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To the Big O...

Some rather dated. FWIW only...

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I love watching Miles play! He is explosive. It reminds me of the Clyde the Glide days; you never know when the thundering dunk is going to bring you to your feet. This guy has speed and hops. When we get him a jump shot, he will kill the rest of the NBA in scoring! I hope he continues to grow, and I hope we sign him long term!


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Amazing Performance from Sheed in Sacramento.

Not just in the game, I mean the post-game interview. Wow. He sounded friendly, personable, intelligent, and sharp.

If he did more interviews like that after games he could really change his image. Playing well didn't hurt either, but it's harder to believe so dogmatically the line that he's such an abominable cancer (regardless of your opinion on him) when you can hear him speak up like that.
John C. Worsley



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Nobody's stopping Rasheed Wallace from pooling his money with others who feel the same way to either buy an NBA team or start their own league (where the players have some team ownership). Go for it Rasheed!
John Miller



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It is clear from Rasheed's comments that he has a lot of personal issues that affect his ability to be the kind of person we all would like to see in the NBA. Fortunately, he has the love and support of his family to remind him why any of this is important. So a thank-you goes to the Wallace family for helping him in accepting his role, no matter how many of us feel he falls short.
Chip Barnett



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Wallace’s remarks raise several interesting issues.

1) Cultural dissonance
Hip-hop culture is discernibly different from white middle class culture and so to the extent that players are discouraged or prevented from engaging publicly in its expression, one can sympathise with them at a subjective level. This is not however, an experience unique to black ball players: many of us have to conform to norms of professional behavior not of our own choosing. In fact, more than this, it is the norm to conduct oneself differently in different situations: not to do so is a sign of mental problems.

2) Exploitation
Surely this term cannot be divorced from the concepts of power and liberty. I am exploited if some constituency that I cannot choose not to transact with without incurring costs which lower my state of welfare below some agreed level, takes from me arbitrarily more than it is willing to compensate me for. Wallace certainly cannot secure compensation even close to his NBA salary in any other line of work. He could however, choose another line of work and be housed, fed and in good health, etc., doing it - i.e. meet an agreed upon baseline for personal welfare. Thus, he does have reasonable alternatives. Moreover it is not at all clear either, that he is not being compensated fairly: it is not evident that the NBA is making unreasonable demands on either Wallace himself or other black players as professionals in the workplace. Both sides of the contract between the NBA and NBA clubs on the one hand and ball players on the other are at liberty to strike whatever bargains they can with the other, consistent with what the law requires. Ball players sell their labor to purchasers (ball clubs) of it. No one is coerced into any resulting deals. Both sides negotiate the best deal they can get for themselves. This is the free market at work. Hard to see a case for exploitation in such circumstances

3) Racism
Racism is certainly alive and well in America. However, it is a mistake of stunning naiveté to think that if blacks were in control of the NBA and NBA clubs, the situation would be any different. The audience for the NBA is predominantly affluent white people. If a black run club were to condone drug use, cussing and violence as legitimate problem solving techniques, play exclusively gangsta-rap at ball games (all conspicuous elements of hip-hop culture), the club would go broke pretty quickly _ unless players’ salaries plummeted, NBA merchandise was priced very differently, etc., so that the less affluent hip-hop crowd could attend games. Even then with such a business model in place it is unclear whether it would work and it almost certainly would not be as profitable as the present regime even if it did. In other words if you are in business _ black or white _ to make money you would have no incentive to change the status quo.

4) Psychology
One very helpful thing to do when someone says or does something which seems unintelligible, egregious, stupid, etc., etc., is to try to imagine a point of view from which the behavior makes sense. In the case of someone like Wallace, the amount of vitriol present in his declamations suggests that he has acquired an ideology of injustice probably built from repeated injustices perpetrated against him or his family or friends earlier on in his life. If we assign to him a temperament moved more by feeling than analysis in response to instances of injustice, it is not hard to see how from his perspective the world, without exception, is stacked up against blacks. This stance is no different in logical form than those held by political extremists of all stripes, radical feminists, religious fundamentalists, etc., etc. They all have in common the adherence to an ideology rooted epidemiologically in their experiences and temperaments which are insensitive to empirical evidence and rational argumentation. There is really not much one can do to dissuade such people of their opinions.
Roger Kornfein



