mikebarrett

Dec 03

An Early Present

By mikebarrett
How strange this has all been. 

I know you've probably got your own adjectives, and most of them probably wouldn't be appropriate on this family-friendly site.  I have to admit, I certainly had those moments too. 

During the last lockout, when I was covering the Blazers for KXL radio (just prior to joining the organization), the 50-game season didn't seem all that bad to me, or painful or odd.  You might remember it differently, but I've been trying to remember everything about that abbreviated season.  I guess I'm doing that simply to know what to expect this time around. 

Perhaps it's been so long my memory simply isn't as good.  I do remember the back-to-back-to-back sets of games, and how compacted things were.  But, perhaps because I wasn't looking for it, don't recall that the actual basketball was awful, as some are suggesting it will be for the next five months or so.

Honestly, I probably only have several memories of that season that really stand out- both having to do with the playoffs.  I remember how dominant J.R. Rider was in the conference semi-final series against Utah.  I then remember he and Jimmy Jackson ripping their jerseys off after clinching the series in probably an inappropriately jubilent celebration, considering they had simply qualified for the Western Conference Finals, and weren't about to hoist the trophy.  The other memory is of sitting courtside at the Alamo Dome and watching Sean Elliot hit the Memorial Day Miracle, thinking that he had to be out of bounds.  He wasn't of course, and the Spurs went on to sweep the Blazers.

My point is, even though a couple of those memories aren't great ones, I don't remember the lockout part of things that well.  It's unrealistic right now to think that this season won't be defined by the lockout.  I get that.  But, to some degree, I think once we get hip deep into the season it'll seem like the season. 

Some people have asked me if I really and truly thought there was a chance we were going to lose the entire season.  I absolutely think that was a possibility, and I've heard things were even starting to fracture on the very night they came to the hand-shake agreement.

So, being this was totally of my control anyway, I'm trying to focus not on what was taken from me, but what was given to me.  That's not a bad attitude to practice in every part of your life, by the way.

It also struck me, and I'm as guilty of this as anyone, how quickly our worry and fret transfers from one thing to another.  Literally, the morning after the tentative agreement came down, I went from wringing my hands over not having a season at all, to saying out loud to my wife (who gave me the Heisman) "what are we going to do about a bench this season?"  I then started going over the roster in my head, thinking about each position and going over strengths and weaknesses.  I couldn't believe how long it had been since I had done that.

In my mind, there are three very obviously keys to the early part of this season for the Trail Blazers.  Of course, Brandon Roy and Greg Oden.  But, also Raymond Felton.  When you replace your point guard that usually gets top billing on the concern chart, so it's amazing that actually comes in third. 

The guy I'm most excited to see?  Nicolas Batum.  I think the head start he has over the players who haven't been playing will be noticeable.  It should be, anyway.  He's had this determination and killer instinct over in France, and that was really his team.  Will that come with him to the states?  Is he ready now to make the next leap?  That's no longer a hope, but an expectation.  He better bring that with him or it'll be disappointing.

The Roy and Oden stuff has been beaten around so much lately you don't need much on that.  They'll take their time with evaluating Brandon, of course.  Greg?  No idea.  You can weigh in on those situations if you choose.

I don't mention LaMarcus Aldridge because he was so consistent last season there's no question mark there.  No worry.  He's still getting better.

It's great to be back, and to be planning.  I couldn't ever imagine there not being a season, despite how close that was to being a reality.  We had so many restrictions on us, as far as what we could say, and couldn't say, and then there was this gray area.  Everyone was watching everyone, and stuff written here isn't in pencil, as you know.  So, in short, I haven't been blogging much.  That'll change now.

I love that fact that so many of you have been commenting anyway.  I appreciate that more than you know.  Now, it'll be a two-way conversation.

I'm also now in the Twitter world as well.  I was really dragging my feet on that one, and I'm still very much a rookie.  But, once the season starts this will be a very cool way to communicate with you immediately.  

My Twitter handle is @blazermb.  But, I'm still swimming in the shallow end on that one, so be patient.

You're the best.  Thanks for still being here.

