Blazer Fanatic

Jan 20

The truth will set you free, but won't win you games

By Blazer Fanatic Posted in: Blazers

"You go to war with the army you have - not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." - Donald H. Rumsfeld

“I think the mission is still the same: The players we needed to play well are playing well and what we need to do is develop the guys on the bench, preserve our assets and our flexibility so we can go after guys and be really aggressive next summer.’’ - Neil Olshey

No, that's not Olshey speaking from August, or September, or even October - that's him speaking this week.  Rumsfeld's quote didn't sit well with me as a Veteran, and Olshey's quote doesn't sit well with me as a Blazer fan. The situations clearly aren't the same, as no one dies on the court and the Blazer get paid millions of dollars - but it still doesn't sit well with me - not at all. 

After losing the last five games by 6 points or less, you start to wonder if those "experts" were right about how things even out. I refused to believe it - the players refused to believe it - but the fix was in. And it occurred to me that Blazer fan this season are nothing more than gamblers going to Blazer games, believing they actually have a chance to see their team win, but in the end, the house always wins. After reading Olshey's comments to Jason Quick of the Oregonian, that's exactly how I feel. So, I'm adjusting my strategy. I'm not throwing my money away anymore this season.

“Right now, this calls for some real patience and diligence. To not throw the baby out with the bath water because of a real successful first half of the season." I find it extremely hard to support the organization who willfully put out an inferior product while expecting fans to suck it up and pay to watch 56 turnovers the past 3 games. And reading Olshey's clichés simply adds to that disappointment and irritation. Spare fans the platitudes and just be honest Olshey - this season was over before it began - I knowingly set the team up to tank this season - and I signed 8 warm bodies to fill out an NBA roster. There's really nothing more demoralizing than a leader who sets you up to fail.

Adding injury to insult, Olshey said, "Clearly, if we knew all of that going in, we probably would have made a bigger investment in the bench and taken away some of our flexibility, knowing that we aren’t that far away." That is not very comforting to fans who didn't scout, recruit, draft, and sign players.  It begs the question if fans knew better than the GM, and why did we hire Olshey if all Portland was going to do was the bare minimum?  More insulting is that Olshey doesn't plan to do anything about it.  He doesn't plan to make any more moves.  Need body armor?  Well, I guess you're going to have to keep salvaging scraps from the local dump and making the most of what you have.  That's the message, and it is not at all what any fan wants to hear.

It is embarrassing to think that when I overhear a fan say, "I could do better than that," they are probably right. And the same goes for the bench. Could you perform better than 0 assists, 0 rebounds, 0 points, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 3 turnovers, and allowing a 17-0 run in under 3 minutes? I believe there are a lot of Blazer fans that could. Quick quotes Nolan Smith after the game referring to his 3 minutes of shame, "Rough stretch - Really rough stretch." Little did fans know, that theme was set before the first game was played.

Despite the millions of dollars the guys make, I do feel for the players, and for Stotts - being given an impossible mission with inadequate support. And I feel bad for fans who still believe if they go spend money at the casino, they'll come out a winner. The players, the coaches, and the fan deserve better. And some answers and apologies from Olshey would be a great start.


  1. I for one was high on this team coming in this season but, looks like I was actually high for doing that :) just kidding, anyway after a few weeks in the season I realized that this is a season where you gonna have to have a lot of patience, I'm not concern about making the playoffs like some are I'm more concerned about our starting core making it to the end of the season, the theme this season is "Survival" because at this point I would be surprised if Olshey does make a move to give us bench help because he so keen on keeping the cap space that we are going to have. What I don't understand is that how he can't get players who can produce on a one year deal, there are a few guys still out there who can help us now and give our starters the rest they need. I just try to keep my emotions in check when watching the game because you don't know what teams gonna show up and like I said earlier we probably won't get more help and I hope Olshey know that if any of the main core gets seriously injured it on him.

    Off topic here but, I also what to take time to say thank you because I found out your a Vet from reading your post I hope you know that they are people out there who truly are thankful for what you guys do we really don't show it enough, it really make me mad when I see people abuse their freedom like what you guys do isn't a big deal but, I digress anyway thank you again and I will continue to say thank you and show my appreciation as long as I live.

    by CarlJ1 on 1/21/2013 2:21 AM
  2. I try to avoid talking about myself, it usually leads to politics, but thank you. It's just the first thing I thought of when I read Olshey's quotes, and it really put a bad taste in my mouth.

    And I could not agree more with you about why aquiring a real bench now is imperative. I am not concerned with short term success of making the playoffs, even as high as a 6th seed, although I think it's pretty lame to not make the effort to try. My concern is the beat down the starters are getting. There is NO relief from the bench - none. Batum and LA appear to be nursing jacked wrists. Wes went down with his hip flexor and Batum his back. It's just a lot of miles. Lillard has pulled up lame several games with his ankle. I know Stotts is tired of hearing about playing starters long minutes, and I completely understand his perspective. I don't think he is looking to be irresponsible with the health of the players. But, I am just tired of Olshey not leading, not cutting guys that clearly are not cut out to play real minutes, and not picking up guys that can acutally play 10 or more minutes without causing a complete trainwreck. 17 points in 2 min and 40 seconds is simply inexcusable. "Do better," is simply not a real solution.

    by Blazer Fanatic on 1/20/2013 7:34 PM
  3. THANK YOU SO MUCH. This post elaborates on what I was getting at in the whole trade J.J. debate. We need to shake the roster up slightly, and Olshey needs to pull his bull moose out of the mud and just admit, 100%, that he goofed, BECAUSE HE DID. Honesty toward the fans, which Bob Whitsitt, Cho, and Buchanan DID NOT HAVE as GM's for the Blazers, will at least sit better slightly with some of them.

    Maybe even me. But I'm still trying to recover from this damn mess all this stuff has turned into.

    by linfieldrunner on 1/21/2013 10:37 AM
  4. In fairness to Olshey there are a few intangible things from last summer to the present. The big one is Elliot Williams was his target for 6man and EWill never played a game. He also thought Babbit, Smith and Freeland would be big scorers off the bench. Also he didn't know Damian would be this good this quickly along with everyone else in the league. I don' think anyone had any idea JJ would be a double double machine either. He said all summer that we wouldn't race to the middle just to spend money and we haven't. The positive from his statement is that he seems fully aware of the holes that need to be filled. Stotts has done everything he could under the circumstances but the experiment with half the bench is over now and it's time to part ways with some of the project bench players to bring in 3 strong supporting bench players. The Elliot Williams injury has cost us a lot without that backup 6man on the bench.

    by riverman on 1/21/2013 2:39 PM
  5. That's a great freeze frame photo of Olshey...mid sneeze?

    by riverman on 1/21/2013 6:22 PM
  6. Mid-season. ; )

    by Blazer Fanatic on 1/21/2013 6:23 PM
  7. Olshey basically reiterated what most fans have suspected: the Blazers will have 13+ mil in cap (assuming the cap doesn't increase) to spend on aquiring 3 players. If they keep their draft pick, they'll spend it on 2. He identified depth at Center, SG, and PG. No surprise.

    My questions is, if you can fill any of those spots before the trade dead-line, without disrupting the big 4 (Matthews, LA, Batum, Lillard) why wouldn't you?

    That's what is so frustrating for me as a fan.

    by Blazer Fanatic on 1/21/2013 6:29 PM
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