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So now Rasheed Wallace blames racism for all his troubles. It sure wasn't racism that caused him to light up a joint. Only the ridiculous sum of money he is paid to play a child's game permits anyone to tolerate his moronic behavior. The sport of basketball and society will be better off when he becomes a footnote to sports history.
Barry Williams



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Rasheed is an arse. To read comments from fans who praise him for his leadership concerns me. Obviously they themselves lack good character. So what if Rasheed goes to another team and produces? I'd rather lose and be competitive than win with classless players such as Rasheed. And, as a subtle reminder, take a look at the win/loss column! Hmmmmm.....where does Portland fall? So there goes your (the fans) theory of Rasheed being a leader and producing.
C Brown



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The NBA is a player's league. Owners don't bring fans. Coaches don't attract the attention. It is what happens on the court that counts.

For people (especially the quasi-illiterate sports reporters of the world) to state, imply, or insinuate that race and racism do not play a role in today's NBA is utterly false as well as naive. The profiteers of the NBA are the owners. The owners are nearly all white. The league is nearly all black. Tell me there aren't inherent contradictions here.

Vilifying Rasheed Wallace for stating the obvious gets us nowhere closer to the truth. I only hope the attention-grabbing pundits who control sports reporting can think before they react.
Anonymous



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I believe that Rasheed Wallace is a fine basketball player and a great family man. While I may disagree with some of his viewpoints and have criticism of him, I realize I have my own faults as well. It is simple human nature to compare. Rasheed is my favorite player in the NBA because oh his stellar play and leadership. Without Sheed, the Blazers would be a lottery team. So while I may not always agree with him I will support him 100 percent of the way as a player and a father. From the heart of a native Oregonian and a Blazer fan literally from the cradle, I am truly Rasheed's biggest fan because I can relate both my positive and negative feelings toward him to myself without completely ripping or praising him.
Shane S.



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Grow up Mr. Wallace. In a business where the MINIMUM salary is 13 times the MEDIAN income of the people who pay your salary, who is taking advantage of whom? Do I feel a high-school graduate employed by the NBA for a minimum $367,000 is being taken advantage of? In a word, NO. Mr. Wallace, if you had to work a real job for a real income, your perspective might be different. At least it would be more realistic. I believe all Trail Blazer fans should be grateful Mr. Wallace doesn't talk to the press more; each time he does, he only embarasses us.
Ron



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It's a shame that most of the focus will be placed on the comments Rasheed made regarding racism in the NBA. Depending on your cultural background and life experience, you'll either agree that he expressed what a lot of others think, but never said, or feel that Rasheed is again showing how bad a person he is. Either way, I think there was so much more to that article that shows he is a thoughtful, caring person, but this will sadly be overlooked, maybe with no one to fault other than Rasheed himself? That's what some would say. It's funny though, people have complained that it's wrong for Rasheed to not speak with the media, but when he does, no one likes what he has to say. Think about it.
Anonymous



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There are 2 sources of opinion I am suspect of pertaining to Sheed: columnists and refs. Both groups hate him, especially the Oregonian staff whom he loves to provoke. His teammates however, love playing with him. He is a consistent player. Dean Smith loved coaching him. The reason the the Rose Garden isn't filled is plain and simple: because they're not winning. Winning covers a multitude of sins. If we were in first place, we wouldn't be spending so much time dissecting Rasheed's psyche. Get off his back for crying out loud. He's just a basketball player. To quote Sir Charles: "Raise your own damn kids".
James Itamura



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I would trade jobs with Rasheed in a heartbeat, and he can keep his pay. I would love to play (and practice) basketball all day and all year long.
Tom Andrews



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The Blazers could save money and exploit me for 2 mil per year. Rasheed just doesn't get it.
Steve Blair



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When we lose Rasheed and he dominates for another team the way Jermaine did, we will all sit around and say, "man, why did the blazers get rid of that guy."
Joe



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Kia Kamali was clearly oblivious to the hurtful tone, and utter stupidity of Rash(w)eed Wallaces rants, as well as being blinded by the glitz of an NBA player.

I laugh at her defending someone who wouldn't understand the meaning of the word "exploited" if he bothered to look it up in the dictionary. To insinuate that someone who plays a kids game, while making $17 million a year doing it, was exploited is an insult to Kia, and everyone else who has to skulk into an "8 to 5" Monday through Friday.

