Ousted In Portland, Fans Rejoice

[00:00:00] Dustin: all right, everybody. Welcome to the 259th edition of the holy backboard podcast. I am Dustin here in rip city and it got my man

[00:00:24] Sage: Sage shilling hair, man. When you texted me at like 9:00 AM and said he got fired, I bought your you’re just fucking on my emotions. Why would they do this at 9:00 AM or 10:00 AM?

[00:00:38] They should wait until no one can see it at like 9:00 PM. So the, the social media strategy was off, but, uh, I’m very happy today.

[00:00:48] Dustin: I do have a history of messing with your emotions. Give text via trade, be a basketball. I believe when I still worked for the team. I sent you a text. I was like, oh my God, the blazers just [00:01:00] traded Meyers Leonard for your boy at the time, Ryan Anderson you, you spent a big chunk of the day trying to confirm that deal before I gotcha.

[00:01:13] Sage: Yeah. Yeah. Like I, I looked, I looked in forums. I looked in, I looked at like Hornets 24, 7. I looked. Uh, another hornet’s blog at the time, it was just like, no, no one said it. No one saying it. Pilcher, dramas. Isn’t staying at. Okay. Why do I have this news that nobody else has?

[00:01:35] Dustin: I was, I was a shit, but it was.

[00:01:39] It was funny and I hated

[00:01:40] Sage: Meyers Leonard then. So I was like, fuck, we treated, you know, I know financial rules. That is not, that is not a possible trade, but at the time I was like, he works for the blazers. He should know this

[00:01:53] Dustin: good times. And. It is an emergency podcast. It has been a minute since we have [00:02:00] done one of the Sage.

[00:02:01] It is just after 11:30 AM in sunny. Portland wanted to get your thoughts on the news that came down this morning. Uh, blazers love their Friday news dumps. This one came, I think, five weeks to the day after four or five weeks to the day after the initial. Investigation was announced in early November, that too was on a Friday.

[00:02:26] Neil O’Shea has been fired due to violating the code and conduct of the Portland trailblazers. Interim GM, Joe Cronin will step in and hold the Fort down for the time. Being while reports are servicing that Portland will search for old Shea’s permanent replacement immediately. Just like a regular podcast stage.

[00:02:48] We’re going to kick it off with a good, the bad and the ugly on today. On today. What is your good, uh, Neil

[00:02:57] Sage: shade, getting fire. I [00:03:00] legitimately have a great ugly, but yeah, Neil Shea getting fired and you know, that was the major. Speed bump in making a lot of tough decisions who is going to be the decision maker.

[00:03:12] We have found a permanent decision-maker, but at least we know for a fact that Neil Shea is not part of the future of the trailblazers. And that’s great. He should have gotten fired from Terry Stotts.

[00:03:24] Dustin: Absolutely. And you mentioned who’s going to be a decision maker. The first thing that came into my mind was in the song.

[00:03:31] It’s all about the Benjamin. It’s like, who’s going to be the shot caller. Well, we have the ballers, but we had no shot-caller. Nobody was calling in taking calls, being proactive for the past month that the team has been struggling. I mean, the floaties are starting to deflate. They’re taken on water. It is not looking good for this franchise.

[00:03:52] And Portland has been kind of a lame duck franchise with a lame duck GL. For the past, specifically [00:04:00] for the past month, you knew there were really nothing was going to get done. There’s no way the organization was going to green-light any moves. And so Portland’s just kind of, there were jogging in place.

[00:04:11] Thankfully, a decision has been made, I think, a lot more ride on. Who now gets the, is it an enviable? Is it an unenviable task of becoming the new general manager, but what’s going to happen Sage for my good is clearly the same thing, but I do want to kind of go through all Shay’s moves in a way that kind of fits our format.

[00:04:36] So what do you think Neil OSHA, his best move was in his tenure with the AAA.

[00:04:42] Sage: Trading of expiring Mason Plumlee for a guy on a rookie scale contract and a first round pick in new use of Narcan.

[00:04:51] Dustin: Yeah, that’s definitely up there. I think mine is going to be the summer of 2018. I mean, Portland was coming off of [00:05:00] a third place finish in the Western conference, but ultimately got swept at the hands of the new Orleans pelicans.

