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Blazer draft could pay dividends

A look at the Trail Blazer draft:

• This kind of reminded me of the mother lode of 1976, when the Blazers grabbed Maurice Lucas, Moses Malone and Dave Twardzik from the suddenly defunct ABA. Some people will tell you that in LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy, the Blazers got the two best players in the draft. Not that the two players rival those ABA refugees in impact - this wasn't a year of enormous talent in the draft.

• Aldridge, I'm told, is at least a year away from being able to contribute in a major way. In fact, Blazer fans, you better hunker down. This turnaround is not going to happen in a season. Or maybe even two.

• It's ironic to hear Steve Patterson talk about the team wanting to get younger. That's where all the problems started in the first place, isn't it?

• Everything you need to know about Stephen A. Smith you found out on the draft night telecast. The guy's mouth usually engages way before his brain. And he compounds it with too much volume. All style and no substance is no way to go through life, young man.

• I'm happy for Sebastian Telfair. He won't have to try to smuggle his pistol into Boston, anymore. He'll just have it there all the time when he needs it.

• So long, Theo Ratliff. Nice guy. Nice player. Way too many injuries.

• So long, Adam Morrison. I loved the fact that he thought it would be cool to play for an NBA team just 'four hours away' from his home in Spokane, Wash. No question about it, ladies and gentlemen, he at least drives a car like an NBA player. That's a five- or six-hour drive for you and me.

• Paul Allen scrounged around the cushions of his sofa and found $4 million to buy his way up in the draft. Ironic that a guy who can spend that kind of dough on draft picks and send his little summer-league team to Lake Tahoe for several days to practice still can't afford to pay his rent.

• A lot of people think that because Allen played such a big role on draft night, he's going to refrain from selling the team. I wouldn't pretend to know, but every dime he spends improving the team means a higher sale price. And if you're going to sell that flashy convertible of yours, don't you want to take it for one last spin in the sun before you let it go?

• That said, it wouldn't surprise me if Allen tries some sort of bankruptcy reorganization, where he can come up with a way to get the arena refinanced. I don't think, at this point, anyone is going to like that. But on the other hand, if the team wins, nobody cares who the owner is.

• At this point, I'm tired of trying to figure Allen out. Let's just say billionaires are different from you and me. And I bet even in that exclusive Billionaires Club, Allen is considered the odd one.

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