 


Previous Story: Worldwide Clyde

36 Comments

  1. hey MB, as you probably noticed, some of us were speculating yesterday on when your next blog might come out. low and behold, her it is! i don't remember much the previous lockout as i was young enough to not be really all that concerned about that part of the game. having been active on this site and trading comments on twitter with other fans, i think i will recall this one

    i understand it's been frustrating not being able to talk about certain things. how great would it have been for you to be able to talk about Nicolas playing for france, or Patty playing for the Melbourne Tigers? i'd have loved to read/hear about those types of topics. i know that was beyond your control (don't shoot the messenger!), but at least we're to the point now that current players can be discussed.

    over the last few of your blogs, i've pretty much said my peace on Brandon's situation (i do think we owe him at least another year, but i fear management won't want to pay that kind of salary for a 24-30 minute a night player; very possibly for a backup at that). as for Greg's situation, i hope he comes back, but with Greg, i think many of us have learned to just wait and see (though it would be easy for our impatience to wear thin very soon).

    i'm not too worried about Raymond fitting in. at this point, i imagine he and Wesley starting in the backcourt. from what i've seen of both their games, i think they'll compliment each other pretty well, and that we'll be more athletic-looking that in the past. i practically salivate at seeing LaMarcus this year, as well as Nicolas (not to mention Crash).

    not much else to say but ... welcome back!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/3/2011 3:55 PM
  2. hey mb
    first of all i thought your twitter was blazermb??? oh well i feel the issues off hand are three things, lack of big men, chemistry in the new two pgs felton and nolan, and three point shooting... Wesley batum and then what for three point shooting.... with roy i think he should take the rudy role in spot up three point shooter, he has a great three point shot and jumper range but to save his body not so much iso leave wesley and the killer cross overs to felton and nolan and put batum and roy in the corners... i know batum has been workign off screens but i think with his handles as of yet he's still not ready for a complete iso game but i see with eyes on LA and wes... and as soon as felton gets a great feel i think roy and abtum will find open shots and get 15 ppgs quietly... the oden talks bore me so nothign on that and the roy talks will soon be there too... i think the first month or first 25 games are goan be rocky... after the all star season this team will need a great push so all in all this is gona be great or bad i think with the peices good... and im just rambling on lol

    by jamie (guy) on 12/3/2011 4:29 PM
  3. Hi Mb...and yes, welcome back! All I can say is I can't wait...I am ready for some hoop. Let's get this party started.

    peace out,
    daddy

    by daddylogan on 12/3/2011 4:31 PM
  4. jamie (guy- unfortunately),

    Yes, it is. I don't know what I was thinking. Told you I was a rookie at this Twitter stuff. I'll get there.
    Nice catch.

    MB

    by mikebarrett on 12/3/2011 4:32 PM
  5. why did you say unfortunately?

    by jamie (guy) on 12/3/2011 4:43 PM
  6. Player want to watch do their stuff also this year is Gerald Wallace can't wait. What a great player also, your Portland fans already adore you. Go Gerald!!

    by rianna on 12/3/2011 4:47 PM
  7. @Jamie (guy): MB appreciates when females comment on his blog! :P

    by Kassandra on 12/3/2011 4:49 PM
  8. See I only have to comment on how long it's been since MB has made a blog entry and he posts one. :)

    Sorry, MB, but I like giving you a hard time.

    by mgb on 12/3/2011 6:17 PM
  9. Been far too long MB. Glad to have your blog back. Kass and I are pretty active twitters. Mine is @Blazeherr and I always love to tweet when Blazer games are happening, so I apologize in advance if I fill your twitter page lol!

    About Greg and Brandon - we need both. It pains me that this is even in question. Brandon hasn't just earned his paycheck with his previous play and reviving the Blazers, he's still full of potential, and after what happened in Game 4, you can't just let someone like that go, even after a difficult season. I had tears in my eyes after that game because Roy proved so many haters wrong that day.

