Dear Bobcats fans:
Here in Portland, we feel your pain. We really do.
We're sending you Joel Przybilla. The Thrilla. He's been a Blazer about as long as Gerald's been a Bobcat and, although we can see the logic of the trade, it's still torn a little piece of our collective heart out. Joel is a true professional, and a presence --on the court, in the locker room, and around town. He possesses experience and deep skills not necessarily revealed by stats. And nobody messes with him. Nobody.
And we're sending you our young gun, Dante Cunningham, with great reluctance. He's an East coast guy who rebuilds vintage muscle cars --you'll like him. We call him Inferno and, believe me, he catches fire. You won't find a tougher or more determined competitor; he's had a great season so far, and his best seasons still lie ahead of him.
And we're sending you our Kiwi, Sean Marks, for much of this season the only healthy center on the team. Ouch. Sean has been a godsend as a reserve, giving great value in his comparatively modest minutes. We didn't really get a chance to know him well, but he's one of the friendliest big guys you'll ever meet, and well-liked by the rest of the team.
That's something else we're sending you: real team players. There's not much room on our roster for prima donnas. If you're a Trail Blazer, you play well with others. You have a can-do attitude, and you learn to step up, over and over again, in the face of adversity. You're getting three guys who have all of that going for them --and now, going for you.
We're sending you men in whom we've invested a lot of love and pride. That won't change. When they show up in the Rose Garden wearing somebody else's jersey, they'll still be warmly welcomed. Once a Blazer always a Blazer.
And we'll take good care of Gerald, we promise. We'll welcome him warmly, and invest love and pride in him, too. He's joining a really great group of guys and will find, not just teammates, but lifelong friends in our locker room.
In Portland, we sell out the arena for every game, and are loud, devoted, occasionally insane fans. This year the Blazers have a good shot at the playoffs in the very competitive Western conference, and we're excited that Gerald can be an integral part of that effort.
We don't have history with him, or know him as you all do --not yet. But we do know Gerald is tough and versatile and holds nothing back on the court. Perfect. He'll fit right in.
Just hope he doesn't mind a little rain.