone to step up and fund a modern, up-to-date arena. That was done by Paul Allen. He did not try to move the franchise to a different city as other owners have done.

Think about it for a minute when you read a negative column on Paul Allen. He has always put his love for the Blazers above everything else.

He has lost millions of dollars on this franchise, but a day does not go by that he is not e-mailing and texting Team President Larry Miller and General Manager Chad Buchanan on how they can improve this team.

He has never threatened to move this team if the city did not kowtow to his every wish like what other cities have gone through.

Remember when you read a column like this on Paul; you are getting the modern spin on how to sell newspaper. Good news, happy news, does not sell. Bad news, news that can be put on Twitter, news that can destroy sells papers.

Paul Allen, if he listened to some, would have sold the Blazers long ago and would not have saved the Seahawks who were ready to leave Seattle for the highest bidder.

The reason he did not listen was because of the words passion and love of the game.

He has a great deal of passion for Seattle and Portland and their sports teams.

The passion has not dimmed in the recent years.

He still wants the best for both teams and continues to show it with his pocket book.

Going into this year, the Blazers had the 5th highest payroll at $79 million.

You can say it was the highest payroll not to make the playoffs if you're into the "negative spin" that talk shows and negative writers live on.

You could do that, but shouldn't.

You also look at the Greg Oden and Brandon Roy situation and see what might have been if both were healthy. The players were there, everything was set up for a championship run, but it did not happen. Do we sit back and blame the medical staff and blame the owner and sell papers, or do we figure out a new plan is needed for the future of this team? Do we sit back and blame--blame to sell papers, or do we clear cap room with trades and get draft picks for the future? Do we not look to spend money on the future to improve? Not a word has been mentioned about not bringing in top free agents or a top coach to save money.

Sometimes we get caught into newspaper talk about your Blazers because it's only the only major sports team in our area. You don't hear the Blazers down playing the Timbers in Portland; only the media playing one against the other.

Do your homework on looking at other cities and their teams who have had ownership challenges and attendance issues for years!

I have traveled the NBA cities for a long time. I see how the Blazer fan base is the best in the NBA.

I still get goose bumps when they introduce the Blazers at the Rose Garden.

This does not happen in a lot of NBA cities.

I am always proud that I represent the Blazers. I am also really looking forward to this summer and the moves the Blazers will make.

I know they will make moves because they have an owner that wants to win a championship for this city.

He does not need to read about how he should act to keep his passion alive.

It is alive and he is not looking to sell newspapers by negative actions.

As you can see, I get a little riled up when I read and hear how the Blazers can't get free agents to come to this city.

We mainly have a shot at a lot of trades and free agents because we have the planning and resources to make that happen.

We have an owner who asks a million questions on the best way to win in the NBA. If you have the right answers to these questions, things get done.

Every year at the trade deadline, draft day, and the first day of free agency, one of the most exciting places to be is in Portland. The reason for that is Paul Allen who buys extra draft picks, adding free agents to fill the roster and making trades. He has never needed a push from outside trying to get emotional to satisfy their own agenda to make the Blazers a better team.

I love the quotes from Oregonlive.com on the subject:

"He is a passionate man who loves to experience life…We are lucky to have him."

"To say these (newspaper) pieces are tired is an understatement." - bmac

"Mr. Allen is a multi-tasker, so he is not neglecting the Blazers. The fans here can be fickle. Only .0333% of the teams each year become NBA champ." - Ziggy

"Like a new-owner could solve the problem. If we forget what Paul Allen has done for the city we put our team at risk." -- Anonymous.

"The man has lost millions upon millions in an attempt to put a quality team on the floor. I have not agree'd with some of the moves that he has made lately. However, he has been a pretty committed owner during his time as an owner. You watch, next draft, he will again spend money to try and move up." -- oceanfrnt34th

"He tried to buy a championship once and we hated it. And of course Canzano led the charge against that team." -- Anonymous

"The Oregonian is in the business of selling newspaper." -- Anonymous

After reading some of these quotes, it does show me the real fan base.

And with that I can point to 3,500 grants for $450 million over the past 20 years, and a plan to donate most of his wealth to charity during the rest of his life.

That is the Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen.

No one loves the Blazers and the NBA more than him and I hope he gets his dream of winning a championship for Portland.