Exploitation, Kia, and Mr. Wallace, is some 10 year-old kid in East Asia making a dollar fifty a day making one hundred twenty five dollar a pair NIKE tennis shoes. Being from Portland, I would think Kia would alredy know this, but stalking Mr. Wallace has clearly clouded her thinking and left her with little time to read anything other than the sports pages.

Mr. Wallace, and Kia, thinking that the NBA would rather have high school players drafted because they are naive and easily manipulated exemplifies your lack of understanding of the industry. Perhaps they have not noticed that few players seem to be able to shoot the ball into the hoop.

The problem is that the NBA seriously lacks talent, not that David Stern needs willing pawns to promote "his" league. Think about this: if scouts are willing to go to war ravaged nations to find talent, something just may be amiss.

I hope that Mr. Wallace's statements embarass him, as his being busted speeding down I-5, baked, have embarassed his family, and that Kia Kamali wakes up and realizes that hero worship easily blinds individuals from the truth.
Mike Dains



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UNBELIEVABLE!!! Shame on Rasheed and shame on any NBA team that chooses to sign him next year and prove to us all that what he said in his article was true! If you choose to sign him you are continuing to "exploit" him, so hopefully everyone will do him a favor and not sign him. Then he can go on with his life and not feel so cheated! SHAME on you Rasheed!!!
Barbara MacNeil



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Rasheed is human and needs to be allowed to be human. I seriously doubt any person who has taken the time to criticize him has led a completely stellar life. For some reason the naysayers seem to have this unrealistic expectation of professional athletes. Do you honestly believe that these guys were put here on earth to solely please you? Rasheed has done alot of positive things for the community of Portland but it's been decided to overlook that. Grow up and realize that you only love players when they are winning and therefore you were never a fan anyway. I am a native Oregonian and an original fan of the Blazers. I love the sport of basketball and love to see a great play whoever the player is. That is a fan!
Susan Jones



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Rasheed Wallace is clearly a racist individual, and his attitude has infected the team. They must trade him before he infects Zach Randolph.

A rich white man, along with many white fans are making Rasheed and his teammates very rich. But does he have graditude? No, he whines about being EXPLOITED. He and his teammates make more then the fans in the Rose Garden combined. And we actually work 40 hours a week.

If Rasheed really feels exploited, he could get up and walk away from the game. But no, he wants to collect his millions.

"They draft black athletes because they think they're stupid and will do whatever they say"

Ya, just like all you class acts on the Blazers.

I think it's time the media starts to call them on their racism.
Aaron



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First of all I would like to point out that Rasheed and I are just a few months apart in age. We are from the same generation. I am also the owner of a growing small business. With that being said I really took exception to Sheed's comments on the league "exploiting" black players and his remark about David Stern making more than 3/4 of the players. Does Sheed know anything about the "real world" and how business works? Obviously not!

David Stern should make more than ALL of the players. He has made the league what it is today. Just a little over 10 years ago you had Michael Jordan making just over 3 million a year! That's right, Michael freakin Jordan. These so called "exploiters", through savvy marketing and lucrative TV negotiations, have completely turned the NBA into the modern day power house that it is. Without these "exploiters", Sheed who is nowhere near Jordan, would not be making anywhere near the 17 million he is collecting this year. What would Sheed have to say if all the players in the league were white? Would they be exploited? Are the people at the Wendy's drive through being "exploited" by their bosses even though the people at the head of the company are making six to seven figure salaries?

Of course not, they provided a job and the ability to get paid to sharpen their skills and advance if they want to. Sheed has obviously backed himself into an emotional corner where everything and everyone's intentions are subject. He should thank the league for all that they have done to provide him with the environment to not only play the game of basketball for a living, but to be making the kind of money that no doubt will be taking care of his family for generations to come. How he plays the race card to me is only surpassed by his ignorance as to bite the very hand that feeds him. Every job has do's and don'ts. Codes of conduct rather they be written or not. And they do not shell out $17 mill do follow them. If you don't you are shown the door whether you are black or white.
Jon



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I would like to comment on the recent trade of guard Bonzi Wells to Memphis for Wesley Person. Though I am a big fan of Bonzi and wish with all my heart that he could have become a cornerstone in Portland for the duration of his career, I regret to say that I feel the trade was the best decision that could have been made under the current situation. The Blazers need to press forward and win fans back, and that it seems will come at the cost of talent. To Bonzi, I wish him the best with his new franchise.
Joshua



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One down at least 3 or 4 more to go!!! The stoners should be next!!!! Woowhoooo. it is about time!!
Rose



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As a longtime Blazer fan, and like many others, I've had to struggle with a feeling of betrayal on the part of the players, and to a lesser extent the franchise itself. The best word to sum up my attitude toward this team is apathy.