[00:05:06] Uh, there’s a lot of turmoil, a lot of angst, a lot of, um, Uneasiness that was settling in, on rip city, but the blazers made some, I mean, this is what Neil does. He kind of played around the corners and nibbled at the edges without getting too. And into the thick of things, but found Seth Curry on a minimum deal right after he was coming off of an injury.

[00:05:30] And now Steph Curry, I think is, I wouldn’t say he’s a borderline all-star, but he is definitely a great player on a championship team. And I thought he made that other player at least, right. He made that team go. He also signed two minimum contracts in Nick stouts gifts and Wade Baldwin that allowed him.

[00:05:48] To then make the move at the deadline for Rodney hood. Again, a championship caliber player on a bottoming out team. Lord knows that hood and [00:06:00] Curry, both played huge roles in Portland’s Western conference finals push. And then during that season, he also got Ennis Kanter now and his freedom to. Okay. Sign with Portland on the buyout market, which really hadn’t happened in the past.

[00:06:15] Portland was not a buyout destination, and this chose Portland over Los Angeles and without use of NERC EJ for that stretch, Cantor stepped in and held his own. So I thought those were, uh, Neil’s best moves. Uh, probably a one B two. That would be the summer of 2015. Neil seems to do his best when. The least is expected of him.

[00:06:39] Unfortunately, uh, summer of 2015 Aldridge leaves from San Antonio. Uh, the rest of the, I believe Portland lost six of their starting seven rotation players. And again, he bit around the. Brought in Alfred Camino on a good deal after he had a good season in Dallas, under Rick Carlisle, brought in, um, Reese heartless via [00:07:00] trade with Orlando magic, a lottery pick who really didn’t play up to his expectations.

[00:07:06] And he also brought in at Davis. Uh, so it started slowly. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Makes he made the trade on draft night, bringing in Mason Plumlee and pack connotation for Rhonda Hollis, Jefferson, which really set the foundation for that 2019 Western conference finals runs. Now, as we move on to the bad, what is your bad?

[00:07:28] Because they’re there is he sustained or he got Portland to a certain level, but he wasn’t able to sustain it. So what is your bad for this

[00:07:35] Sage: episode? I actually want to say another good. I think. Getting our ass beat so bad by San Antonio was it was a nice factor in something happening. So I would like to say that the San Antonio ass whooping might’ve, cause it might be a coincidence that he got fired directly.

[00:07:57] After that result, it looked like a [00:08:00] problem against sanitary. That team isn’t the most talented in the world, but they looked like it against us. I’m the worst. There’s so many

[00:08:09] Dustin: just the bad. They’re not at the ugly quite yet.

[00:08:12] Sage: Okay. The bad,

[00:08:17] Dustin: if it makes it easy, easier for you, what was O’Shea’s? Worst move.

[00:08:22] Sage: Oh, that’s so it’s so tough. Cause there’s the Zach Collins draft and then he got it. Got

[00:08:27] Dustin: him picked the

[00:08:27] Sage: one, I guess honestly the one that pisses me off more. I, I, I’m going to let you have the Zach Collins one, but the summer where we reassigned, uh, uh, God, I’ve tried to get his name out of my, uh, Meyers Leonard Mohan, Allen crab, Evan Turner, Evan Turner.

[00:08:47] That was a, that was a bad one. I remember hiking in a. In, uh, Wyoming, when that, that, uh, that free agency happened and I dropped my [00:09:00] phones and it cracked on rock. So I knew that it was going to be just a dog shit ass, a free agency period for the pelicans and the blazers. But, uh, yeah, that one was.

[00:09:11] Egregiously bad. I know that we got to a high Heights, but reassigning, those players that didn’t deserve that salary is always going to be a bad move. But you, you can talk about the, uh,

[00:09:23] Dustin: yeah, I think the 2017 draft was by far his worst outing as the, on the, on the basketball operation side in, in rip city.

[00:09:34] 2016 aside, Portland still had a chance to really acquire multiple difference makers. In the 2017 NBA draft Cortland had three picks in the middle of the first round. If they would have kept them, they could have added players like Jarrett Allen OGN and Obie Derrick white Kyle Kuzma, uh, John Collins had they still made that trade to get up to number 10 superstars like Donovan, Mitchell, and bam out [00:10:00] of bio.

