As they say in the article, it's a wonder he even suited up. I think we can all agree that Wes was cursed on Saturday, and that was the explanation behind any issuees with Brandon, Nate's rotations, and the referees. So let's put it all behind us and win game 2, eh?
Say what you will about Wojnarowski, but he doesn't mince words. Interesting take on Stern's vice-like grip on the NBA. "Big and small markets. Winning and losing franchises. Great and lousy general managers and coaches. Old and new owners. They all agree: Don’t push Stern too hard because there will be a price to pay. Better off bowing, kissing the ring and shuffling past him." Harsh, looking forward to see what kind of reactions this might elicit.
Early Heisman favorite Jake Locker will likely miss Saturday's game against the Ducks due to a broken rib that was exacerbated in last week's loss to Stanford. Early estimates put his likelihood of playing in the game at about 20% (4/20, if you rather), so, basically, zero.
* Bumped to front page -- Ben * Truehoop article about Oden in the off-season. Henry Abbott's least optimistic take on Greg that I have seen. He expresses concern about Greg's mental health, work ethic, and some of his decision making. Definitely worth a read.
Linked to from BDL...the just-released 2010-2011 projected standings have the Blazers finishing tied with LAL for the best record in the West. They have the Blazers losing in the WCF to the Lakers, who go on to lose to the Heat in the Finals. According to the statistical plus/minus projections, the Blazers will finish with the best record in the West and lose in the Finals to the Heat.
Blazers come it at #11, behind the Spurs, Mavericks, Jazz, and Bucks. "Seems cruel to point out that Oden has played in only 82 games in his first three seasons. But that's where the conversation has to start (again) because Portland will be a different team if he can ever stay healthy." Keep that darkhorse train rolling...err..not rolling...or something.
"Chemistry quiz: Who's the ticking time bomb? That's the question, and it's multiple choice, with several "A and B and C" type choices. Last year, Andre Miller and Nat McMillan blew up at one another during a low point. The two reconciled things and seem to be on better ground, but there's been consistent trade chatter involving Miller since he was signed as a marquee free agent in 2009. And that's just the start! Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake, two longtime Blazers were traded last year, along with Martell Webster before this year's draft. And, oh, yeah, Rudy Fernandez is involved in a messy, gross situation where he's demanding a trade and talking about sitting out the next season , even after rejecting a trade to New Orleans. This is all before we get into LaMarcus Aldridge's longterm problems with the club, and the attention showered on Greg Oden constantly. That said, McMillan has done a tremendous job keeping the team together and helped lead them to the playoffs last year. If he can keep them together this year, it'll be another award-worthy performance." Huh? LaMarcus' long-term problems with the club? Attention "showered" on Greg Oden? "LaMarcus Aldridge in particular has had low expectations which he's exceeded yet not received credit for the last few years" Huh? Just awful...full of typos and blanket statements....actually maybe you shouldn't click on this.
KD says #11, also includes this defense for Greg ahead of Yao: "So, I'd like to rank Oden higher. I really would. And while some might want to see him paired with Yao Ming around the same spot, it needs to be shouted that Greg Oden is not Yao Ming. He hasn't had the same repeated injuries in the same spot. He's injury-prone, yes, but only in the most literal sense of the phrase. If Oden stays healthy and can limit his fouls? He's top five. Maybe top three."
The Supreme Court is considering American Needle vs. the National Football Association in a case which this article calls "the most significant legal turning point in the history of American sports." Take a look.
Here are this year's slam dunk stats, broken down pretty carefully. Oden and Aldridge make some lists, as well as the Blazers as a whole. Check it out.
Bynum is set to be in the starting lineup Thursday against the Nuggets. Is this good? Bad? Are the L*kers the favorites to win it all? Is Bynum going to come back playing as well as he was when he went out?
That's right folks, we've done it. A running diary of all the events of all star weekend, with a little Kobestoppers flair thrown in for good measure. Read, enjoy, laugh, cry, comment, flag, etc.
In honor of Greg's big day tomorrow, the Kobestoppers have put together a list of things Greg should want for his birthday.