  1. Thank You Coach Rice

    by debra31098 on 4/18/2012 5:43 PM
  2. Thanks so much Coach Rice. I've been annoyed by a certain journalist who likes to stir the pot in order to sell newspapers and I concur wholeheartedly with your blog post.

    by lumberjack83 on 4/18/2012 5:49 PM
  3. Well said Rice. +1

    by sarahhecht on 4/18/2012 5:50 PM
  4. Nicely done, Coach Rice! I couldn't have said it better myself.

    by Speck on 4/18/2012 5:56 PM
  5. Thank you for this. I was just reading the articles from today's paper and I'm getting sick of the negativity. I couldn't agree more with you!

    by Kara Dokos on 4/18/2012 6:13 PM
  6. Well done, Mr. Rice.

    by freska8 on 4/18/2012 6:59 PM
  7. Everyone, please share this to support our team and owner.

    by freska8 on 4/18/2012 7:03 PM
  8. Way to stand up Rice! Did you see Mr. Allen's tweet about Canzano today? FUNNY

    by SisillaRiann on 4/18/2012 9:12 PM
  9. Very well said Coach Rice! Thanks!

    by bar24bis on 4/18/2012 9:39 PM
  10. Thank you Mike Rice, you have so much knowledge between your ears, why don't you blog more often so I can learn half of what you know. It was a great article on Paul Allen, thank you.

    by Hg on 4/18/2012 10:19 PM
  11. I think Ziggy's math is a little off. It should be 3.33333% win the title.

    by Richard Ackerman on 4/18/2012 11:10 PM
  12. Mike Rice, I love what you do and your passion for the blazers but I'm a little embarrassed to read your defense of Paul Allen. Why? John Crapzano loves to push crap. He's sensational and loves to stir the pot. Everyone knows this and unfortunately we're just encouraging him by acknowledging his articles.

    Now about Paul Allen. I think he stinks (social skills and micro managing style) and has a BIG ego (canzano has that big ego too). I think he surrounds himself with yes men (men who say yes) and that's why I don't like you defending him. It makes you look like a yes man.

    Paul Allen has done some good things but he's done some incredibly stupid things as well. He's not such a great owner that he deserves your defense from a troll like Crapzano.

    Go Blazers!

    by thedanman on 4/19/2012 12:07 AM
  13. First off, I have always enjoyed watching you Rice. You and MB were very respectful and personable when me and my gf had our picture taken with you guys's at last years playoffs vs Dallas. Obviously I would assume you know Allen better than most of us. We fans don't get to see the inside look like Im sure you do, even though I would also assume most info doesnt make it your way either.

    I think most of us can agree that Canzano is a dirtbag, I say this not because of Paul Allen, but because it seems almost ALL his articles go in a negative tone, and that speaks volumes of what hes all about.

    As for Allen...hes not out of the woods. I really think more effort could be done getting a good gm here. That whole KP thing really made a lot of people raise some eyebrows. Some of the moves he makes, and rumors that come out make you think if he does surround himself with fools. Rich non basketball men with agendas that are not in the Blazers best interest.

    BUT I am only a fan. I have no idea really what goes on behind the scenes. So I cant say with certainty. Tell you one thing, its been one heck of a disappointing season! Our fallen hero Roy is gone, Oden never panned out, ups and downs here and there. OK... so we shall see. IF the Blazers can get a good GM, some solid draft pics, get couple key players in the offseason that will let us compete for the championship, then that would wash a way many fears of how this team is being ran. Until then Ill stay mum about such things.

    by whitefeather21380 on 4/19/2012 3:52 AM
  14. i've felt that sometimes Mr. Allen is too hands on as an owner. of course, it's his right to do what he wants with that which he owns. however, i think there are times when taking a step back and letting his people do what he pays them to do may be in his best interest. other than that, i don't have a huge problem with the things he has done for the team and the city.

    as for Canzano ... well, we all know he's only there to stir the pot. i question whether his opinions are actually how he feels or if he's just spouting off to get his job done. i find most of his stances to be worthless and, at times, he seems out of touch with the facts of his topic. for my part, i'm not too impressed with the oregonian's sports section as a whole. Freeman and Tokito are relatively decent but, in addition to Canzano, Quick's writing usually comes off as amateurish and third-rate. yes, i know he is revered around the blazer offices, but in comparison to some other city daily newspapers i've read, Quick's writing/reporting leaves a whole lot to be desired.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 4/19/2012 3:30 PM
  15. Canzano v. Paul Allen is the definition of a scrum where I don't have a dog in the fight. One is a fickle, self-absorbed blabbermouth who is wrong five times more often than he is not; the other is a meddling hobbyist that has made Portland's front office into a dysfunctional laughing stock around the NBA due to the fawning yes-man company culture than he has instilled and sustained.

    The broadcast department is part of the marketing department and the team is a secondary consideration. This season has seen an interim team playing for an interim coach under an interim general manager. So who is not interim in this equation? The owner. Who, then, is ultimately responsible for having dealt this mess?

    I think Freeman and Quick at the Oregonian and Golliver at Blazers Edge are the ones with their fingers on the pulse of the ailing patient. This season has been a case of dramatic failure to meet expectations. There's no doubt about that. The slide started when Penn and KP were led to the chopping block for no apparent reason. That's pretty clear, too.

