Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Trading Up: The Blazers Still Launching PR Bricks

Any well-written story has to have that tiny twist, that little capper, that makes everything complete. It's usually a small detail towards the end that encapsulates what has happened and leaves the audience with that little bit extra as the story closes. Tonight the potential saga of Adam Morrison as a Blazer came to an end. To me he was the perfect solution to the Blazers popularity problems, although I completely understand going for a center. That is the age-old need in basketball - there are just less big men than everyone else. That's how we got Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan. Still, we had a Northwest guy here who openly expressed a desire to be in Portland, and I sensed all the intangibles were incredibly positive. In a game of scoring, he led the nation. The future of the Blazers in Portland is in doubt, and I think in some scenarios, this guy could have made the difference in keeping them here. But that's over now. I smile to see the Paul Allen team getting congratulated for a great draft. How quickly they forget. Okay, LaMarcus Aldridge is big, but I read he's an NBA power forward, not a center. Certainly landing Roy was an unexpected bonus, but I still think the Blazers blew this. If they hadn't traded up to #2, Morrison would have been gone anyway, and Aldridge would still be available at 4. None of the pundits I heard could figure that out. So by giving themselves a chance to pick Morrison, and then not taking him, they managed to disappoint huge sections of local sports fans, without getting anything in return. In short, when it comes to PR, the Blazers still can't get out of their own way. It's a big disappointment, and every time a 3-pt shot clanks off the rim next year, it will be a reminder that we could have had the best shooter in college basketball - an intense, feisty character that would have been huge fun to have in town. But that's over now. The story just needed that one twist to make it complete, and there he was - that man again, fuller in the face, but still unmistakably him. There was Michael Jordan, part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, explaining why he likes Adam Morrison so much. A reminder of blown drafts in the past, to cement my fears that we have blown it again. Still, I bear no ill will to the new picks. Welcome to Portland, and may the story you write be a great one.

9 Comments:

At 9:36 PM, Blogger C said...

Adam Morrison = Danny Ferry with a press agent.

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I'd be interested to know who you'd compare this Alderidge pick to, so we can also see how that olds up.

 
At 11:03 PM, Blogger Jack Bog said...

Bill, Adam can pour in points on the Gonzaga home floor against the Santa Claras and the Boise States and the UPs, but it's not clear he's going to be an impact player in the NBA. Like all draft picks, he raises more questions than he answers. He's not athletic, and his defense is suspect. He won't play much for a year or two. He's an intense competitor, but so was John Starks. The Blazers wouldn't sell many season tickets to watch him share playing time with Webster and/or Darius Miles. I think the thing to watch in the future is how Aldridge and Morrison perform -- in three years, we'll know who the better pick was between the two.

Randolph is a jerk, and Przybilla's probably leaving -- if not this year, then next. Ratliff seemed like he refused to play here any more. And we have Webster, who's the umpteenth New Face of the Blazers. A good big guy makes a lot of sense. And getting rid of Telfair was like a lumpectomy of a malignant tumor.

 
At 11:19 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

We'll have to wait but I based my opinion not on the Santa Claras but on a tough team back East. I believe it was Memphis State. Anyway, afterwards they were saying they couldn't handle Adam in close. I'm walking a fine line between being honest here and not wanting to be negative. I was disappointed, but by tomorrow, it will be time to move on. Drafts are crapshoots for even the best pros. Remember Michael Jordan broke a foot one year, and that could have been the end of him, so I'm not claiming to know. It's just my opinion. Blazer fans certainly deserve any joy they can get out of this, after what we've been through. I certainly don't want to take away from that.

 
At 12:15 AM, Blogger Jack Bog said...

You're right -- nobody really knows (although passing on Moses Malone was stupid). Between Roy and Aldridge, there should be one good pick there.

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger Jack Bog said...

Remember, too, that MJ's last big draft instinct was Kwame Brown.

 
At 7:07 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Yeah, and remember Adam Morrison's last big college game was UCLA. That was the game they should have won leaving Morrison sobbing, which by the way, Michael Jordan admired.
UCLA made it all the way to the Finals, so Morrison did okay against topnotch competition.
I wish only the best for our new pick. I saw him on the news and he seemed nice enough. Maybe it's because LaMarcus Aldridge sounds a little like LaRue Martin.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Torrid said...

As noted, Jordan doesn't exactly have a stellar record for recognizing talent (cough--Kwame!--cough).

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

It is true about Kwame. He was a big letdown although he did play well against Phoenix this year right up till the sexual assault charges. I saw the appearance of Michael as a detail in a story, so I would have to make it clear that I had already concluded Adam Morrison was the best pick, which I had, and that Michael's appearance reminded me more of our not taking him, than of him taking Kwame.
This could be done in the rewrite.

 

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