The Kobestoppers blog is back after an extended hiatus. Click the link for Travis talk, Clyde Drexler, and of course, stopping Kobe. Also, if you're depressed about last night's game, don't be! Running game diary coming soon to help you find laughter amongst the tears.
Clyde is going to do a live chat on ESPN.com at 1:15 Pacific time. I think it is related to the 10th anniversary of Jordan's retirement, maybe? But regardless, it might be worth checking out if you're feeling useless at work like me.
Cool Hollinger article on Greg spending time with kids. It makes you remember that, regardless what you, Charles Barkley, Colin Cowherd, or anyone thinks of Greg, he is a great human being.
What a depressing loss. At least the Kobestoppers are here to find light within the darkness. Click for thoughts on TNT, Oden's happiness, and plenty of burns on the Jazz.
Those jokers at Kobestoppers are at it again. Enjoy. Oh, and try not to catch the Songalia that's going around, I hear it's nasty.
Funny running diary of last night's game from the new blog Kobestoppers.blogspot.com. The site is still getting a few tweaks but its worth checking out.
An anonymous source of mine just broke the news: Mike Bellotti will be the new Athletic Director for the Ducks, while Chip Kelly is going to be named Head Coach of the Oregon football program. I...
Google-translated version of Rudy's newest blog entry. Enjoy.
Ron-Ron defends GO. This man is hilariously crazy.
It's Friday. Blazers v. Hornets tonight at 5, be there or be square. These events combine to result in a near 100% likelihood that Joe will be very drunk this evening. Also this seems like another...
I don't know if anyone else has been keeping up with this, but more NBA fiction is out! Here's the epic battle of The Underground (Blazers) under siege by the Sky Force (Rockets). NBA Dramatique: Growing Pains The secret was out. The Underground was no longer an unknown factor and had become a target of enemy forces. The man-beast remained under lock and key. Their only combat victory had been against a clearly under-performing Machine. Those two factors, plus the bloody lesson they were forced to learn within the walls of the Western Banner, had diminished a great deal of the confidence they had been building. McMillan saw the problem and understood the setbacks, but knew he had to find a way to reverse the trend. His first idea didn't turn out so well. They had traveled incognito under McMillan's advice to get a little rest and relaxation away from the tunnels and the stress of training and combat. He took them all to a performance by a band of traveling musicians that had become rather popular, hoping that the songs would help take their minds off of the setbacks they had endured. In that sense, McMillan's plan may have been too successful. They had not been vigilant, and several of his men had their pockets picked while their attention was on the performance. Worse, they had been followed out of the venue and unceremoniously mugged. Nothing at all seemed to be going their way. The hope of bringing back positive spirit had definitely failed at that point, so they returned to the Underground tunnels tired and defeated. ***** There was a large pool of water - bright blue - with scattered light bouncing off of its surface. The light was reflected back upwards against the dark stone walls of the cavern and the skin of the man looking down into the water, and it made patterns like jump-ropes, intertwining and revolving around one another. The one watching was McMillan, and his interest was not the usually tranquil and relaxing Underground pool, but the activity taking place within it. Oden was walking across its floor, fighting against the drag of the water and pulling a huge stone block behind him, tethered to his waist by a large iron chain. Two other men, trainers, were in the pool with Oden trying to encourage his efforts. Even from high above, McMillan could read the exhaustion on Oden's face, and could sense the will of the hulking man beginning to bend under the pressure. "I need you to get there, big guy. I need you to get there." McMillan said, too quietly to be heard. He turned and walked out of the pool cavern, hearing the deep and tired grunts of his biggest hope echoing all around. ***** An early warning siren had sounded and the fighters had gathered in the planning room, less than twelve hours after returning from their poorly-fated trip. Fast approaching was the Sky Fortress. "I know as well as any of you that things aren't going according to plan." said McMillan. "We had an idea of how things were going to go. We worked hard to develop strategies and we knew our roles based on those plans. Things changed. That's life. We can't spend another day acting like we are