Friday, May 13, 2005

The Blazers' Next Coach

This is dangerous territory for me. In one of my jobs (co-host of "Kremer & Abrams" talk show on KXL) I am employed by Paul Allen, the owner of the Blazers.

But what the heck. The Blazers haven't exactly had a lot of success lately. Maybe a suggestion from me can help out.

Here's my suggestion: Hire Terry Porter as the next coach.

Terry Porter. Succeeded in Milwaukie. Personified the class acts of the Blazers' glory days.

If the Blazers want to recapture the magic of the 1990's, why not bring back one of the central elements of that success?

I knew Terry when he played for the Blazers. We played some golf together, lived near each other, and both had young kids. I can't say I knew him as a close friend, but I certainly knew him (and his charming wife Suzy) well enough to understand what makes him tick.

And that is why I say that Terry Porter is precisely what Portland needs if it is to ever support the Blazers again.

What could be better? The Blazers' problem is that the people of Portland don't really like them very much. Do you remember the glory days? Why was Portland so gaga over the Blazers? One reason was that we liked the players.

We had Clyde. Huge talent, great guy. Total gentleman, perennial all star.

Buck Williams: Class act from start to finish. Extraodinarily intelligent person. I knew him pretty well, spent a good bit of time with him on the golf course. He was the President of the Player's Union, and so dealt with all the contract renegotiation issues during one of the most divisive and controversial renegotiations.

Jerome Kersey: another good guy. Maybe not as high powered as Terry and Buck, not as popular as Clyde, but a totally solid character. Almost a blue collar guy on court, and very respected off it.

And of course Terry Porter. All he did was play in the NBA for about 16 years then coach a loser team inot the playoffs against all odds.

My point is that if the Blazers are going to ever sell out the Rose Garden on a consistent basis, they must have a team that Portlanders are proud of. We know that the teams of the last few years had characters that Portlanders think are an embarrasment, and that is one of the reasons why the Blazers aren't exactly a hot commodity in town.

Could Terry Porter solve the Blazers' woes? Not by himself. But it seems to me a slam dunk:

The Blazers need a coach. Why not hire the guy who has already turned a team around, and who was a central figure in the glory days?

It seems kinda obvious.

But what do I know? I'm an education guy.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

boring, as usual

Anonymous said...

i think you are an invader..are you a native portlander? i'm lucky enough to be 4th generation portlander.

Jamie said...

I agree with you, Mr. Education Guy. I've lost interest in the Blazers after being a HUGE fan as a teenager and young adult, and your comments are right on the money. How can I get excited about a team when in the back -- or even the front! -- of my mind I'm just wondering who the next player to get arrested is going to be, and what the charge (dogfighting?!?) will be?

I've lost a lot of interest in sports since becoming more politically aware some years ago, but I'd still at least follow the Blazers' progress if they exhibited real concern over what kind of people they were hiring. They did good IMO by hiring Cheeks; he's a class act. Porter would be a good successor. Then they'd just need to clean up the on-court personnel. It only takes one or two bad apples to drag the esprit de corps into the toilet.