April 08, 2008
With a solid .500-ish record out West, three future stars in Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden and a supportive fan base, it's easy to forget just how messed up the Portland Trail Blazers once were.
Well, The Big Lead posted an interview with The Oregonian's John Canzano yesterday that serves as an excellent reminder. Here's one example from the humorous (but sad) Jail Blazer days:
Whenever the Blazers sign a player to a 10-day contract the equipment manager provides the player with a free set of team-issue luggage. Sort of a welcome gift. Nothing incredibly fancy, but it’s way better than the stuff I have. So Omar Cook is signed a couple of years ago, and the luggage is placed in front of his locker. Cook was flying in from out of town, so he’s not there yet. Ruben Patterson, the team’s registered sex offender, sees the luggage, knows Cook isn’t around yet, and Patterson basically just decides he’s going to abscond the luggage. He just rips the name tags off and takes it. Nobody says a word, either. It’s not anything violent, but it demonstrates the lack of decency and respect that permeated.
That's low, Ruben. Real low. I'd be devastated if you stole my luggage. (Note: No I wouldn't. Please steal my luggage, Ruben.)
Anyway, if you're in the Jail Blazers mood, you'll be glad to know there's lots more stories where that came from, including a classic about the time Rasheed Wallace threatened to punch Canzano in the face. Seriously.
Can you believe there used to be a team that was even more dysfunctional than Isiah's New York Knicks?