For the majority of 20 + years i have seen the blazers make bad choices and i have seen them make good ones, i recently found myself being very critical of portlands 3 upper management icons paul, larry and chad, which is very easy to do when you are not the one who is the face of the franchise. So my whole intention for this article is to analyze a few decisions made by Management in lets just say the past five years since the "RISE WITH US ERA" that many have changed to the "FALL WITH US ERA".
Point 1: The draft day choices of kevin pritchard: KP pulled off one of the most amazing draft day trades of all time in my opinion with or with out the injury of ROY we got two young allstars for basically next to nothing. even with roy out now we got an allstart for two so so players in tyrus thomas and i believe randy foye. Management Grade: A + (i may be going over a little bit based on the facts now but that was a move that was magic not only in arena but to the fans as well)
Point 2: Cleaning House: when nate mcmillan and roy and aldridge first teamed up there 2 blazers at least of the top of my head that were still on the team that were the bad eggs of the bunch known as randolph and miles, now keep in mind we (as in portland) have been known as the jail blazers for many years and under kevin pritchard the team of 3 roy aldridge and nate we changed that not only dispensing of the name jail blazer but creating a city wide atmosphere of love hope and support from fans around the world. by removing just 2 players one that people said if we got rid of we would be nobodies. you were wrong. Management Grade: B+ ( that season might of gone better if those two were gone sooner, kinda the point in rebuilding. but fact is they didnt and not a moment to soon)
Point 3: The DRAFT: i probably dont even need to mention any names when i say the draft but for those of you who live in a shoe box i am talking about oden. now almost every person i talk to says oden was the worst pick of all time, blah blah blah you all know who we had when we drafted him and how our line up looked, and most of you saying that were probably the ones in the rose garden counting down till we did pick him. ANYWAYS Oden a 7 footer with the body of a bull dozer and the wingspan of who knows and the strength to throw shaq around, thats what he was and ill debate that with anyone. but i think this pick was made more out of fear than anything else, the blazers did know oden had injuries but injuries dont mean much in the NBA VIA GRANT HILL VINCE CARTER, etc players that were absolute studs and despite injuries made an impact on any team they were on. but point being oden with all those physical abilities and how often 7 footers come around with those abilities maybe once a decade so if the blazers didnt pick him hypothetically what if someone else did? and he stayed healthy? I don't blame the blazers drafting him out of fear ( he was a monster) i probably would of done the same thing: MANAGEMENT GRADE: B+ (based on what he could of been) D- based on what he actually did
Point 4 The ADDITIONS: now after 1 or 2 years now with roy and aldridge and after the firing of KP the team has come together and been making play off runs, so with two allstars on our squad we need players to compliment the duo. so just summing up additions made in the past 5 years i will touch base on the key additions to improve the team, and this would be my main issue with management as well. People remember the year both oden and joel went down with knee injuries and we had no center and were contending for play-offs and we trade for camby, at this point in time people looked in awe thinking this is the year we might do it, NOT ME. look i love my blazers and i love camby's style of play the guy is a defensive machine and he made key plays but fact is he was 36 or so when this happened in basketball thats a senior citizen. he may have been an allstar in the past but he wasnt there anymore he was declining in ability and stamina there was no future there, same with Andre Miller, gerald wallace jamal crawford and i hate to even mention father time of the nba kurt thomas(40) all of them older than 30 besides wallace . these are all key additions to the blazers in the past few years. and let me tell you what they all have in common besides being old, and you guys can google it if you would like but everyone of those players besides thomas was an allstar at some point, (not when we got them) and statistically speaking everyone of them has declined in ability. Google it. MANAGEMENT GRADE: D-( that kinda stuff is common sense)
Point 5: Don't Blame Nate: Nate 5 years ago took control of two hot heads in miles and randolph and then what happens we make the playoffs again. Nate was building a team a dynasty despite the moves made by MANAGEMENT the guy did what he could. ALL the 3 upper management did by firing him saying that Lebron James Carmelo Anthony and Dwight howard have all done is say that the players control the organization not the coach anymore. Thats MORALLY WRONG, something the blazers tried to build back the last 5 years morals. i can give you multiple examples of how players dictate the outcome of how they play not the coaches, Lebron James when he went to the cavs they had the best records in basketball for like 3 years and Lebron then leaves still same coach, they have the worst record in basketball. then coach leaves cavs goes to LA where kobe is coach once again has one of the best record in basketball, people give credit to phil jackson for everything he has done and i wont argue that but look at the players he had in chicago it was jordan when jordan leaves jackson jumps ship, when LA's era looks to come to an end, he jumps ship. JUST MORE MORALS. MANAGEMENT GRADE: F+( the plus is in case we can get phil jackson) HA
Point 6: The Future: Cambys exit was needed and the pick up of flynn and thabeet could be promising, same with the nets draft pick, but i do have a couple concerns i wish to address such as Draft Day, This is a Day that determines the future of the franchise and with the picks we obtained i would like to see portland take two big guys move up in the draft and take two 6'10 -7footers the free agent market doesnt have much in terms of big men available and thats what we need, then with the free agency and our large cap room we can sign a veteran pg like rondo or nash, granted nash is older but he is one older player who isnt declining he had his best season ever a year ago statistically, and hes one of the smartest and hardworking players. Just a path that could be taken. MANAGEMENT GRADE: FOR NOW: B+ THE FUTURE :(TO BE DETERMINED)