    And as far as Greg goes, yeah, his injuries make me want to punch a wall and I understand the concern, but we drafted him knowing he was a high-risk player and for a reason - he is full of potential, and can play a position both offensively and defensively very well, something VERY rare in this league. It's so well that you got players on teams that don't do well at all getting big contracts and being in trade talks for popular players without being popular themselves. If we don't sign Greg, someone else will, and I know it will come back to haunt us.

    I expect both players to be in Blazer uniforms throughout the season. And I will be very disappointed in this franchise if they aren't. But hey, that's just me.

    I agree with you on Nicolas Batum. I saw a championship game with him on the France team sadly losing to Spain. He looked good, and aggressive. The only concern I have with Nicolas, and quite a few Blazers, is decision making. I still saw him chucking up three pointers, and I think he'd be much better if he put the ball on the floor and drove to the hoop. Same with Wesley Mathews. These two are great players with a lot of potential, but they still shoot to many three pointers.

    My main concern with the Blazers has nothing really to do with Felton, Roy, or Oden, but mainly the decision making, which goes with every single player on the roster. The Blazers had a great chance at beating Dallas, and I really thought they would (like a lot of you), but after Game 5, I knew the Blazers weren't ready, which is a shame, because they surely had a championship within arms reach last season.

    So, I expect Batum and Wesley to deveop more of an inside game rather than taking 9 threes a game between the two of them. They can make the threes, and are good 3 point shooters, but it's a problem I've always seen with the Blazers - they take way too many of them.

    by Herr on 12/3/2011 7:09 PM
  10. Hi Mike,
    Now that you are back the season has begun. I was as frustrated as anyone about the lack of pro ball. Thought about canceling Comcast and asking for money back for games lost ( like that would ever happen) :) I was just looking for someone to blame. Now all is well. The team does have unanswered questions but that's the fun of it. Welcome back Mike and all the blazer family. Go Blazers!!

    by Divotking on 12/3/2011 7:12 PM
  11. Mike; So glad to see you are back.
    I have been going to BE because that was the only place I could get lock-out news that concerned the Blazers and PA. Boy the last week since the lock-out was over, it became a war on whether to keep BRoy or not. Kassandra joined in with me and was all but kicked off the blog by Dave. it was crawl back or stay off and that is not Kassandra's way. I was totally shocked.

    I am one of course to keep BRoy for the remainder of this season at least, in order to see what we have. With all the rust and new faces, inclluding Greg, since LMA and BRoy are the only ones to play with him, we don't need the distraction of using the amnesty of BRoy. Give him a chance to play and earn part of his money.

    It is great to be back in the confines of Barratt's blog.

    I thank you kind sir.

    hg

    by Hg on 12/3/2011 9:42 PM
  12. this damn lockout still infuriates me. i want to watch so badly but i think it would be wrong to reward the nba with my loyalty and buy league pass. my memories from the last lockout are obsolete because i didn't watch the entire short season after the last one.

    i've posted earlier that i thought it was time for roy to move on and that's because i don't see him accepting a reduced role. he says he will accept any role he's given, all he wants is a fair shot. the thing is i don't think he knows how to be treated as a regular guy and his teammates and coaches don't know how to do that either. remember how he almost cried about how he was being used after one of the game in the playoffs? i don't blame him for feeling that way but it's a problem. sure, he earned his contract but is he worth keeping on the books? can the team transition from being roy's team to something different with roy still on the team? roy's voice is always going to carry a lot of weight and i don't think it will ever be possible for him to be treated equally because of his history.

    now onto greg oden. if we keep oden and let brandon go i'll go off the deep end. oden is far more of a ? than roy and hasn't contributed a fraction of what roy has. it would be nice to have someone who knows basketball calling the shots with these kind of decisions to be made looming.

    having no manager and knowing paul allen is calling the shots scares me to no end. i bet the guy has never played a 5 of 5 match in his life or has ever played on an organized team. he kept whitsitt for how long and he was horrible!!! then he went on to fire pritchard in the most tasteless fashion possible and pritchard played a key role in turning this franchise back in the right direction. next, it was cho and cho's one major move brought in crash! paul allen isn't an idiot but he's close. he's like roy in the way that he wants to play a bigger role than he should and doesn't understand his limitations.

