Thursday, June 15, 2006

BIg Thursday is in the books!

The Blazers had what amounts to easily the biggest day in their history of draft workouts, with three of the four players who were in representing at worst, three of the top six picks in the June 28th NBA Draft.

Adam Morrison, Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay and Hassan Adams were all on display at the team's practice facility. Morrison, Roy and Gay will all go very early in the first round, with many now saying Morrison is the number one guy, Roy rising quickly and Gay still very tempting to take with any of the first three or four selections. Quick thought, from what I saw, there is no reason to dispute any of those thoughts.

Impressions
The first thing that comes to mind is all three (Adams is a second round pick) are very polished, finished products, especially compared to what we have seen here in the past. Other things you should know:
1) The media was in for the final 40 or 45 minutes, which only included individual shooting drills. 2) In those drills, Morrison stood out. His lateral movement, intensity, and just pure shooting skills were the best.
3) Roy and Gay were good too, better than anyone I have seen work out there in the last few years, but keep in mind, with the exception of Jarrett Jack, they have picked high school players and Europeans the last few years.
4) Gay will tease you. When it is all said and done, the NBA is still about athletes, and Gay was the best in that regard. But watching Morrison move around in the shooting drills, he is better than the "white boy" he gets stereotyped to be.
5) Paul Allen was there. When I asked him about it after the workout, he said not to read too much into it. In other words, I may be here, but it doesn't mean I still don't want to sell the team. Of course, when pressed, he also wouldn't come out and say that he WILL sell the team either. This is where I insert my Steve Patterson-like heavy sigh.............

BOTTOM LINE: STEVE PATTERSON CALL TORONTO, NOW! I remember falling in love with Martell Webster after watching him workout last year. Now I am a believer in "the Stache."

Draft the Stache-Credit Blazer PR Guy Mike Hanson
Our own Gavin Dawson's grass roots campaign, DRAFT THE STACHE complete with website (www.draftthestache.com) had a group of 40-60 people out there today, and they received a treat for their time. I asked Blazers Media Relations Director Mike Hanson if he could bring Morrison out the front door to wave to the group before he left for the airport, and not only did he do so, but Morrison himself asked Hanson if he could go over the group chanting "Draft the stache." Hanson brought the former Gonzaga star over, and not only did he say hi, he also signed t-shirts, balls and whatever else was thrown in front of him, posed for pictures, and just did more good pr for the team than any of the players on the current roster have ever done. It was real, genuine, spontaneous, and the fact that he actually showed his appreciation for the fans was refreshing. Another reason to DRAFT THE STACHE!