[00:10:00] We’re both available. This is where I go from the transition from good to bad, where Neil did enough to keep the blazers afloat, but great organizations, great coaching staffs, great general managers. They’re always looking to keep the, they’re always looking to kind of keep the ship running along, trying to continue to set sail, and you have to do that by always being.

[00:10:32] On point. And what I mean by that is, yeah, it’s great that we made that Western conference finals push, but you could tell it wasn’t sustainable because there was nothing left in the reserves. There wasn’t a young up and coming player that could continue to, to grow with the raster that. You know, if CJ goes down, you have another player back there who is able to step in, or if you get one of those players, you’re able to then trade and kind of rebalance the roster, it just [00:11:00] gives you so many more options.

[00:11:01] I mean, that’s why teams like the spurs are. So I think highly respected and what they did for damn near 20 years is so impressive is because they went from the Sean Elliot, David Robinson. Tim Duncan. Then they found gyms and Parker and Gino plea. And oh, what did they do about 10 years after that they went out and traded for Kauai Leonard.

[00:11:24] Like they continuously found that next player that still was able to contribute while their current superstars weren’t just completely out of their primes. And it was just such a smooth and seamless transition. That’s where Neil Shay ultimately failed on the basketball side of operations is he couldn’t just keep the consistently good moves going.

[00:11:48] It was one great summer, one just horrific summer or two horrific summers or really good summer. Like there was never a consistent, just wave of [00:12:00] good moves. I would say that the. Area where I thought Neil, she had completely dropped the ball. He talked about moving the needle. So fucking often he never fucking moved the needle.

[00:12:11] He probably hitched his resume to that curse. Paul trade in Los Angeles. He never came close to making that splash and Portland. Lord knows there were multiple superstars available. I mean, we’ve discussed it. Anthony Davis, Kauai Leonard, uh, Jimmy Butler, uh, on and on that Paul George, that Portland could have made a better effort.

[00:12:33] James harden. I mean, the names just keep popping up because there’ve been so many for prolonged periods of time. Yet Neil Shay was so stubborn on his roster that he took a. He didn’t take an impartial view and he didn’t look at it without bias and it ultimately hindered the roster, put us in the position where we are today and poor that re that is one of the reasons, not [00:13:00] the only reason, but that he was, uh, let go.

[00:13:03] Um, what was your, uh, before we go into the ugly, I do want to ask you a somewhat fun question. If you could go by. And redo any one move that Neil O’Shay did or didn’t do, what would it be? It could be a proposed trade. It could be a different draft pick. It could be a different signing. A what would it be?

[00:13:24] Sage: Sage Zach Collins for Donovan, Mitchell, or bam. Now actually bam out of bio because he is so much different than Damon CJ. So I would have drafted bam instead of Zach Collins,

[00:13:38] Dustin: my big one. So I’ll do a, a big one then they’ll do like a regular. The first, the big one would be in the 2013 draft. Yes. CJ was probably a top three or top four player from that draft, but Yanis went like four or five picks after CJ.

[00:13:55] Could you imagine John has makes a lot of things, a lot [00:14:00] more palatable in Portland? Like you, you can, you can do a lot of things. A lot of good things with a yanist Dane pairing. I Portland probably has a banner in the rose garden right now. If, if that move would have been made. Maybe one that I thought was starting to be the, the, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the 20, 20 off season.

[00:14:24] You’re spending two first round picks on an aging. Robert Covington. You use your mid-level exceptional Derek Jones, Jr. I know I was all over that. Like what are we doing here? And the guy that I said on the podcast, multiple times, Jae Crowder, Jae Crowder, J crew. Goes to Phoenix. Look what Phoenix is doing with him.

[00:14:42] He is a starter, a very good starter contributing on that roster fits like a glove. Portland just didn’t make the moves in free agency that they had to do. Not saying you’re going to get Anthony Davis every year. You’re going to be the, you know, a destination for LeBron [00:15:00] in 2018. But there, when you have the mid-level exception and this is not a shot at a Derek Jones Jr.

[00:15:07] But when you have a mid-level exception, so infrequently due to the summer of 2016. So when you actually do get the mid-level exception, you can’t waste it on a player like Derek Jones Jr. Who just isn’t really a fit for the modern NBA.

[00:15:20] Sage: Well, I think he’s a fit for the modern NBA. He was not a fit for Terry Stotts.

