Archive for Brandon Roy

Mr. Blazer or Mr. Paycheck?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2008 by blazersog

It was not all that long ago that we posted about our Coach and what we in Rip City thought about him.  The consensus was that Nate is doing a heck of a job, but it LMA or Roy wanted him out he would see the door. 

Last week we were hit with the news that Nate declined the opportunity to negotiate a new contract and instead wanted to “earn” it.  Since this is a slow time (between the Draft and before summer league) sports radio and the blogs lit up with the little nugget nestled in the Oregonian.

So what does this all mean?  First, it is important to note that we here at the OG support Nate and feel he is one hell of a coach.  Look at our team last year.  No one outside of Portland expected much of us after Oden went down.  And in all honestly, not many in Portland expected a .500 season.  A lot of that has to do with our team, but lets not forget that Nate lays the foundation.  So we are on record as supporting our coach.

So….why the big deal that Nate said he wants to earn his contract?  He never said he wants out, he simply said he signed a 5 year deal and he will honor that deal….good enough right?  RIGHT??  Well not really…at least for some.

Let’s not forget that Nate left Seattle on his own and was rewarded with an excellent contract.  He has shown he is not afraid to leave a comfortable place and go for the money.  If Mr. Sonic could leave the Sonics like that he could surely leave the Blazers just as easily.

Portland’s new sports radio station 95.5 The Game (which by the way provides amazing Blazer-related content ever day…thank god) was buzzing.  Every explanation was discussed, every opinion was given, and Nate himself even went on Wheels After Work to explain his words. 

Here is a quick rundown of what Portlanders think about Nate’s situation:

1.  He is holding out for lots of money

2.  He is being honorable and serving his contract and will deal with it later.

3.  He is going to bolt for another team in 2 years.

4.  He is not the coach for this team

5.  ETC, ETC, ETC

So, let’s cut through all of this and look at it from the one standpoint that has not been discussed.

First, Nate makes $5 million a year.  A top tier salary for a coach in the league.  Phil Jackson makes $10 million a year, top of all coaches.  If the Blazers wanted to extend Nate right now you would see him get a jump in salary.  Probably $2 million a year or more.  Just to be conservative and for sake of argument we will say he would get a $1 million jump per year.  So an extended contract at the minimum of $6 million a year keep him at the top of the league, and very happy.  Its hard to turn down $6 million a year.  So, we all know Nate turned down some serious cash.  Let alone the fact that the team wants to keep him…job security and money is hard to pass up.  So why do it?

Well, that is easy.  Nate wants more money.  Just like any player, or person in a job if they see the ability to make more they will go after it.  So why does this concern people?  IT SHOULD NOT.  Let’s look at this from a different angle.  If Nate were to jump at the chance to resign he would be saying a lot of things.  The loudest is the fact that he is going after job security.  If Nate were to sign a 3 year extension at $6 million a year he is guaranteed $18 million at the minimum.  No matter how good or bad the team is he gets his cash.  So passing up speaks volumes about what Nate thinks about this team.

What Nate is telling everyone is this team is DAMN GOOD.  Who better knows the team then to coach?  If Nate were to jump at the chance for job security he is telling everyone that he is unsure about the success of the team and wants to secure himself because this team may not live up to expectations.  What he is saying about not re-singing is that this team will succeed and he is in line to cash in.  No person in his position would turn down guaranteed money if the team was bad.  And no person would sign for millions less when they knew the team would blow up like expected putting them in line to get a bigger payday.  By riding out his contract he gives up security, but he also gains leverage when we start our march to a championship. 

So while the rest of Rip City freaks over this news, read between the lines, understand that what Nate said by not re-singing is music to our ears.  When our team goes above and beyond what even we expect and Nate is getting Zen like money remember this post.  Thank you Nate for showing us you believe in our team, and letting us peek behind the curtain to our assured success.

All Time Blazer Team Part 7: 6th Man

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2008 by blazersog

We have been creating the All Time Blazer team here at BlazersOG and thus far here is what has been assembled:

SF:  Jerome Kersey

PF:  Maurice Lucas

C:  Bill Walton

SG:  Clyde Drexler

PG:  Terry Porter

Coach: Dr. Jack Ramsay

Throughout this process we here at the OG have compared the best the Blazers of past and present had to offer at each position and made our decision on who we feel was the best, and thus given the title of “All Time Blazer.”  However, this week it changes.  We are asking YOU who do you feel is deserves to be the All Time Blazer 6th Man?  Now, as we originally stated the criteria for 6th man is going to be based on the principle of “best of the rest” NOT the best 6th man of all time.  So, look above at the All Time Blazer Team and tell us who you think is the one left out, the one who deserves to be on this team because they are so good regardless of position they belong. 

