On the eve of picking Adam … some thoughts on Wednesday's NBA draft:
If the Trail Blazers are as interested in selecting Adam Morrison as many people say they are, I want to know a bit about their motivation. That way I will know if they're doing it for the right reasons.
For example, perhaps the Blazers want Morrison because seemingly 90 percent of Portland fans want him. Now you might be thinking that just this once, the team ought to do something with its fans in mind. You know, give them what they want.
Or maybe the Blazers believe Morrison is a ticker seller, and that by drafting him the team will make a little more money. Sell a lot more of those replica jerseys or some licensed fake mustaches in team colors.
Those would be two very poor reasons for drafting him.
First of all, fans aren't scouts. Most of them, quite obviously, have no idea what it takes to play in the NBA. And I'm convinced that the more they've watched him play in college, the less they know about whether he can play in the league. The NBA scrap heap is full of players whose fans in college thought they'd set the league on fire - but many of those fans don't see enough of the NBA to know what it takes to play there.
Besides, the fans will love whomever the Blazers select - if he's an outstanding player. It's sad to say, the player doesn't even need to be a good guy. This town is so starved for wins and some excitement, the main thing is - can the guy play? And whether it goes over well on the night of the draft is immaterial.
Or don't you remember that June day long ago when Indiana fans booed lustily when their team drafted that skinny guard by the name of Reggie Miller? Those fans were crestfallen and outraged that the Pacers didn't draft local favorite Steve Alford.
Miller, by the way, never sold an extra ticket to a Pacer game - until he got them deep into the playoffs. Even then, the wins sold the ducats, not the star of the team. To think Morrison will mean an avalanche of ticket orders is naïve.
On the other hand, if the Blazer brass genuinely feels Morrison is the very best player in the draft for this team at this time, by all means - take him. Move up to take him. Move mountains to take him. Just do it.
Because one way or another, it would be a lot of fun having him around. I have no confidence he's going to be the star everyone else predicts he'll become. But it's not as if I wouldn't like to see him be a hot commodity. It would be great for Portland if he's the next Larry Bird. If he isn't, well, that would be interesting, too, because he's going to break a lot of hearts if he's a bust.
If it's for the right reasons, bring him on.