It’s common knowledge around the NBA.
One NBA general manager said this week, “I wondered why (Blazer General Manager) John Nash didn’t trade Darius Miles when he had the chance.”
Apparently, it was because owner Paul Allen couldn’t shake his inexplicable love affair with Miles. It was Allen who vetoed the deal, one that would have sent the lackadaisical Miles and oft-injured center Theo Ratliff to the New York Knicks for Penny Hardaway — whose monster contract would expire after this season — and the first-round draft pick of the San Antonio Spurs.
Nash, said by people in the Blazer office to be crestfallen when he couldn’t make the deal, refused to comment on the proposed trade Wednesday night. It’s been reported before that the Blazers also had opportunities to make two blockbuster deals within the last year that would have changed the face of the team — but Allen blocked them, too.
There was an opportunity after last season, and it was written about in Boston, to obtain the Celtics’ Paul Pierce in exchange for the No. 3 pick in last June’s draft and Nick Van Exel. That may not have worked well for the Blazers, because Pierce was said to be adamant about not wanting to come to Portland.
The New Jersey Nets also made Jason Kidd available to the Blazers last season while pursuing Shareef Abdur-Rahim, but again, Allen backed off.
It’s believed Allen is being influenced by two factors.
First, he’s frightened of trading away any of his young players, worrying that they will blossom elsewhere and the team will look bad for having given up on them. Call it the Jermaine O’Neal Syndrome.
Second, he’s being told by his financial advisers at Vulcan Inc. that he should not obtain any more long-term contracts.