Each week we have had many posts claiming that we selected the wrong person, that someone else belongs in the positon, well this is your time to get them on here!  Next week we will tally the votes for the player who receives the most votes (and best argued reasons why) and will reveal the All Time Blazer 6th man.

To help you out here are some players that have been debated and argued belong on this squad. 

Geoff Petrie

Larry Steele

Kiki Vandeweghe

Arvydas Sabonis

Buck Williams

Rasheed Wallace

Zach Randdolph

Brandon Roy

LaMarcus Aldridge

Who else?  Who do you feel belongs on this team under the criteria “best of the rest?”  Let’s hear it!

.500 Record: It Doesn’t Matter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2008 by blazersog

With eight games to go before the end of the NBA regular season, the question on all Blazer fans’ minds is: Can the Blazers finish with a .500 record? This is a logical question for fans of a franchise that has not had a winning season in four years and yearns to see signs of progress in this young Blazer squad. With the likes of Dallas, San Antonio, LA Lakers and Phoenix waiting for the Blazers in April, the chance to win four more games looks tough, especially without Brandon Roy. Although Blazer fans worldwide are waiting with bated breath to see if the boys in scarlet and black can pull it out, the bigger question is why? Why does anyone care if the Blazers finish with a .500 record? It doesn’t matter!

No matter how you look at this season it has been one of remarkable achievement for Blazer Nation. From the season ending injury of Oden to having the second youngest roster in NBA history, this year’s Blazers had every reason to pack up the season and get ready for another lottery pick. But instead this team fought tooth and nail to compete in every game. Yes, there have been some silly losses. But there have also been some amazing wins. All the while the Blazers saw their first All-Star, in Brandon Roy, they can be proud of since the days of Clyde emerge as the team leader the Blazers have been missing. LaMarcus Aldridge coming off an injury plagued first season has blossomed into an offensive threat and a second weapon on the floor in only his second year. Travis Outlaw has solidified himself has a dangerous 6th man while James Jones has shown the Blazers have a 3 point threat off the bench. Joel Przybilla has recovered from a horrible season to put up, game after game, blue collar performances that have become his trademark. The list goes on and on of emerging stars and powerful growth of the Blazer roster that has marked this year.

More importantly, Blazermania is back. For the first time in a long time people care about the Blazers again. Like being hit with a wet blanket, one can’t help but feel a sense of excitement in the air on the streets of Portland. The Rose Garden is selling out, the media is writing positive stories and season ticket holders are coming back in droves.

So why does a .500 record matter? Yes, it would be a nice vindication of success for a young team that has worked hard all year. But hasn’t their season been vindication enough? Haven’t all the gutsy last second wins, rough but tough defensive efforts and hustle plays shown us that this team gets it? The Western Conference is a tough place to get wins, especially this season. If this team loses the rest of their games they will do so by fighting to the bitter end. Like Falcor in the Never Ending Story says, “Never give up and good luck will find you.” Nothing can erase the magic of this year, not even finishing below .500.

Who is Russell Westbrook?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2008 by blazersog

Last month, John Canzano wrote a blurb on seeing Kevin Pritchard at the UCLA-Oregon game.  KP brought with him his all star cast of Blazers assistant GM Tom Penn, scout Michael Born and scout Chad Buchanan. Obviously, the Trailblazer engine was working that night to see if they like a certain player in the UCLA team. We don’t think it was Oregon native Kevin Love, but Love’s combo guard, Russell Westbrook. So what do we know about this UCLA player? Here are some facts about Mr. Westbrook:

The basics: He was born in Long Beach, California and is currently a sophomore at UCLA. He’s 6’3 and a lefty (There’s something about lefty’s that makes you think of greatness i.e. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, The Lone Ranger and the guy who invented the Dyson Vacuum)

The man is averaging 12.4 points per game, almost 5 assists and 4 rebounds. He’s comfortable playing either with the rock in his hand or playing off of it. In terms of shooting, UCLA coach, Ben Howland wanted Westbrook to improve his shot before his sophomore year, and being the obedient young man he was, Westbrook took the summer shooting enough jumpers to make 500 made baskets everyday. Wow! That’s some work ethic coming from a 19 year old.

Here’s what Fan Nation said about Westbrook’s game:

Strengths- Russell is an explosive and athletic combo guard who can get anywhere on the court he wants to.  He posesses a lethal first step and a nasty crossover.  Although his game is suited more to the 2-Guard position, Westbrook is a good passer and is very unselfish.  Gets good lift on his jumpshot and has an excellent mid-range game.  Teammates and coaches say he’s a great person to have in the locker room and is very coachable.

Weaknesses- For all of his athletic ability, Westbrook is still pretty undersized for a SG at 6-4.  He also tends to struggle when faced with full-court pressure and can become flustered. Free throw shooting might become a problem for him.  He shot 55% as a freshman but has improved a lot this year.