    now the positive stuff. batum, crash, and ALDRIDGE!!!! how can they mesh and what can we do to build around them? i believe if aldridge put in the same work into the offseason as he did last year he will turn even more heads than last year. i'd be shocked if he doesn't make the all star team this year.

    batuuuum!!!!!!! i hope he's been taking care of his body. i'm excited to see what he will do this year. if he hasn't made the leap to the next level i think he'll always be the same, which is good but short of being the taeshon prince i thought he was.

    and crash, the most exciting, hardnosed player on the team should feel comfortable by now. he's got the same toughness as buck williams and the same explosiveness and feistiness as jerome kersey. we have talent and energy.

    now how does the rest fill in the gaps? i'll be reading.

    go blazers!










    by thedanman on 12/4/2011 5:16 AM
  13. I've always wanted to stick with Oden and still do, but after watching this video I don't think Oden is near as ready to come back to play as I thought before. Perhaps he's wearing a brace or something, I hope, to make such a limp, but see for yourself.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=l6T9LF_AzmI

    You just have to watch the beginning of the video. It shows some players at a college ball game a few days ago walking in and Oden is one of them.

    Btw, I found this video at ripcitytwo.com

    by mgb on 12/4/2011 5:35 AM
  14. @thedanman;
    All the players you have mentioned has gone through the scrutiny of the fans, it seems as they go weekly of putting one on a pedestal and the other in the dungeons. LMA was criticized for not Manning up, Now he is the man, BRoy was praised for being able to pack the team now he is criticized for trying to pack the team. Batum was criticized for being a fade-er, now he is supposed to be the savior. Same things are true with Greg, GW, Matthews, and Felton.

    I am just trying to adjust to the injuries, the up and downs of players and BB.

    For sure you have the right to not watching BB games, but I for one am not going to cut off my nose to spite my face. If I don't watch BB the only one that would feel the loss would be me,, believe me the games will go on. I am just glad the lock-out is over and yes it ticked me off as much as it apparently did you.

    by Hg on 12/4/2011 5:37 AM
  15. @thedanman: i feel very much as you do in regards to league pass. prior to the lockout and my further distaste for league management, i had wholly planned to purchase the league broadband pass so my dormmate and i could watch the games. now though, after talking to Julianne, we have decided against it. at this point, i don't want to give one red cent to the nba.

    being a lifelong blazers fan, i suppose i can't just stop following the team. it's very unfortunate that the events of this summer have put a damper on that.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/4/2011 1:16 PM
  16. I cant wait for the presesson game in utah. Good to be back.
    Go blazer

    by Miller on 12/4/2011 2:52 PM
  17. Mr. Barrett!!!! Welcome back!

    So good to see you guys here, ready to start interacting with one another :) Also good to see the disagreements already going, lol.

    Kassandra, what the heck happened with Dave? Saw you make a comment on twitter, but just sort of overlooked it. Nvm, you don't have to answer that here ;)

    I am also on Twitter, if anyone wants to follow, @Eowynamarie (big shocker I know). However, please don't just follow if it's not clear you are from this site. I tend to just block first and ask questions never! So many spammers, so little time lol!

    So....players. I will keep this simple:
    -KEEP ROY (he deserves a genuine chance to demonstrate he can/cannot adjust)
    -Pray for Oden (that video WAS disturbing mgb)
    -Trust in LMA
    -Look for Wesley to be a lot better near the basket this season
    -Batum HAS to deliver or he's done, imo
    -Expect Felton to facilitate an increased run game and fit in well (despite Nate's naysayers, it's pretty clear when you watch a game, he is ALWAYS screaming at the team to RUN!!)
    -ANOTHER BIG MAN.....OR EVEN TWO!!!! (If this doesn't happen, nothing else matters)

    Expect to find me in the live chats, on Twitter, and really pissed off when I cannot SEE a good play this season due to the continuing Comcast Monopoly (which btw, is the only one still standing in the entire country...smdh). I will love all of you eternally for helping to keep me informed :)

    I wasn't doing BB the last lockout. I was doing a baby instead!

    by SisillaRiann on 12/4/2011 4:23 PM
  18. Hey EowynAmarie

    Good to see you are still alive.