With the latest incident involving Zach Randolph, I can't help wondering at what point I will actually start rooting for their opponents.
Jim



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Dear Blazers Management,
You have a prime opportunity at this moment to show the fans that you really value their opinion and are committed to cleaning up the Blazers organization. You have a player whose value is high with his good play and lower salary. He has just gotten in trouble with drugs and the usual Blazer problem with driver's liscense and proof of insurance.

Take this opportunity to get a couple of good young players or at least one that will stay out of trouble and trade Zach Randolph. You can walk into the practice after trading Zach and tell the rest of the team that this is what we are going to do if you do not clean up your act. The other thing that comes out of a Zach Randolph trade is that you are showing the fans that you value their opinion and you will probably start to see the attendance rise.

I know I would start going to the Blazer games if you made that statement, but right now I don't even want to think about going to pay to watch these "out of touch with the real World" guys. Please do something now, while your chance is there!
Ron G.



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First off, the Trail Blazers need to accept the fact they are role models. Don't want to be one? Then get a real job that pays a 'common' salary. Otherwise accept the fact your job is in the spotlight, and you get paid well for being there. Bottom line: someone else can do it without disappointing the fans.

Marijuana is less of a problem in society than alchohol. Marijuana is a single digit percentage of drug related crimes, alcohol is around 90%. So before making a judgement on these people, make sure you're educated on the subject matter.

I digress. The kids look up to these individuals. The Blazer Team members need to be held accountable for the message they're sending to their impressionable fans.
Chris



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I think the Blazers are a disaster. It would appear we have a bunch of potheads for players. I saw where someone wrote in "Portland has good weed" like the players can't help but smoke it. Well, that may be, but I do not believe that as professional athletes they are at the top of their game if they are smoking marijuana. Leave the pot to the losers.

They play like they are stoned. No ambition. Also, whether the players like it or not, they are role models in our community and they need to see what kind of message they are sending to the kids out there that do look up to them. They are a disgrace to our city. I don't understand why management doesn't have this under control? Are they smoking "the great Portland weed" as well?
Colleen



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I have been a die hard Blazer fan since the expansion season. I have gone through all the ups and downs that the team has gone through, but have always continued to support them through thick and thin. I teach PE at a low income elementary school in Salem and this morning I had a little 4th grade girl ask me who my favorite basketball player was. Buck Williams had always been one of my favorites and I seen alot of that kind of effort in Zach Randolph, but hesitated in saying it was him. Instead I just answered that I don't really have one right now. She then asked me who my favorite team was. I answered saying it has always been the Blazers, but it's kind of hard because they are always getting in trouble. She then says yea, don't they have that player that was driving while smoking marijuana. I answered yes, not a very good example of what a DARE student would do. She anwsered, no that's real stupid. Now I want you to know this comes from a 4th grade Hispanic girl who is kind of shy and not really into PE. Makes you really think how far down all this mess with the Blazers really goes. Sure makes me think!
Scott



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I am tired of the Blazer bashing and whining. We live in a society where at least 30% of the people are regularly using drugs. Why is it okay for you to drink and drive or smoke dope and drive but not an athlete? You are all hypocrites. So if Zach, Sheed, or Damon were using "medical marijuana" it would have been okay, right? Don't blame the Blazers for problems we are facing in society. You cannot expect these guys to behave more admirably than you behave. I also challenge the Oregonian and local media to submit to their own drug testing before writing another word about the Blazer's "problems". I bet several would not pass such a test.
Ben



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What are you going to do? Portland has some fine weed floating around. Getting caught driving? Not too bright. Enjoying the vibe? The world would be a better place if everyone did it. Right on Zach, Damon, Sheed and Q. They're just the ones who get caught. Think Bill Walton never smoked a joint? Get real.
Jacques



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I'm so at a loss for words about this team, I can't even waste any more energy on them, without leaving parting comments to Patterson, Nash, Allen and Co:

As a fan of over 25 years, I am EXHAUSTED with this team, and you have EXHAUSTED all my patience, reticence and denials about this once proud franchise.

