Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Crazy Day-Nash Out

It has been a crazy day, to say the least, but the bottom line, is John Nash is out as the Blazers GM. Since I have not had a chance to put an actual blog entry up, I have, below, copied the script from the look back at the Nash tenure which we wrote and we ran on the show at 3:05 and 6:05 today.... more later, but hopefully this gives you the ability to remember what happened here with the Blazers the last three years......


FILLED WITH ENTHUSIASM, JOHN NASH BECAME THE PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS SIXTH GENERAL MANAGER ON JULY 19TH, 2003….

BUT RIGHT AWAY, THERE WERE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HIRING OF THE FORMER NEW JERSEY NETS AND WASHINGTON WIZARDS G.M…

NASH WAS, AT BEST, THE FOURTH OR FIFTH CHOICE BEHIND NAMES LIKE CHRIS WALLCE, JOHN HAMMOND, WAYNE COOPER AND PERHAPS EVEN KIKI VANDEWEIGH…

BUT DESPITE THAT, NASH WASN’T WORRIED ABOUT NOT BEING THE TOP PICK FOR THE JOB….

IN THE END, THOSE COMMENTS SAID ON THE DAY HE WAS HIRED PROVED SOMEWHAT OMINOUS BECAUSE EACH YEAR, THE JOB NASH DID WAS LOOKED AT IN VERY DIFFERENT TERMS…

CASE IN POINT, IN YEAR ONE, AND SPECIFICALLY THE FIRST SEVEN AND A HALF MONTHS WERE FULL OF ACTIVITY…

ON DECEMBER 3RD, 2003, NASH MADE HIS FIRST BIG MOVE….

BONZI WELLS TROUBLED TENURE CAME TO AN END MUCH TO THE DELIGHT OF THE FANS… IN RETURN, THE BLAZERS RECEIVED WESLEY PERSON AND A FIRST ROUND PICK WHICH LATER TURNED INTO SERGEI MONIA…

THE TRADE WINDS KEPT BLOWING AS NASH THEN SENT JEFF MCINNIS TO CLEVELAND FOR DARIUS MILES ON JANUARY 21ST… THAT DEAL LOOKED GREAT AT THE TIME, SO MUCH SO THAT THE BLAZERS MADE DARIUS THE CENTERPIECE OF THEIR MARKETING CAMPAIGN, HE BECAME A VERY POPULAR PLAYER WITH THE FANS, AND UNFORTUNATELY FOR THE ORGANIZATION, WITH OWNER PAUL ALLEN AS WELL BECAUSE IT IS THAT VERSION OF DARIUS MILES WHO WAS SIGNED TO A SIX YEAR, 48 MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT IN THE OFFSEASON, A DEAL THAT PROBABLY IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST STRIKES AGAINST NASH’S TENURE….

THE BIGGEST DEAL THOUGH CAME ON FEBUARY NINTH OF 2004 WHEN RASHEED WALLACE, THE ANGRY FACE OF THE FRANCHISE WHO WAS GOING TO BE AN UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT, WAS SENT TO ATLANTA ALONG WITH PERSON FOR THEO RATLIFF, SHAREEF ABDUR RAHIM AND DAN DICKAU…

THAT DEAL WAS WIDELY PRAISED BY FANS AND MEDIA ALIKE, AND THE NASH REGIME SEEMED TO BE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION WHEN THE BLAZERS, LED BY A 20-10 ZACH RANDOLPH, THE SHOT BLCOKING OF RATLIFF, THE HIGH FLYING PLAY OF MILES, AND THE STEADY PRESENCE OF ABDUR-RAHIM WENT ON A LATE RUN AND JUST MISSED MAKING THE PLAYOFFS….

BUT AFTER WHAT SEEMED LIKE A GREAT START AS THE TEAM’S SIXT G.M,, THE 2004 OFFSEASON IS WHEN THE EARLY SHINE STARTED TO WEAR OFF… DESPITE SAYING THAT HE HAD, QUOTE “CHIPS” TO USE IN SOME OFFSEASON DEALS, SPECIFICALLY ABDUR-RAHIM, NASH DIDN’T GET A MAJOR DEAL DONE AND HE ENDED UP STARTING THE SEASON WITH TWO STARTING POWER FORWARDS, BOTH RANDOPLH, WHO SIGNED A MAX CONTRACT IN THE OFFSEASON, AND ABDUR RAHIM, AND THE TEAM ITSELF STARTED TO TURN ON NASH…

FIRST, NASH WAS QUOTED AS SAYING RUBEN PATTERSON WOULDN’T GET MUCH PLAYING TIME, THEN THE FEELING AMONG THE PLAYERS LIKE DERRICK ANDERSON THAT ABDUR-RAHIM WAS BEING FORCED INTO THE STARTING LINEUP AT THE EXPENSE OF MILES DEVELOPMENT, SOMETHING THAT DERRICK ANDERSON AMONG OTHERS WAS CRITICAL OF NASH FOR…