[00:15:24] Would you, if you

[00:15:25] were

[00:15:25] Dustin: the plane in Chicago,

[00:15:27] Sage: He he’s done some good rotation minutes.

[00:15:31] Dustin: He’s a rotation. He’s a bottom of the rotation, but he’s not a mid-level exception

[00:15:35] Sage: player. No. Would you have taken Sadeek pay and at 15 or. Cole Anthony Tyrese, maxi, Desmon, Bain, Xavier Tillman. Oh shit.

[00:15:51] Dustin: It’s yeah. I mean, if you traded up

[00:15:53] Sage: for Devon VSL traded up for,

[00:15:56] Dustin: I wouldn’t have tried it.

[00:15:58] You take Sidiq bay. Here’s your starting [00:16:00] four. I think you do with the Memphis Grizzlies. Did they acquire a late first round pick? You take Desmond bane. And like you said, you go and get Xavier Tillman in the second round. You’re starting to look. What’s so frustrating is all of Neil’s moves. He’s had another opportunity to kind of right the ship and he just continues to kind of fall on his face because we talk about the 2017 draft, the 20, 20 draft.

[00:16:23] I remember we did so much research. We put out a long mock draft. I watched so many scouting videos and it was really looking forward to that draft. And the news came that we gave up two picks for Barocco and all of that research kind of out the door, but what didn’t go off the door. Is how incredibly talented in deep that 2020 class was where Portland could have a starting to starting caliber players right now.

[00:16:47] And three until then, if you, if you go into the second round, I mean, Portland has been known to go into the second round. They did it this year for Greg brown. There’s gems to be had that class was deep, full Shay could have fixed [00:17:00] things. So. Well, he didn’t, it was a, that was his quote unquote from all reports swinging for the fences move.

[00:17:06] And he struck out on three pitches with that one. I

[00:17:10] Sage: think if I had, if I was the general manager and I had what I had in my mind, I probably would have traded up and gotten Devon to sell because I think he would have been the perfect three for Damien, just a knockdown shooter that can defend and playmate a little bit.

[00:17:28] I think Devon was probably my third guy. I ha I liked Devon for some more than I liked Anthony Edwards, looking back that is a bad mistake, but like, I still think Devin, the cell is going to be a fantastic player. Like Devin VSL. Might’ve been a top five pick in my mind. I think I had him at three. I think I legitimately had them as the third best prospect and I was wrong about killing Hayes too.

[00:17:54] So those were my two and three, but yeah. There was a lot of ways that he could do [00:18:00] it. And he kind of went with the old veteran. And as we’re seeing now with how little Robert Covington plays, it’s like, that was a humongous mistake as well. I have a joke ugly. You didn’t get a chance to watch any highlights of the San Antonio game yet?

[00:18:18] Dustin: No, I just listened to it. I don’t, I might bring myself to it, but when I was listening to it, I was like, this is. The radio announcer sounded so depressed calling the game like a sad, sad. And before we get to the, the, the joke ugly, I want to still touch on the draft really quick because Portland hasn’t had a first round pick since this year in 20, 20 19.

[00:18:44] And when the sear a little and Erin for any assignments or both. Dame’s not playing. Uh, I saw it on Twitter. I think it was from Sean Heikin. He said there’s just not really a lot to watch. What do you, what are you watching for Greg brown? Dennis Smith Jr. Ben Macklemore. I mean,[00:19:00]

[00:19:02] there’s literally no reason to watch this team because you’re not watching, uh, a superstar in Dillard, or if you’re getting your butt kicked, you’re not watching the development of young players who could, could potentially be a building blocks for the future. So you’re just kind of out there watching just a bunch of vets hanging on for their MBA contract lives and that’s, that’s not fun.

[00:19:24] And I think that’s one of the reasons why the, the rose gardens been as empty as it has been since 2005.

[00:19:30] Sage: Yeah, I was, I was in this FanDuel final, so like I had a chance at getting like a ticket to like a humongous contest. So I was just watching Trajenta Murray and playing grand theft auto by city. But.

[00:19:45] Yeah like that, that game was so not fun to watch and be a part of. But speaking of that game, I normally don’t take notes, but the way Kevin Calabro said San [00:20:00] Antonio was the most annoying way to say San Antonio,

[00:20:04] Dustin: give me your.