This fall, I purchased a 4 pack of tickets. I've tried selling these tickets since the last Bonzi flare-up, and guess what, guys: NOBODY IS INTERESTED IN BUYING THEM!

I don't want to just eat the price of the tickets, and I am such a fan of the GAME of basketball, that I will go. And these 4 games will be the last that I ever attend at the Rose Garden.

2 times a year, I drive up to Seattle to watch the Mariner's play. Next year, I will tack on another road trip or two to watch a team that didn't sacrifice its soul: THE SONICS.

Regardless of the W/L column, the Blazers are now the most PATHETIC sports franchise, period.

When is John Nash going to wake up and smell the coffee?
Nick



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I’ve read Blazer statements that Nash and team President Steve Paterson have a mandate to:
1. Maintain a high level of team play (maintain the playoff stretch)
2. Bring the team salary expense into line
3. Improve the team image

To quote Nash from an Aug. 3 article you wrote: "It is easy to accomplish one, or even two of those goals at the expense of the third," Nash said. "But it is hard to take action and satisfy all three of those goals simultaneously.

So instead of taking action, nothing really has been done. Yeah, Bonzi was suspended for 2 games. Big whoop.

Rasheed still takes games off (40 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound against the Wizards), then trashes reporters after the game, implying they are the reason for the team’s troubles.

More and more fans are showing up disguised as empty seats. A friend recently offered me 2 Blazers tickets for free. I turned him down. I have no desire to watch the team as it is currently structured.

Right after his hiring, Nash was quoted as saying: "(Owner) Paul Allen has made it clear: He wants a team that he and the city of Portland can be proud of," Nash said. "We are not going to tolerate the behavior that has been here previously."

When is he going to start? I think the Tampa Bay Bucs, in cutting Keyshawn Johnson loose, have shown that sometimes there are things more important than getting equal value in a trade.

If Nash and Paterson want to fill the Rose Garden, they need to get rid of the bad apples NOW. And they ought to consider bringing the budget in line over 3 to 5 years, not too quickly. Paul Allen authorized the team to spend like a drunken sailor for years, assembling this mess. He can surely authorize a bit more spending to clean up that mess.
Rusty



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I've had it to death with Bonzi and Sheed. As I have every year, I dropped &159 for the league pass, exclusively to watch Blazer basketball. Bonzi and Sheed make a very enticing package that would work salary-wise in many trade situations. Portland fans deserve the truth. So far we've been offered prolific lip-service, but no change. I don't think we even care who we get for Bonzi and Sheed, because we understand we won't get fair market value. It doesn't matter anymore. Give us somebody to cheer for... before it's too late.
Mike B.


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I think it's absolutely ridiculous that there are fans who sit there in the Rose Garden and excuse the Blazers for their play, attitudes, outbursts towards the fans, etc. When the Blazers display to me that they as a team have at least some class, THEN I will be interested in them. NOT until then. My apologies to those team members who ARE genuinely fine people, but there are too many thugs, convict wannabes (and with any luck....soon-to-be's), and just plain immature jerks. Bonzi, are you listening?
Charles


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Dear Steve Patterson:
As a long time Blazers season ticket holder concerned about the direction of the organization, I initiated what turned out to be a lengthy discussion with Buffy Filippell of TeamWork Consulting, Inc. last spring. With respect to her Blazers' executive search, and as a Blazers fan and Portland citizen, I wanted to share with her what I felt most ailed the organization and what forces were most to blame for the growing apathy of the general fan base. More than any other point, I emphasized the absolute need for a change in the culture and mentality of the organization. For what had been nearly a decade, the existing culture was one that failed to appreciate the unique relationship between the city of Portland and the Trail Blazers, demonstrated a lack of respect for the fans (its customers), and from top to bottom consistently refused to accept accountability for the state of the organization. Being from Cleveland and having little knowledge of Portland, I wasn't sure she really understood my comments, but I hoped.