finished. We've had a little bad luck, but that's all it is. Remember a year ago? Nobody cared about us. Nobody thought we were worth a damn bit of their attention. We thought we were hot because Oden was going to rip people in half while we watched. What happened? We couldn't use him. We had to learn to do without him, and you know what? We did well. We grew. And we still stayed under the radar for the most part. We waited and we trained and we were going to go out and rule the world. But Oden got hurt and we're without him again. All of you feel like it's last year all over again and you're going to work hard with no pay off." McMillan paused. "You're wrong." He looked at the faces in the room and could see in every one of them that they were listening, and wanting to believe, but they needed more. "Oden is going to fight in this war. I see him getting closer every day. But you guys can't expect to have him do it all for you. You have to fight like he's not there so that when he shows up, he becomes the extra piece and not the centerpiece. All of you can do this. I've seen it. I've watched you. You don't need him. You want him to be there and so do I, but he doesn't have to be. Get that into your head and lock it in. You guys are killers. Kill. Kill! And when Oden is unleashed, kill with him." Brandon and Aldridge looked at one another and nodded. They stood, embracing their roles as leaders and fighters. Brandon spoke to the assembled group. "Get ready. Now." ***** A long battle. Hard fought. An experienced and talented enemy. Blake slices and Brandon stumbles. Scola hunts. Batum. Ka-boom! From below, Oden hears the sounds and longs to contribute. Bones with an eagle-eye. Outlaw and Frye fire at will. One so young his beard looks false. Brandon out of rhythm. The young one, Brooks, demonstrates a blinding speed and a true shot. Fernandez with the spirit of war. Major Artest joins the front lines and his troops rally, but Aldridge helps the Underground push back. A brief calm, but no surrender. Przybilla on the offensive. As the fight rages, McMillan has hope. Sees the change in his men and imagines Oden's return. Major Artest is denied a kill. Ka-Boom!! Aldridge, Przybilla, Outlaw all showing the fighting acumen that McMillan had seen in the training hall. A face-off - Bones and Fernandez. Bones is reduced to a shaking wreck on the floor. Major Artest and Yao try to stop Fernandez, but he bests them both. The speed of Brooks, the cruelty of Commander McGrady. Neither side will quit. Neither can yet claim a win. Commander McGrady is trapped, but drops a smoke bomb and narrowly avoids capture. The endgame arrives. ***** Brandon wanted to be the one to end it. He believed himself made for moments like these. No side was going to give up, so one must be forced to do so. He darted towards the enemy, unable to discern their faces, and flanked their position. He saw the Commander and stopped on a dime to shoot. The Commander dove to the ground, and Major Artest stumbled as he tried to intercept the attack on the Commander. Brandon's shot hit, and the Commander fell, bleeding. Still, the Sky Forces would not surrender, and Yao saw an opportunity. Brandon left his allies vulnerable, and Yao fired a tiny rocket from his wrist that destroyed a stone support, cutting off a number of the Undergound's fighters. There was little chance for an Underground victory now. The calm stillness of necessity took over Brandon's body, and with uncanny speed, he fired a shoulder-cannon towards the whole of the attacking force. Luck had decided to come back to Brandon, and his shot caused an explosion that rocked the Underground tunnels and left the Commander's squad burned and coughing within a cloud of debris. Their position compromised, the Sky Force retreated back to their landing craft, and returned to the Fortress in defeat. Brandon took the time to account for all of his soldiers, then found McMillan. The strategist was giving his top man a knowing look, but waited for the young fighter to speak first. "We can do it." Brandon stated, sounding more surprised than he had intended. "I know." answered his boss. "Will you?"
According to the newest from JQ, Greg Oden and Brandon Roy will play tonight for the Trail Blazers in Miami. Roy says he's 90-95% Also, Nate talks about how he hopes the return of...
Who else remembers delicious, delicious All Sport? Classic commercial here. I was thinking that Greg could play this part without a fake beard, maybe just a little gray in his. I was also searching for an image of the All Sport "Claw" bottle but couldn't find one. Does anyone else remember this?
New article from the Columbian on Sergio's minutes. Not much new info here but worth a read.
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