As far as his character, he sounds like a Trail Blazer already. We would love to see a player with the aggressiveness that takes him to the basket (not named Brandon Roy). Jarrett Jack has the ability, but finishing is not his strength. If you haven’t seen Westbrook finish, here a little clip:

Analyzing his weakness, his size would be an issue as a two guard, but we really don’t need a 2. We need a point guard who can handle and distribute the ball well. We need somebody who can run the pick and roll with fluidity. If Westbrook struggles with defensive pressure, we might as well stay with Jack who knows our offense and has been proven in the NBA.

Bottom line: Westbrook could be another Monta Ellis, and with our lack of fastbreak points, he would be a breath of fresh air. So what do you think? Would Russell Westbrook be a great addition to this soon-to-be championship team?

All Time Blazers Team Part 2: Shooting Guard

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2008 by blazersog

This week we look at the position of SG for the All Time Blazers Team.  We here in Rip City were blessed in 1983 when Portland drafted the Glyde out of Houston with the 14th pick.  This decision is the easiest of all when looking at the All Time Blazers Team.  Clyde holds team records for: Games Played, Minutes Played, Points, Assists, Field Goals Made, Field Goals Attempted, Free Throws Made, Free Throws Attempted, Total Rebounds, Offensive Rebounds, Steals, and Personal Fouls.

Clyde is known as one of the all time great guards in NBA history.  Drexler has earned many honors throughout his career include being named to the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players

He earned his nickname “The Glyde” because of his near effortless, high-flying, and soaring swoops to the basket. 

 

Not only does Clyde hold the most team records of any Blazer, have his number 22 retired by the team but he also has NBA and International competition achievements that are near unmatched for shooting guards not named Michael.  His other achievements include:

Elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2004); NBA champion (1995); All-NBA First Team (1992); All-NBA Second Team (1988, ’91); All-NBA Third Team (1990, ’95); NBA All-Star (1986, ’88, ’89, 90, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’94, ’96, ’97); Olympic gold medalist (1992).

If one name is synonymous with Rip City it is Clyde.  He made the city proud by not only playing the game the way it should be played, but being the leader of a great team off the court.  If you lived around Portland during the late 80s early 90s I am sure you have a Clyde story you love to share.  Whether it was that Avia Shoes poster shot at Benson High, or the trip down to UNLV in the playoffs Clyde is and always will be Mr. Portland.  When Clyde won a championship with the Rockets in 1995 it was a bitter sweet time for Portlanders.  One of our own won a championship, but not with us.  It was a true Blazer fan who once said “it was the hardest thing, and the sweetest thing to see Clyde win one.  All of us in Portland knew it was right for him to get it, even if it was not with us we were proud of our Clyde.” 

A little viewing enjoyment of Clyde’s 10 best dunks.  And if you ever questioned why he is the Glyde just check out the #1 dunk:

We are lucky to have another Guard now in Brandon Roy who continues to mold himself in the legacy of Drexler.  We only hope that Brandon can bring back what Clyde once provided.  Congrats Clyde All Time Blazer Shooting Guard!

What are your favorite Clyde stores?  Have you ever ran into Clyde during his time here in Portland?  Share with us what you know and love about the Glyde.

The All Time Blazers Team currently looks like this:

SF:  Jerome Kersey

SG:  Clyde Drexler

The Moniker Project

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2008 by blazersog

It occurred to us here at BlazersOG that one of the things missing from this young Blazers team, one of the things gained from experience and years in the League is a good, solid nickname for every player.  Mike Rice and Mike Barrett have coined Brandon “the Natural” Roy, which is perfect.  The other players, for the most part, are severely lacking in the alias department.  So, every Saturday, we’re going to post a different player and come up with a nickname that we’ll then pass on to the powers that be.  We all know that a nickname can take hold simply because people use it and we’re going to do exactly that.  One request, however, is that the nicknames stay positive – they don’t necessarily have to be basketball-oriented, but this is a FAN site, so pointless criticism or needless insults won’t be included as possible selections. 

So post your ideas in the comments section and we’ll put up the top 3 every week and then repost so we can collectively pick the favorite.  

The first player we thought made the most sense, in terms of Blazers tenure and severe need of a sweet nickname, is Martell Webster.  There is so much about him as a player and person that is fascinating to watch.  He is one of the best shooters in the League when he’s hitting and his intensity and focus is almost too severe at times.  If you want to check out his stats, click here.  There is a dilemma, however, in that he is rumored to already have a nickname, which is pretty cool (“The Definition” as a play on his last name’s dictionary-connection).  We’ve never, ever heard it used, though, so I guess it either hasn’t stuck or people just don’t know.  Either way, that’s the whole point of this effort.  

Marty McFly?  Seattle’s Best?  Uncle Marty?