Upon the announcement that you would be President, and subsequently that John Nash would be the General Manager, I maintained an open mind that the franchise was headed in the right direction. Of your noticeable first moves, I embraced your stance on the Damon Stoudamire arrest in July (of which you curiously reversed prior to training camp), the season ticket price reduction and added flexibility for season ticket holders, and your stated commitment that this was a new era as validation that you were the right person to turn this thing around. With due respect to you, I see little change from recent years, and in most instances only a continuation of the adverse trends. What's worse, as a customer, I'm feeling that I was pitched with rhetoric. I'm beyond amazed and disgusted at the depths to which this once storied organization has fallen, and angry at what has been taken from me as a passionate fan.

As we stand, each of the flaws I referenced above remain unchanged, and the fact is you're the guy that was charged with the task of delivering change. In accepting this task, you should have known that time wasn't on your side. The public's goodwill towards this franchise has deteriorated to levels that I think you should be quite concerned with. Considering that, the most disturbing message you've sent so far, intentional or not, is the unwillingness of yourself and the organization to be accountable for what continues to take place. For instance, by suggesting that the fans and media were in some form overreacting to the Bonzi Wells incident during the Philadelphia game, you gave the impression that you were sort of defending him. If this were abnormal behavior from this team, I could accept that defense. But this has become the rule here in Portland, and by not directly acknowledging that this won't be tolerated, the perception is that you're defending the behavior.

In addition, your recent implication that the local economy and unemployment levels were most to blame for falling attendance gives the impression that you either are way out of tune as to what's going on, or simply refuse to accept any accountability on behalf of the Trail Blazers. It's an insult to those that cared enough to listen to or read the comments, and I have to think you're smarter than to believe this. Tough economic times we've had several times before, yet the current apathy and disgust towards this organization is a first!

I appreciate that you have a challenging task ahead of you with virtually no goodwill to leverage upon in your efforts to be successful. However, that task can be dramatically simplified by genuinely validating the fans' frustration, following through on your commitments, and most of all accepting nothing less than complete accountability by the players and organization. So far, under your watch, I feel none of this has been done. I'm hopeful though that the situation doesn't have to worsen much further before you'll show a greater appreciation for the dire condition this organization is in.
Lance R. Tullius



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It is time for the media in this town - including Jason Quick and John Canzano - to quit turning THEIR problem with Rasheed into OUR problem with Rasheed.

Yes, Rasheed is overpaid. And yes, Rasheed sometimes loses his cool on the court. But most fans couldn't care less if Rasheed doesn't give the media the time of day after a game - ESPECIALLY when all the media ever does is bash him.

I'm not a huge Rasheed fan, but the dude plays a mean game of basketball. No, he's not a marquis player and shouldn't be making marquis player money. He's never been a "#1 option" kind of player. WE expected him to fill that role, because frankly, the Blazers haven't had a legitimate "#1 option" since Clyde left.

But now that Zach has emerged as the "#1 option" maybe it's time to bring our expectations in line with the player Rasheed is and has been all along. Let Paul Allen worry about his salary.

And let Jason Quick and John Canzano keep their personal feuds with Rasheed to themselves.
Brian K.



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I don't often agree with the Fan. I tend to think more in line with the Critic most of the time. But, the Fan seems to have hit the nail on the head today despite himself. I couldn't have said it better:

"I haven't seen a Portland Trail Blazer play with the 'refuse to lose' mentality that Z-Bo did last night since Clyde Drexler. Honestly."

I might ask why not... why in all those years, years when we were supposed contenders for a championship, Rasheed and Damon and Bonzi haven't shown that same "refuse to lose" mentality.

In fact, led by Pippen's stellar example, the Blazers have consistently waited until the last minute to put out their best effort, and even then only sporadically. When was the last time these players had a strong stretch run to get better seeding in the playoffs? When was the last time they consistently dominated bad teams, winning the games they were supposed to win?

In fact, the current Blazers era has been characterized by underachievement. We've consistently collected talented players who haven't lived up to their abilities on a consistent basis.
Mark



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John Canzano is absolutely right (11/14/03, "Blazers Show Promise..."). Blazer fans should not yet give this bundle of one-on-one specialists credit beyond winning one big game. I left my second-row courtside seats (which I inherit because their owner refuses to go, by the way) at the end of the third quarter shortly after Rasheed's typical tantrum.

As a long-time Blazer fan I certainly hoped the Blazers would pull out a terrific comeback, but I refused to watch Rasheed prance around the court screaming like a baby who dropped his pacifier in the sandbox. What should have been a fantastic experience for this fan -- and a major step toward winning back my support -- was demolished by a complete lack of professionalism. Again.
Brian B.