[00:20:07] Sage: San Antonio, San Antonio. He didn’t, he didn’t pronounce the a and the end. It was.

[00:20:13] Yeah. So that was my ugly for the week. The way that Kevin Calabro said San Antonio I’ll have to find it on Twitter, but it was riding my gears. Listening to that.

[00:20:26] Dustin: I would say my ugly is where do the blazers go from? Um, it’s a step in the right direction. I think it’s totally fine to be happy on a day like today, uh, McGowan has resigned.

[00:20:40] Neil will Shay’s has been fired. I still think Portland has a major concerns in the ownership area. Uh, I’m not a fan of Chauncey. Billups is still here. Like I’m, I’m not a fan of what I’ve seen, uh, from Billups and the blazers Ross, like, like I said earlier, is it. An [00:21:00] enticing job or is it a, I guess I’ll take this GM job cause there’s only 30 available because what are you stepping into one?

[00:21:07] You have a superstar and Damian Lillard. Who’s turning 32 this next year. Like we’re, we’re starting to get into the mid thirties with Damian Lillard and he’s already showing some signs of wearing down a bit, especially with that, uh, abdomen, abdominal injury. You’re already over a quarter of the way into the season.

[00:21:29] You’re under 500 and a pretty weak Western conference. You have major holes across the roster. You have no draft capital. I don’t know if there’s a market out there for CJ McCollum or use of Lord Lord knows that I have spent time sending you trades that, and it’s so hard to see this team could actually use that player.

[00:21:48] It just, there’s not really a need for center, and there’s not really a need for an undersized to guard to get the value back that Portland needs. To be competitive in, in the Western conference. [00:22:00] So where, where do the blazers really go from here? Like, I don’t think the black clouds completely lifted above this, this franchise.

[00:22:07] Like I still think it’s going to take a lot of time. And I think job one for the new general manager is to get on the same page with ownership and say, are we trying to win now? Or are we going to rebuild? Because Neil Shea has had us playing chicken. For the past three years, not choosing a direction going straight into, uh, just, just straight without making a move left or right.

[00:22:37] So that’s my ugly. We still don’t know what’s next.

[00:22:42] Sage: My ugliest, how Neil shade treated people. I mean, that’s just obvious. That’s obvious. So I’ll take it.

[00:22:51] Dustin: All right, Sage. So there have been multiple reporters reporting, multiple names that could be a potential [00:23:00] replacements for Neil show you of Chris Mannix from sports illustrated, throwing out Danny ages.

[00:23:05] Name. You have, uh, Chris Haynes saying that, uh, Chicago’s Chicago in new York’s front office personnel could be involved as well. I believe that the Nick’s name is Mark Perry and. Ah, Chicago bulls, GM, Marc Eversley and new York’s GM Scott Perry. Then you have Bleacher report’s Jake Fisher throwing out a Grizzlies executive Tayshaun prince and, uh, Brent Berry as well.

[00:23:33] Sage, do any of those names give you, cause for concern, excitement, I know anybody is a step up above Neil O’Shea. I don’t just want to get better than Neil shave. I mean, that bar is way too low for me. I want to get somebody who’s going to grow with the franchise, be here for the long haul and hold the coaches and the players accountable have taken impartial view of this team.

[00:23:58] Like, I feel like that’s [00:24:00] kind of been Portland’s downfall. It’s just been a little too, buddy, buddy, and not in a negative way in terms of like, I don’t think it’s bad to be buddy, buddy, but when it’s impacting your decision-making to build a championship caliber roster, I think personal bias has gotten the way of certain moves.

[00:24:21] And I just want somebody who’s going to treat people with respect, but also. Kind of take a step back and remove themselves and really just focus on doing the best decisions for the team as a whole. Not because, well, I, you know, I really liked Chauncey or I really like use if I want to keep them around.

[00:24:38] If you feel like the move needs to be made by all means, do it. So do any of those names do anything for you?

[00:24:47] Sage: If, if Danny age can bring his own coach and his own staff around him, that really interests me. But if Danny age doesn’t have the power to fire Chauncey Billups, that doesn’t, that doesn’t get [00:25:00] me going.

[00:25:00] Tayshaun prince and Chauncey Billups probably are going to be too buddy, buddy, for me, I don’t, I think the biggest problem right now is Chauncey Billups is coaching. So. I don’t want Tayshaun, just because of that. If Ange can’t fire them. Nah, I don’t really, you know, like I don’t really know Brent. Barry’s what he’s done.