    That deal with Kassandra and Dave was really weird. I was posting at the same time and she got more or less attracted by a bunch of BE bullies. Then Dave stuck up for them. Boy it was really shocking. Now that my beloved Mike is back i will probably vacate that place.

    OBTW, Nate says they should be able to run this year but he thought that the last two years, but it didn't happen. Which leads me into your statement, we need some tall trees to get rebounds to get into our fast paced game. Get all the bigs we can. It sounds like we may get Pryz back, and or maybe Pendy but we have very little money with or with out BRoy, which I am with you on. He at least earned another year after the last two, playing right after surgery.

    by Hg on 12/4/2011 6:33 PM
  19. Whew the guys over at Blazeredge are crazy back to trailblazers.com looks like things are gearing up to return to normal.

    by Lapinnoir on 12/4/2011 6:54 PM
  20. way to stick to your guns kassandra! i know that isn't an easy thing for you because i know you are a die hard blazer fan.

    hg, i agree, they all get their turns getting poked at with the hot stick. i poked aldridge a lot until midway through last season when he FINALLY manned up and turned it on. the thing is with roy, his knees are toast. i don't care how tough you are, you can't mentally change how your knees work. just ask oden.

    now can we get pryzbilla and carl laundry to beef things up? i see pryz as a 10-18 minute kind of guy and laundry as a 20-30 minute guy. is it spelled laundry? dear lord i'm lazy.

    go blazers!

    by thedanman on 12/4/2011 10:16 PM
  21. @EowynAmarie: Hg pretty much told the story. i've never been that big a fan of that site to begin with. it was actually pretty funny since i went to "unfollow" them on twitter, then realized that i had never "followed" them in the first place. anyway, the hypocritical stance Dave took even reaffirmed my initial impression.

    i hope we will run more this year. i think we lost some games last season with the inability to run, even though we had guys who could race down the court with the best of them (can any of you see Love or Griffin getting from one end of the court to the other faster than LaMarcus? seriously?!). we also need to play to our strengths. when we have a guy with the hot hand, we need to lave him in the game -- not take him out.

    basically, Nate needs to open up the playbook and turn the guys loose. it appears that the top tier coaches do that. i don't believe that is a coincidence.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 12/4/2011 11:17 PM
  22. @thedanman: I do agree if we get the reports right BRoy's knees is toast. But (I always have a but or two LOL) the last two years he was playing while he was still recovering from surgery. That doesn't necessarily make his knees worst but it prolongs the time to recover from surgery because of the inflammation that occurs. The second but, is although his knees is toast, nobody knows when it will be so bad he can’t play, that is not only mentally but also physically. I went ten years after my knees were toast, yes I wasn’t playing BB, but I was 55 years old. Therefore I am saying he may or may not have time left physically. You should not judge him by his play for the last two years because he was still rehabbing from Surgery. That is why I feel he should get at least a chance to see how much time if any.

    Now this is pure speculation on my part, I need Anees or Ancientone on this. But part of the problem after your Menisci is gone is the inflammation caused by to much pressure on the Lateral Cartilage, or Arthritis; if in fact PRP (Platelet rich Plasma) has not been scientifically proven to re-grow Menisci, since it is still a experiment drug, but it has proven to heal or reduce inflammation from the injury and also has shown that it helps to keep the Lateral Cartilage smooth, plus Ancientone told me last year that it can also be administered time and time again. Therefore since it is the inflammation and the wear of the Lateral Cartilage that will end BRoy’s career, it is my theory that PRP treatment will prolong BRoy’s knees being toast. The last but, we have to wait and see.
    Ancientone if you are around did you finish your snack yet. Dr. Anees from america, can you give me some feed back on this.

    by Hg on 12/4/2011 11:34 PM
  23. @KMM;
    I agree entirely As I mentioned to AE, we need those bigs she was talking about to get those rebounds to start the uptempo and IMO, Greg and Pryz will be a good start. along with the help of CJ and Camby. Although we are short on money we may also be able to get Pendy to fill out the roster.