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I am writing to let you guys know that I love the articles you write. The team deserves all of the negative press they recieve. They are a bunch of lazy, underacheiving drug addicts and we need some change. The only way we will get this change is if you keep writing these negative articles. These players, mainly Sheed and Bonzi, have more than worn out there welcome here in Portland. We are a proud city and we don't deserve a team like this. There are about 12 people at bbb.net that like Sheed for some unknown reason that will write to you and tell you to stop the negative press on the team, but the team brings it upon themselves. I know I am in the majority. As a bartender I talk to hundreds of people a day and about 99% agree with me and will not support the team til Sheed is gone. Anyways, keep up the good work, and dont give these guys credit they dont deserve. We need a change, and consistantly writing these articles will help force the management into doing something.
Mike
While Portland has definitely got some of the best basketball fans ever, it is evident that even they have had enough. I still love the Blazers and cheer them on every game but, after the last few years of ridiculous tirades, episodes and breakdowns on and off the court, it's tough to give the same passion that used to be so exciting when thinking about Blazer basketball.

Now with an organization that laid off many Portlanders, still has players who don't get that the fans pay their paychecks and will be stuck this way for a couple of years, it may be time to look to our other local teams. The Winterhawks, Beavers and my favorite Timbers all deserve a little more looking into. Why not spend your time watching the up-and-coming talent, the athletes who still remember that it is the fan that makes a professional sport possible.

Maybe a few more people supporting these teams will allow us to get other professional sports teams in here besides basketball. Soccer, Hockey and Baseball all give us a something else to enjoy besides today's unappealing team. So, buck up Portlanders, go out and see a Winterhawks game this winter and Beavers and Timbers games in the summer, you'll be glad you did.
Ben

As a long-time Blazer fan now living in Southern California, I think the fans need to understand that Trader Bob had good intentions and Paul had his wallet wide open to bring a championship team to Portland. It didn't pan out as they got a little carried away and misjudged some of the players. We all do that everyday at work or public.

People need to tough it out for now and support the Blazers and see what happens this year! Portland needs to realize that the Blazers are all they have and if people boycott them there are plenty of other cities, including Anaheim down here, who are looking to bring yet another NBA team to Southern California. If Paul can't make any money in Portland, as the owner he can move the team whereever he wishes.

Bottom line: Count your blessings and support your team. At least give the new administration a chance. Nowadays, sports are like politics: you can't make everyone happy. It's always a coach or a player or an executive that needs to fired or traded. I've been down here a little over 5 years and I just can't bring myself to root for the Lakers or Clippers and I still follow the Blazers every single day. Sure, I get disappointed and frustrated at times but that's the way it goes and every team goes through a cycle.
Ali



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If management admits this group of Blazers is undesirable and not what they want to go forward with, where is the incentive for Blazer fans to support this current group. What they really seem to be saying is that the only reason these guys are on the current roster is because they are so undesirable with their contracts and character that they would only bring undesirable players in return. How can they make statements like the one above by Nash and yet ask fans to come out to the Rose Garden to support this team? It would seem that asking fans to accept that scenario for 3 years could permanantly cripple the franchises relationship with the community.
Scott



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I have been a Blazers fan ever since I can remember. Even when I was going to college in Canada, I would listen to every game over the internet. I was excited to hear that Whitsitt was quiting and the new management was promising trades. Rasheed, Bonzi, Ruben, and Damon all need to go! I've seen three of these players at parties or clubs, and lets just say they don't treat their bodies or minds like a millionaire athletes should. Why should I care, or cheer for these players when they don't care for me, the fan! I was given two Blazers tickets for a birthday present, and I intend to go. But if these troubled players, especially Rasheed and Bonzi are still around, I will boo them.
Mike Dominguez



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» I am a lifetime Blazer fan. Why it is that no one in the Blazer personnel, be it the coach, management, owners, players, or even, despite sometimes coming close, YOU Jason Quick, are willing to admit that the Blazer organization is a bloated, apathetic, and dreadful collection of corporate products? Cheeks is vomiting the same excuses, and head-shaking dismay every time our team repeats its appalling collapses and no-show games.