[00:25:26] The next sign Kemba Walker. And that was a bad one for me. Bulls did fine, but I, you know, like

[00:25:35] Dustin: don’t the Kearney Sylvis. He’s from Denver. I don’t know how to pronounce his name. I’m sorry. Oh, okay.

[00:25:44] Sage: I mean, sure. I’ll I’ll I’ll take him. I don’t really, I

[00:25:46] Dustin: don’t really, that’s what I’m saying. Like who’s the GM in Chicago.

[00:25:48] I thought that was their GM or tourists. Kearney Silva, executive VP of basketball, operations people.

[00:25:57] Sage: Like us are going to just [00:26:00] lie. Like we know what these people did in their organizations. So I have no idea what the bulls or the Knicks, like who made those decisions. Honestly, I’m just looking for somebody who’s confident and with the power to fire Chauncey Billups.

[00:26:19] Dustin: Yeah. I want somebody who is going to be able to. Hold their own. Like you’re talking to Jody Allen and Burt cold, and you say, this is what we’re going to do. And why you hired me for a reason. I want somebody who was going to. Be respectful. I want somebody who is going to have a good relationship around the league.

[00:26:37] I think that’s a really important to be liked, especially when it comes to agents. When it comes to free agency, when it comes to trades, you know, you scratch your back, I’ll scratch mine. And that can play a huge role. Like if you need to get under the salary cap or you need to get into the tax to make a trade, you have somebody you can call up and say, Hey, let’s just, can we make this small move?

[00:26:54] It’s not really going to impact either. And I’ll get you back to the next time. And that, that shit does [00:27:00] happen. So I want somebody who is going to have connections. Um, I really liked what the Grizzlies have done. If Chauncey bulbs wasn’t our coach. I would be all over Keisha, th th

[00:27:09] Sage: that is just the Detroit pistons elite run.

[00:27:13] You can’t, you, you can’t have the elite pistons without both of those places.

[00:27:19] Dustin: And I, I just want somebody who is going to not be afraid to say, I want my own coach. I want to fire somebody. Um, I that’s, I think a billets and prints are just going to be too close there. I am all for being on the same page, but I don’t think there would be any, um, objectivity when it comes to job performance.

[00:27:38] Um, I want no part of Mark Perry from the next, I don’t think the Knicks have really done a good job. Sure. They made the playoffs. Congratulations, but they’re not going any further than the first round. They gave a bag to Evan Fournier. Uh, they haven’t been the best drafting franchise. Yeah. They’re getting a little bit more respectable, but I personally just haven’t been too [00:28:00] impressed again, like you said, we’d be lying if we knew what all of these players did.

[00:28:06] I’m interested in Brent Berry because the spurs, I mean, they still have that aura around them. Chicago had a really good off season finally, but does that make up for everything they’ve done prior? I don’t know. Chicago is also a much more lucrative market to attract talent to, so you kind of have to take some of the moves they were able to make with, with a grain of salt.

[00:28:27] We can’t,

[00:28:27] Sage: we could not sign. Alonzo bar or DeMar DeRozen or Traver to Margaret. And mainly because we don’t have pics, but like the Lakers signed Kendrick of none for the minimum, there was no way in hell, but we would get that. There’s no way in hell. Patrick Mills would go to the us for that little of money.

[00:28:47] So, you know, there’s some moves that just are impossible for a small market Portland versus New York, Chicago and LA. I

[00:28:55] Dustin: mean, I’m still on board with, with Charles Lee from Milwaukee. I’d love to give Shareef. Abdur-Rahim [00:29:00] a look as well of those five names. I’m not like stoked on anyone, but if Danny Ainge is able to come in.

[00:29:09] And have some power to make his own decisions,

[00:29:12] Sage: hire Charles Lee and bada boom, bada bang up that like you mentioned,

[00:29:15] Dustin: I think that’s the only way I’d be able to get on board with Danny Ainge hell. So don’t think Danny Ainge would have any problem shaking up the roster. And I think that’s really what Portland needs is a roster shakeup.

[00:29:27] Um, it’s just, it’s stale right now, but again, w Portland did this to themselves. This could have been a movie. That was made years ago. It could have been done in the off season. It could have been done after the water bottle incident. It could have been done so long ago. Now Portland has their backs up against the wall.