    Fixing the situation? That's going to be hard.

    by Carrite on 4/19/2012 1:51 PM
  16. Kassandra, I love your wisdom as always. As you said it is Paul Allen's life and he pays the people he hires good wages to do the job he hires them to do.
    When you become an attorney, you will have clients that hire you to do all their work for them in a law suit, but in the end the final say will be theirs, That is the way I see Paul. he lets his men do the work and he has the final say. If I owned the Blazers, I think I would do the same, I wouldn't care if there were millions that could run my life better then me, I would still want to do it, just because it is my team.
    I agree with you on the Oregon-Live sports media.

    Good post as usual

    by Hg on 4/19/2012 2:32 PM
  17. Mike, this is a good blog and you should please think about writing them more often. Everyone out here enjoys hearing your opinions on the Blazers and the NBA.

    One thing I wonder about is why a few top GMs and coaches aren't beating down the doors to take the Blazer job? We have a good core group that needs only two or three pieces to contend for a home first-round playoff series, and we have the wherewithall to accomplish that this off season. Seems to me there should be experienced people out there who would love to come to Portland right now to be part of a potential huge turnaround.

    One possible reason is that we aren't a big market or high-voltage town. Our games aren't mentioned at all in the morning Eastern newspapers. Another reason could be our injury-plagued history, but that kind of thinking seems mostly superstition to me.

    The remaining possibility is Paul Allen's ownership record, with GMs particularly. They all saw what happened to KP and then Cho, both of whom made some good decisions as the Blazers' GM, but were fired anyway. In your opinion, will Mr. Allen give a GM complete control over the team's basketball operations as any top candidate would demand?

    by dgpdx on 4/20/2012 4:32 AM
  18. Don, me again.
    I really don't see any problem with keeping Chad as our GM, he does everything that is required of a GM, he has good communications with PA, he does good with speaking to the fans, he gets along with Miller and he is a team player, or decision by committee as that is what PA wants.
    Part of the problem with experience GM is they don't fit with PA. I know that sounds awful, but hey it is his team and he owns it because he wants to be a part of the decision making; as I would be if I owned a team. The title of the idea man came from working in Microsoft. and that carries on with the work with the Blazers.

    by Hg on 4/20/2012 5:24 AM
  19. @Hg: that's basically it; the client has the final say. it's very simplistic, but perhaps the hardest part to grasp. as with an attorney, you have to hire the best person for the job (i will aim to be that person in my career). Mr. Allen needs to hire a gm and trust them. it could be Chad and i don't think he'd be a bad choice. it's my understanding that the lakers have granted us permission to talk to Mitch Kupchak. that could be an interesting moves. he has the pedigre of building championship contenders. then we need to hire a coach and i'll tell you right now; i am in Kaleb's corner on this one. give him an off-season, training camp, summer league and all the other aspects of a regular off-season and i think what we end up with could be something very special.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 4/20/2012 7:17 AM
  20. @Kassandra: I agree with everything you said; sometimes though it is not enough to earn someones trust to get a green light to proceed without consultation. Remember PA was 50-50 with Bill Gates until he got sick then Bill undermined him because of greed. Not knowing all the truth about KP and Tom, but it sounded like they or their agents under minded PA for greed. Twice burnt, might make it difficult to trust anyone. So at this point, because of the trust he has put in Chad, he may be the only one that can run the team.

    As for as Kaleb being a permanent coach, I am all in with you on that. But he needs to get his own assistant coaches. Well keep Buck Williams for nurturing and training Thabeet. I know that is looking way into the future, but remember, I am for the underdogs of this world, me included.

    by Hg on 4/20/2012 8:10 AM
  21. Mike,
    Paul losing 'millions' doesn't mean he's 'all in'. It just means that he's made some bad business decisions when it comes to management of this team. He created some drama around the management of the Rose Garden, firing of Blazers staff, some desk audits of Blazer staff by Steve Patterson, and some losing seasons during the Maurice Cheeks and Jail Blazers era. Am I being 'negative" ? Will the Rose colored glasses that the Blazer 'fans' wear lead to criticism of my post? Most certainly. Look back at history. I didn't write it. I'm just asking you not to be a revisionist historian. As someone once wrote; "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

    by Edgar Cayce on 4/20/2012 3:13 PM
  22. Well written Mike! I couldn't agree more. What Paul does with his money shouldn't concern Blazer fans. What is written in newspapers, well, it's not always non-fiction. I'm really excited about the offseason and seeing a new crew surrounding Batum, Hickson and Aldridge. We can all blame any number of individuals for the season we just endured but that's pointless

    by riverman on 4/30/2012 9:21 AM
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