    I also agree with the hot hand. (BRoy in game 4 proves that), Websters 22 point in the fourth quarter in a game against Utah is another good example. I am not a coach, but it seems he holds to tight of a Reign.

    by Hg on 12/4/2011 11:47 PM
  24. OH thedanman & KMM, my reasoning for not boycotting the NBA, Is at 71 I am getting scared of missing to many games needlessly. Other then that I might be on your side. Poor HG LOL.

    by Hg on 12/4/2011 11:53 PM
  25. and i forgot, matthews will be starting JUST his third season! hopefully those ankles are all healed up. he practically played the entire last season with bum ankles.

    by thedanman on 12/5/2011 12:55 AM
  26. Looks like the NBA isn't wasting any time getting back to the rear side of the OKC Thunder. Jeez, anyone else already sick of seeing the NBA say how they're an elite team? We have 3 weeks until games start and I'm already sick of them, I wonder how I'll last this entire 62 game season... pray for me folks. I could write an entire blog of why OKC is not an elite team, but we all already know that, and know the NBA is full of more crap than a McDonalds toilet, just like finally giving some news on the Blazers to fans everywhere - that there's a less than 1% chance Greg Oden will be moved to Miami.

    I gotta avoid that Website and put my TV on mute when hearing National Broadcasters.

    by Herr on 12/5/2011 9:09 AM
  27. Just heard the news conference on TBTV, I AM Stroked that BRoy is feeling great and they plan to keep him for the season. I just wanted them to wait and see.
    Maybe the PRP really worked.

    by Hg on 12/5/2011 4:40 PM
  28. Who is our back up point. Is it Hammer? Last year in the end we went to Brandon bringing the ball up when Dre was out. Who backs up Felton?

    by Divotking on 12/5/2011 7:49 PM
  29. @Divotking:
    It appears to me that Smith might be the backup PG, of course Armon has the right to beat him out.
    With BRoy being healthy, and Greg is on his way back we have lots more depth and lots more options. Smith is a combo guard like BRoy, so they might play much like BRoy and Blake played. It was also said that BRoy may start and let Wesley, and Batum play together. What ever I am thrilled with the team. Hopefully the injuries are behind us.

    by Hg on 12/5/2011 8:27 PM
  30. Smith is guaranteed a spot on the roster, as a 1st rounder, while Armon has to earn his. My guess is that Nolan will be the back-up, BUT...I seriously hope to see Nico playing Point Forward some, as he did internationally.

    by SisillaRiann on 12/5/2011 9:58 PM
  31. Good to hear from Buchanan, Miller, and McMillan that they're liking Roy and giving him a chance.

    I think it's foolish of fans to think of using the Amnesty on Roy to save the $82 million, and here is why.

    First of all, we cannot waive Roy and then resign him for a lower amount. Once we waive him, he's gone, and likely for the rest of his career, from Portland. Do we Blazer fans really want that? If you're willing to give up a guy like Roy without second guessing it, you're foolish, and not a fan. And hating on Roy is not being a realist, it's being foolish, and just being negative for the sake of being negative.

    Secondly, and I think the author of these blogs, Mike Barrett, would agree with this as he said it during the Dallas series - you need Roy. You absolutely do. I love LaMarcus, Batum, Crash, Wesley, all the guys that can hit the big shot. I do, but the thing is, can they consistently hit those shots? I don't think so. We lost a lot of winnable games last season when we had a late lead in the 4th quarter, only to lose because we cannot hit the big bucket. Sure, our players have a good amount of crunch time buckets on their resumes, but they also have a lot of missed field goal attempts in crunch time as well. Roy is a rare breed in the NBA. He's extremely intelligent, extremely skilled, and extremely gifted. A lot of players with Roy's injury would be nothing but bench warmers, and their careers long forgotten, but Roy's still lingers on with a chance of being a starter on a stacked team like the Blazers and still possible talks of becoming an All-Star. You need Roy, you need his clutch buckets. That itself is worth the $82 million. The last 2 minutes of a game that's close is the most intense basketball you'll find, and only a small handful of guys can consistently deliver in that time, and Roy is one of those guys. If you get rid of Roy, who is our go to guy in the last 2 minutes of a close game? Aldridge? Sure, he could do it, but let's be real here, he hasn't proved that he can yet.