[00:29:45] They have about two months to decide what they want to alter the course of the franchise’s trajectory for the next decade. In two fucking months, they did this to themselves. So yes, it is a good day, but it’s not over like the blazers have a [00:30:00] long way to go before. They can get back to the glory days and it’s unfortunate, but hopefully whoever is actually less than two months because who knows how long it’s going to take for them to hire someone.

[00:30:12] And Portland has big time decisions to make with new and Covington. And I think they need to get whatever they can for both of those players, because you’re not going to resign them. would come back on his own. Anyways. He’s about how it up to here with the new coaches.

[00:30:30] Sage: I care that we all get that though.

[00:30:33] I do. It’s been shit. Chauncey has been shitting on Robert in the media for, since disease and started like, there’s no way he’s gonna want to come back to this coaching staff next year. So you might as well, like, would you do Robert Covington? And I think Ellerby for Thaddeus young and one of the spurs young guys and like a.

[00:30:58] Dustin: Only if a pig [00:31:00] comes, because again, I don’t think that he has, that is young is one of those final pieces to the puzzle. We’ve, we’ve, we’re missing pieces to the puzzle right now. Like we still have to look under the couch for some of the pieces, even find them to put, to see where they go. So we’re, I think a ways away from, uh, Thaddeus young making an impact because he is a good player, but I think he’s.

[00:31:19] To get you over that hump. Now I do anything where I get picks back. That should be the number one thing. Portland replenishing that draft capital. So I, yeah, that, that would, those would be my number one thing is there’s multiple, because there are so many where Portland has to go. You got to replenish to draft capital and you have to make a decision on this season.

[00:31:38] Do you just kind of do a pseudo warriors tank where, oh, Dame’s hurt. Like Steph hurt his, his wrist and we’re just gonna hold them out. So you keep that pick from Cleveland, you miss the playoffs or do you try to go guns blazing and make a splash it’s one or the other, because.

[00:31:58] Sage: Playing both sides doesn’t work [00:32:00] for the blazers yet.

[00:32:00] So it doesn’t make sense to try and do it with the new

[00:32:04] Dustin: staff. And it’s also really, I was thinking about this and you know, I, I meet older four for walks every night and I was just, I was thinking. Okay. Portland went all in. What would that look like? It’s a really difficult path to look at this year because it requires trading use of marriage.

[00:32:20] It requires trading Robert Covington and it requires probably trading CJ McCollum. So even if you get better on paper, Sage chemistry takes a long time. And your trying to get all on the same page with about 55 plus games left probably 45. By the time all of those moves get made. And you’re going to try and beat teams who have been together for years.

[00:32:44] It’s

[00:32:46] Sage: doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t

[00:32:47] Dustin: make sense. And I don’t know if you’re able to give us

[00:32:52] Sage: the year. Like if he says I’m committed, do what you need to do. That’s fine then. [00:33:00] Yeah. Go all in. But we can’t be held hostage for doing the things that we need to do just for the potential. A B and

[00:33:10] Dustin: Z. Yeah. I mean also I think speaking with Dames probably on my top things to do as well, and just say, this is where we’re at.

[00:33:18] We don’t have what we need to go all in right now. Are you cool taking basically the rest of the year off just for the longterm approach? I know Dame’s not really a long-term. He wants to, he wants to play and he wants to play yesterday. I mean, if it were up to him, he would not be taking this time off. I can guarantee you.

[00:33:34] It’s probably killing him inside, not sitting, uh, N not suiting up for, for the franchise right now. But if he is truly serious, which I believe he is about bringing home a championship or hell, even just contending in Portland, you have to know when to punt. Like you can’t always go for it on fourth down.

[00:33:54] So that would be a big. A big decision that I would [00:34:00] look at because Portland doesn’t have, like, we’re not, we’re in decent shape with the cap. Like if you can replenish your draft capital, if you can make moves that balance, the roster outs, um, you know, not lose free agents for nothing noodle Shay loved losing players for nothing.

[00:34:17] Um, Then you can maybe look ahead and say, here’s what we want to do in 2022, because I don’t think the Western conference is going to get just insanely better. Over overnight. Denver is still long-term really hurt. LeBron James turns 37 this December. So he’ll be 38 by the time the next season is in play.

