Archive for Rip City

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.

The Good of a 24 Hour Fitness Pick-up Game?!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 30, 2008 by blazersog

The Oregonian dropped a bomb on all Blazer fans recently about Greg Oden participating in two pickup games at 24 Hour Fitness.  To the shock and horror of all Rip City faithful and the Blazers brass, we learned a few things about Mr. Oden. 

In our opinion what Oden did the other day was stupid, but in a greater aspect is good for him and the team.  Here is why:

1.  Oden WANTS to be on the floor.  Think about this – Darius Miles had the same surgery as Oden, never sniffs the practice floor, and is being shipped off the NYC to get off the books of the Blazers.  Some 15 months later Miles will never be a Blazer again (thank god), but we see what can happen when a millionaire basketball player is guaranteed money and does not HAVE to get back on the court.  Oden wants to play so bad that he feel into a situation where he used dumb judgement, but alas he has desire.  Isn’t that what you want out of your first pick who has not played and is still guaranteed about $4 million for two years?  In our opinion this is a great sign, you don’t see the “CTC” of Sheed here.  You see desire and we like it.

2.  He lost a game????!!!!  Oden said he played in two games because he lost the first one.  How is that possible?  I won’t lie, hearing him lose a game scared me a little…how does this guy lose a game at 24 Hour Fitness?  Well, the answer is that he was being honest when he said he was not playing all that hard.  God knows if this guy wants to dominate the likes of Shaq, Duncan, and Howard can’t stop him.  So he really was playing within his rehab, even if was a stupid idea in the first place.

3.  This is the biggest one, he is fine!!  He has no ill effects from playing both of these games.  We all get excited when we heard Oden can walk a big hill, or is rehabbing in a pool, or is running 5 times up and down the court, or Blake is throwing him entry passes.  Lets get excited about something a little bigger.  This guy just played two games and is not hurt, sore, tired, or in any type of pain.  In all reality this is his biggest and best step since rehad started.  We just ask that next time he does it with the Blazers blessing.

When looking at the Oden situation it is easy to seek out the negative.  It is simple to say that is was a dumb decision and that Oden should know better.  But at the same time we need to temper our attitudes about this because Oden is a kid, he is coming off the biggest situation in his young life and he is eager to show what he can do.  So lets look at the positive.  Lets realize that out of any situation there is a silver, black and scarlet lining.

All Time Trail Blazers Team Part 4: Power Forward

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2008 by blazersog

Last week we crowned Jack Ramsay as the All Time Blazers Coach.  This week we look at probably the hardest position: Power Forward.

We here in Rip City have been blessed with some outstanding PFs.  From Maurice Lucas, Buck Williams, Rasheed Wallace, Zach Randolph, to LaMarcus Aldridge we have seen our fair share of talented forwards who could score and bang with the best of them.

To find that all time Trail Blazer Power Forward we will analyze each of finalists below. 

Maurice Lucas

 

(1976-1980, 1987-1988), 15.6 PPG, 8.7 REB (19.1 PPG, 10.1 REB in first stint with Blazers).  Maurice is know for his grit, fight, and all around badass attitude.  Considered one of the premier power forwards in the game during his time, the rugged “enforcer” (remember his squaring off in the Championship series?) gave Portland (along with Walton) the best front court combination in the game. His jersey was retired on Nov. 4th 1988 so cement his legacy over this franchise.  After his playing days Lucas has served as an assistant coach with the Blazers.  It was not long after Maurice was hired for the second time as a Blazer assistant (first time under Mike Shuler and Rick Adelman) that Zach Randolph had to pack his bags because Lucas was a little harsh for him.  Rumor on SE Division Street is that Lucas challenged Randolph to a fight only to have Zach leave the practice facility crying…..Lucas is a stud.

Lucas Honors as a Blazers:

’77-78 All-Defense (1st)
’77-78 All-NBA (2nd)
’78-’79All-Defense (2nd)

3 time All Star with the Blazers.

Lucas is what all Power Forwards in this franchise are compared to.

Buck Williams

 

(1989-1996) 10.2 ppg. 1 20 points/20 rebound performance. 8th in NBA FG percentage ‘89-’90, 1st in ‘90-’91 and ‘91-’92 (.604). 10th in NBA rebounding ‘89-’90. All NBA Defensive 1st team in ‘89-’90 and ‘90-’91 and 2nd team ‘91-’92. 7th all time in games played (557). 1st all time in field goal percentage (.550). 4th all time total rebounds (4,861). 3rd all time consecutive games played (196).  NBA All Star: ’82, ’83, ’86.

Many credit the acquisition of Williams as the pivotal point in the ’90s glory years.  Buck’s no nonsense attitude, coupled with his punishing defense and his desire to do the dirty work earned him the respect of his teammates.  He never got the glory that Terry and Clyde did, but his contribution was never in doubt to those who are true Blazer fans.  What else do you expect from a guy with the real name “Charles Linwood?”  Made in the same mold as Lucas, Buck is a true throwback that we hope Oden will serve his number well.

Rasheed Wallace

(1996-2004) 16.8 PPG, 6.9 REB.2000, 2001 NBA All Star.  Whether you like Sheed or not there is no doubting his skill.  What I think frustrated Blazer fans the most is that Rasheed is the MOST talented PF, and maybe player ever in a Blazer uniform.  His sick baseline turnaround jumper, high flying dunks (ever notice Sheed used two hands most of the time, this is because his hands are unusually small), and superb defense when he wanted to play it showed how skilled he could be.  The problem is that he never, even today achieved what he was capable of.  But he sure could argue well with the refs.

Zach Randdolph

(2001-2007), 16.0 PPG, 7.4 REB.  Zach came to Portland after not even starting on his Michigan State Team.  I remember some people around me asking “who is that” when he was drafted.  However, after sitting nearly his entire rookie year on the bench Zach busted onto the Blazer scene with a convincing year end second season and solid playoff performance against he Mavericks.  However, Randolph’s time in Portland was dotted with problems.  From hitting teammate Ruben Patterson to hanging out and getting in trouble with the HOOPS Family Zach always knew how to keep the spotlight on himself. 

To be fair to Zach he can ball.  No doubt the guy can score, but he either lacks the mental abilityor simply does not care about playing defense.  He also never cared to pass the ball and was coined “the black hole” by his teammates.  Zach is one of the best post offensive players in the league.  But his skills stop there.  There aren’t many PFs in the league who average less blocks than him.

And he looks like Eddie Winslow

When looking at the above players it is obvious and clear that Maurice and Buck are the finalists.  While both players played a similar game, both gave their team hard minutes and quality possessions, we feel Maurice Lucas deserves the All Time Blazer Team Award.  Nothing against Buck (one of our top 5 favorite Blazers of All Time) but Lucas provided his team the intangibles that helped spur the Blazers to a championship in ’77.  We know Bill Walton can run his suck with the greatest of them, but one thing he always insists is that Maurice Lucas was the reason they won the championship.  If LaMarcus takes on the qualities of Lucas and Buck we are sure this team will be Championship bound.

Congrats Maurice Lucas All Time Trail Blazer Power Forward!

So what do you think?  Are you a Buck type of guy?  Do you think the Jail Blazers talent outweighs that of the team orientated PFs?  Lets hear it!

As the team stand now:

SF:  Jerome Kersey

PF:  Maurice Lucas

SG:  Clyde Drexler

Coach: Dr. Jack Ramsay

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