Outlaws selection is pure Whitsitt


Time to play catch-up after a brief vacation:

•ÊThe Blazers draft a high school kid, Travis Outlaw. Bob Whitsitt wasn't afraid to leave a final imprint on his way out the door. Young Outlaw didn't appear on a lot of draft lists and wasn't even chosen prep player of the year for Mississippi.

I cannot believe this organization sold itself on the concept that it will be patient enough to develop this young player into a pro É and be willing to spend the money on the individual attention he'll require.

•ÊThe Trail Blazers released assistant coach Herb Brown, a very nice man and a good coach. Brown wasn't the first longtime 'friend' of Maurice Cheeks to be chopped from this coaching staff Ñ it happened to Caldwell Jones after just one season.

I can't tell if Cheeks doesn't value loyalty or if he's just taking the bullet for a front office that wants some big financial cuts.

•ÊBest pick after the top 10 in that draft? Call me crazy, but somehow I think that Luke Walton will find a way to fit into the triangle offense in Los Angeles. He'll make himself a better shooter and is already a great passer. He's a basketball player Ñ and the Lakers need more players.

•ÊThe Blazers search the world for a general manager. Around the league, they're having a few laughs about all the people with Blazer owner Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc. who are in on the interview process. No offense, but why are all those people who don't know anything about basketball interviewing GM candidates? And, by the way, why isn't Dave Twardzik ever mentioned for this job? He's as qualified as anyone they've talked about.

•ÊI was a little offended during ESPN's coverage of the draft that the network's Jay Bilas felt the need to claim that former Duck Luke Ridnour 'can't guard the chair I'm sitting in.' Well, maybe so Ñ but tell me how many of the other players taken can play NBA defense. Please. Fact is, no more than a couple of players a season at any position are ready to play NBA-caliber defense. I think Ridnour can defend as well as Steve Nash does Ñ I mean, Ridnour did lead the Pacific-10 Conference in steals last year, didn't he?

•ÊWere you watching when Seattle ace Jamie Moyer baffled Oakland earlier this week? If so, I'm wondering if you were as amused as I was that puffy Seattle announcer Rick Rizzs and sidekick Dave Henderson didn't mention that Moyer had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning?

I mean, aren't those silly days of superstition over?

After a bloop single spoiled the no-hit bid, the two announcers couldn't stop talking about Moyer's attempt at it. If it was that important, guys, mention it all the way along Ñ it's your job to do so. Let someone else worry about the witchcraft or karma.

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