[00:34:38] Uh, you got the Clippers with, with who knows how COVID is going to hold up. Chris. Paul is fantastic, but he is still 36. I mean, so there’s, and you’ve got teams like Memphis and, and Minnesota and Dallas who or young. They still probably don’t have the pieces yet to quite compete. So I don’t think you’re walking into a slaughter [00:35:00] house in the Western conference next year.

[00:35:02] I think there’s, it’s so open and it’s open out east too. Especially if Kyrie never gets vaccinated like that. There goes one super team. Does it make you an immediate contender? No, but I think it opens the door much further than previously thought of just because this could be the new normal in COVID seasons where players miss time.

[00:35:24] And it kind of throws everything off a rhythm. So if you’re able to stay healthy and you have a deep team, you can kind of make that push. So it’s going to depend on those three things, draft moving your assets before they expire and talking to Damon, seeing about what we’re going to do.

[00:35:42] Sage: And I think figuring out what we do with the head coach.

[00:35:47] It’s obvious that he’s not connecting with at least some of the players.

[00:35:53] Dustin: I mean, I was reading reports from people who were at the game, even against Detroit Portland, winning by 20 points [00:36:00] and no smiling. No, high-fiving just the vibe vibe, man. Yeah, just horrible vibes. Just coming off of the blazers in droves and.

[00:36:12] I don’t really know what it is. Maybe Billups isn’t resonating with them. Cause I have a hard time believing that they kind of care what’s going on with new little shade, general energies and players. Usually don’t interact super closely. It’s a more of a hands-off relationship. There’s something going on.

[00:36:31] And like you said, like the fans can read it too. Uh, th the Rena is just empty and dead, and it’s a bummer to see where the blazers were and where they are currently. And I think that the best thing Portland did right now is they stopped digging, right. Stop digging, and then figuring out a way to get yourself out of this, this trench, this hole, this well that you fell down into and work your way back up.

[00:36:56] And I think. Step in the right direction is making the right [00:37:00] choice, um, at general manager and making sure the ownership is all in. Like, if ownership’s not all in. It really doesn’t matter. I think everything stems from ownership and their commitment to the team and their commitment to accountability. So that’s another thing is if Jody Allen is going to continue to be the primary owner of this team, she’s been known to take a hands-off approach.

[00:37:24] So you really need someone in the general manager’s role to be on the honor system, to not just go wild, wild west with all of these decisions like Neil O’Shay was doing for the betterment of himself, you need a GM, who’s going to hold himself accountable or herself accountable. You need a GM who is going to treat everyone with respect to get everyone to buy in.

[00:37:45] And you’re going to need a GM who is willing to pick a direction with this franchise because Lord knows. It is not going to be Jody Allen and Burt cold, as long as they’re making money. I don’t think they really [00:38:00] give a rat’s ass. What goes on, keep our name out of, out of the media. Make sure everything’s just smooth, but do what you have to do as long as those checks keep, keep coming in.

[00:38:12] Yeah. And I think that’s what did Portland to Inn was Neil Shay was left at the helm, you know, kind of captaining the ship and you, he sunk that. He sunk that motherfucker.

[00:38:25] Sage: There’s just so many other steps that have to be done, but the first one is finally finished and then only took us a month to make the easy decision.

[00:38:36] So it is what it is, man. Um, it is a great day because we no longer have the ego-driven maniac, but, uh, we need to, there needs to be a lot more steps before we can truly be happy with the organization.

[00:38:51] Dustin: No, I think we are good. I think this is going to be interesting to see how it plays out with the team.

[00:38:59] There’s a lot of injuries [00:39:00] right now. The schedule starts to toughen up even at home. Again. My biggest question is. When does the next shoe drop and where do the blazers go for this season? Because you get too far down in the standings. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to try and call your way back up.

[00:39:18] So where, where do we go from here? That that’s, that’s my lasting take on today’s episode, but it was, it was great to chat with you, uh, with the sun actually being out inside of it. Uh,

[00:39:29] Sage: pitch-black, we will be back Sunday to talk about the week that was, and thank you all for listening and we out here

[00:39:38] Dustin: wherever you may be.

[00:39:39] There’s this bill and shine. Good night. Hey

[00:39:43] Sage: everybody.[00:40:00]

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