    There were also a ton of people that gave up on Roy, and cussed at him to get off the court during games. People gave up. How did he respond? He came back and made playoff basketball history in Game 4. Did anyone want to get rid of him then? No. In fact, a lot of people were mad at Rich Cho because Cho wanted to suspend him for his comments about Rudy and Patty getting more playing time than him. People weren't bashing Roy during that time. Had the Blazers gone on to the 2nd round because of Roy's performance, I doubt we'd be having these conversations about waiving Roy.

    It's simple, you MUST keep Brandon Roy. I'm not saying that as a fan of the guy, I'm saying that because if you lose a clutch player, you lose a lot of games you shouldn't, and you lose a powerful factor in the playoffs. Not to mention, we'd get $82m, but that doesn't mean we all of a sudden get all these players we want. The only player I've seen that's a FA that has shown interest in Portland is Jamal Crawford, but he's an old guy that won't require much at all, and he hasn't exactly said "I want in Portland".

    Now about Oden. I've said it a million times, and I'll say it again. 7 footer, great defender, great rebounder, great offensive threat, full of potential. How many NBA players can you say that about that would want to come to Portland for a low amount?

    by Herr on 12/5/2011 10:46 PM
  32. I really missed all those months we should have been here together arguing about who should play and who should go. I miss not having had a look at our rookies, or news from training camp, and all the other stuff that keeps us focused on the team while we wait for the games to begin. It seems like a long time since all that went away, and it left a big hole. But now it begins again, so I guess I need to do my part and say something to make people mad. So: I still look forward to the day Brandon is gone, because great as he once was, he's always been a one-on-one, walk-it-up-the-court guy. I like teams with fast guys who run and pass the ball, and big guys who can dominate inside. Same old stuff I always said, but that was long time ago, and people might have forgotten exactly why they were annoyed with me. I hope the team can handle the transition gracefully, but that hasn't always been the style of this organization.
    I agree that we need some more bigs, agree that we need to give Greg another chance, and am glad to hear that there's reason for fresh hope that Nic will take another step forward. I'm still confused about how this team is going use two small forwards who should each play 35 minutes. (Please don't tell me how great Gerald is at power forward; that's an option that just won't fly for extended minutes). Playing Nic some at the two is my hope, but, like our dreams of having a team that runs, that's only an option if Brandon is out of the big picture.

    by Islander on 12/5/2011 11:43 PM
  33. Hi kids.....Personally....the level of greed that was shown in all of this is unfathomable.....however...It is done and I am done with it and ready to be the loyal fan that I am.I respect peoples decisions to not participate in furthuring making the rich richer.For me....Build a bridge....and get over it........Les do Dis Ting.....
    BLAZERSROCK

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/6/2011 7:01 AM
  34. @Islander
    "IBmember"

    Weird Harold

    by Hg on 12/6/2011 7:38 AM
  35. Hey Mike, sorry I'm late in responding, a little preoccupied with studying for the board exams! So great to hear from you and of course, great to be back in Portland for the time being!

    Anyways, yes, it is has been a frustrating time, but with the other fans on Twitter and elsewhere to interact with, it's been somewhat more bearable. It will feel strange for sure and yes, maybe the quality won't be so great, but yes, it will be nice to have NBA basketball back in town. I am wondering how fans around the league will react, but something tells me the die-hard fans will be there as always.

    Will be an interesting season for sure. I also remember those moments you mentioned from the '99 season. we were 35-15 then and it was cool that we did well that year, despite those back-to-back-to back sets.

    Guess we just have to wait and see what happens with B Roy and Oden. excited to see Batum and LA of course - they should start from where they left off last season - should only get better as the season goes on.

    -Dr. Anees :-)

    by Anees on 12/6/2011 9:17 AM
  36. Guess EWill looks healthy...whoa lawdy..http://twitpic.com/7pgy2c

    by DowntownVinnie on 12/6/2011 2:37 PM
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