Do we want Mr. Sonic to be Mr. Blazer?
Recently Coach Nate McMillan earned his 300th win as a head coach in the NBA. He is a young coach that has built a reputation in the league as a no-nonsense guy and someone who likes defense and discipline in his players (nicknamed “sarge” by his previous star player Zach Randolph). Back in July of 2005 the city of Portland was lucky enough to take Mr. Sonic out of his Seattle home and transplant him as a head coach of our young Trail Blazers. Nate, since then, has been the poster boy for the new culture of this team and continues to charm the fans of this city. We believe in Nate more than anyone in this organization and we are grateful for what he brings to our team. He has said that he hopes to have the next 300 wins here as a coach of the Blazers. He would be our own version of Utah’s Jerry Sloan. If this is in our future Mr. Sonic will be a thing of the past and Mr. Blazer will be his new household name. However, fans, we want to ask you if this is truly what we want? We’re not saying that it’s time to start looking for a new coach. We are sooooo far from that. We want to know if the fate of the Blazers turn out to be the same as the Jazz, is that something we would consider a success?
Jerry Sloan has been the coach of the Utah Jazz since he took over after Frank Layden in 1988. Jerry has coached probably the best guard/big man duo in Stockton and Malone. They have enjoyed a long run in the playoffs almost every year except from 2003 – 2006. The Jazz, under him, have won six division championships and went to the NBA final twice in 1997 and 1998. The Jazz if compared to an NCAA team are like the Dukies (except for the number of championships), they are a powerhouse every year and are always contending for the championship. Jerry Sloan, however has never won a championship, and even though he is as great as the people in Utah would like to think he is, we fickle people measure greatness with merits. In this case, Championships.
So are we ready for a Jerry Sloan? Do we want Nate McMillan to be that person for us? The only thing we can say is that we are ready to see the champion’s parade on the Broadway Bridge with our Blazers on top of floats waving at us, knowing that the wait is finally over and we again are the best team in the world. If Mr. Blazer can take us there, we want his next three 300 wins here at the garden.