And what's worse, Paul Allen and now Nash have instituted utterly transparent and ineffectual "changes," and appear to have absolutely no cognizance of the fact that our team harbors 2 malignant tumors that together have increasingly promoted an overall spread of cancer in the team: Wallace and Wells, who not only fail to show up with any consistency in their play night in and night out, but have NEVER shown any desire to win. Wallace wants only to please those near to him, and Wells? Who the heck knows? But it's crystal clear that he has never, and will never have the kind of passion to win that the Iversons, Bryants, Stocktons, Bibbys etc. etc. have. I would rather have 1 player with mediocre skills who is passionate about winning than 5 with exemplary skills who clearly value their Hummers and wealth more than their jobs.

Say what you want Mr. Quick, this team lacks any sign that it really cares about winning. I'm not talking about having the occasional stellar game, and putting up numbers, I'm talking about feeling devastated and responsible after EVERY loss, and eager to come out EVERY night to win. Whatever the cause of this problem, and whatever the cure, only Paul Allen has the power to change it. What a sad fact that is.
MF



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» Fans almost seem obsessed with having access to the players. Why? What is the big deal? It seems that the Oregonian beat staff has sour grapes year after year about the Blazers and it doesn't change a thing. The mind and life of today's professional athlete is just not exactly relevant to most people, whether people want to admit it or not. That's capitalism, realism, pragmatism, the way it goes and all of that. If the beat staff stuck to basketball and perhaps the culture that comes with the games BEST players, rather than trying to support vague moralistic and unreal assumptions of "the fans," then the game would be more interesting (fill seats again) and the team more productive (wins). That would be journalistic quality equal to the quality expected of the Blazers. Yeah, well-paid athletes are a little or a lot spoiled, but how many times have you said Labron James? In other words, the media venture has something to do with the hype and it's unwanted consequences. What gives?
SaneLunatic



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» I am a huge Blazers' fan, always have been, always will be. For me it is frusturating and irritating to always read about the Trail Blazers' on-and-off-the-court problems. Which is why I visit this website less and less. Not because the Blazers are doing it, but because that is all that the Oregonian writers write about. I honestly cannot remember the last time John Canzano wrote a good piece on the Blazers, or even Jason Quick for that matter. I really like Jason's insight on the Blazers, but John reminds me of that one fly that you can never get rid of, and is always irritating me. I assume Rasheed Wallace feels the same. The Oregonian writers are helping to turn all this nonsense into a soap opera. But this is basketball, not a soap opera. Lets leave it on the court.

I understand reporting it, but not over reporting. And in my opinion, that is what is going on here. If something doesn't change I will cancel my subscription to the Oregononian, and take Oregonlive.com off of my favorites link.
Jesse



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» I am an avid fan of the Blazers, and always will be regardless of what state they're in. My own frustration has to do with the fact that noone on the Blazers seems to play with any passion, or the kind of night-in-night-out passion that their own coach played with, and that the likes of Iverson, Bobby Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, John Stockton etc. play (or played) with. Forget about problems with the law, media thwarting, or image dumping--none of these things would matter if the Blazers came out and played with passion.

Look at the Lakers. Talk about off court problems! But why have the Lakers succeeded, time and again, with rendering those problems insignificant? THEY PLAY WITH PASSION, or a desire to win above and beyond all else that imbues all who put on their uniform, and all who watch them play, with a kind of respect and admiration that trivializes the off court problems. And you don't have to win in the end to achieve that admiration from Portland fans; you will earn it regardless if you truly play with passion.

The Blazers have never even APPROXIMATED this ideal since the Drexler era. Their wins are almost incidental--like they decide to show up one night since they have nothing better to do; always to be sure to flop the next outing as though their attention span has run out.

It's just sad, and I suppose I may have, after all, only succeeded in being one more venting fan with this letter. I just wonder how many of us there has to be before the management, or someone who can make a difference in the team listens.
Matt



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» Until the Blazers start acting like responsible adults they can forget my support. Their on and off court actions speak much louder than words as they show their complete disrespect for the community. I`m ashamed to tell anyone I`m from the Portland area when I go on trips as I know the reputation of the Blazers is followed throughout the country. It is way past time that Portland get another major sports franchise so we can throw our support behind them and show the entire Blazer organization once and for all that we don`t have to and won`t take this childish behavior displayed by the players.
Michael B.
 
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