NASH DID MAKE A MOVE TO HELP EASE PAYROLL BEFORE THE SEASON, SEDING DALE DAVIS AND DAN DICKAU TO GOLDEN STATE FOR VETERAN POINT GUARD NICK VAN EXEL, A MOVE THAT BACKFIRED IN MANY WAYS, INCLUDING THE FACT VAN EXEL QUIT ON THE TEAM SOON AFTER MARCH 2ND, THE DAY MAURICE CHEEKS WAS FIRED AND REPLACED ON AN INTERIM BASIS BY KEVIN PRITCHARD…

WHAT MADE THINGS WORSE, IS TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THAT FIRING, AT THE TRADE DEADLINE, THE BLAZERS WERE STILL LEFT WITH ABDUR-RAHIM AND VAN EXEL AND THEIR BIG, EXPIRING, AND VALUABLE CONTRACTS.. IN OTHER WORDS, THE BIGGEST FAILURE IN NASH’S TENURE WAS HIS INABILITY TO IMPROVE THE TEAM WITH THE SO-CALLED “CHIPS” HE SPOKE OF SO OFTEN… BUT THE BIG QUESTION THERE WAS DID NASH EVEN HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE THOSE MOVES???? IN THE END, PROBABLY NOT, ALTHOUGH TODAY STEVE PATTERSON WOULDN’T GO AS FAR AS TO CALL NASH THE SCAPEGOAT…

GENERAL MANAGERS ARE OFTEN JUDGED ON THEIR DRAFT PICKS, ANF THE RESULTS SO FAR IN THAT REGARD, ARE MIXED AT BEST…
NASH’S FIRST BLAZER DRAFT DAY, THE 2004 DRAFT, RESULTED IN THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL SELECTION IN RECENT MEMORY….

IN ADDITION TO THE PICK OF SEBASTIAN TELFAIR, SERGEI MONIA WAS SELECTED AT NUMBER 23, AND NASH TRADED EDDIE GILL TO NEW JERSEY FOR VIKTOR KHRYAPA AND PICKED HA-SEUNG-JIN IN THE SECOND ROUND…

HIS SECOND, AND NOW FINAL DRAFT, WAS FULL OF ACTIVITY… LAST YEAR NASH MADE TWO DRAFT DAY TRADES, INCLUDING MOVING DOWN FROM #3, AND ENDED UP WITH MARTELL WEBSTER, JARRETT JACK AND DETROIT’S PICK THIS YEAR, THE FINAL SELECTION IN THE FIRST ROUND….. OF COURSE HE MISSED ON PICKING CHRIS PAUL, A MOVE THAT CAUSED CONSTANT, AND MAYBE EVEN UNFAIR CRITCISM SINCE THE VERDICT IS STILL OUT ON WEBSTER AND JACK…..

BUT WHILE IT IS STILL TOO EARLY TO TELL WHAT THE FINAL RESULTS FROM THE TWO NASH DRAFTS WILL BE, THE BLAZERS DID HAVE FIVE FIRST ROUND PICKS IN TWO YEARS, AND NONE OF THOSE PICKS WERE NAMED TO THE NBA ALL-ROOKIE TEAMS OR EVEN PLAYED IN THE NBA ALL-STAR WEEKEND ROOKIE CHALLENGE….

THE JUST COMPLETED SEASON DID SEE NASH MAKE HIS FINAL BIG SPLASH, A FOUR TEAM, MULTIPLE PLAYER DEAL AT THE TRADE DEADLINE THAT SENT RUBEN PATTERSON, SERGEI MONIA AND CHARLES SMITH OUT OF TOWN IN EXCHANGE FOR VASHON LEONARD AND BRIAN SKINNER… THAT PROVED TO BE THE FINAL MOVES FOR NASH AS THE BLAZES GENERAL MANAGER…

THERE WERE MANY OTHER THINGS THAT HAPPENED OF NOTE THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN NASH’S DOING, OR EVEN HIS UNDOING---INCLUDING A NEWS CONFERECNE TO INTRODUCE A PLAYER WHO NEVER ENDED UP PLAYING HERE IN TRENTON HASSELL, THE APPARENT LACK OF SUPPORT FOR MAURICE CHEEKS WHEN DARIUS MILES HAD A CONFRONTATION WITH THE FORMER COACH, AND OF COURSE THE CONTROVERSIAL SIGNINGS OF MILES, RATLIFF AND RANDOLPH TO EXPENSIVE LONG TERM DEALS---BUT THE REAL QUESTION AFTER NASH LEFT WAS, HOW MANY OF THE DECISIONS AND MOVES THAT WERE MADE WERE ACTUALLY JOHN NASH’S, AND HOW MANY WERE BY COMMITTEE OR EVEN VULCAN? ONLY JOHN NASH AND STEVE PATTERSON WILL EVER NOW WHAT THE ANSWER, AND THUS THE REAL LEGACY OF JOHN NASH