Monday, July 31, 2006

Done Deal

As reported first both on Sports Radio 1080 The Fan (streaming now available at www.1080thefan.com) and here on this blog last Thursday, the Bucks and Blazers did the deal: Blake/Skinner/Ha for Magloire. Great deal for Portland. Some bashing and bitterness from Milwaukee and others, trashing Magloire's game. Stuff like "can't finish," "limited offensively," "slow feet" etc. Who cares. He is a better player than the three they gave up.

The bottom line is the Blazers traded two backups, one of whom (Ha) is a borderline NBA player at best anyway, and what should be a backup point guard, for a player who started 82 games for a playoff team and is a former All-Star. That alone makes it a good deal. Add in the fact Magloire is only 28 years old and his contract expires, which gives you options, it is now a great deal.

Magloire averaged 10 and 10 before the All-Star break last year, slightly below that when terminally overmatched coach Terry Stotts determined Magloire didn't fit into his style of play. Portland was the worst rebounding team in the NBA last year, and the worst defensive rebounding team as well. With Magloire, Randolph, Przybilla and LaFrentz they are

The downside is the Blazers point guard is now Jarrett Jack, coming off surgery and with only four starts last year, two of which were at the shooting guard position. But he was going to be the guy anyway, with Dan Dickau (also coming off surgery) a solid backup. Brandon Roy can and will play the point, so you are ok at that position assuming the injuries are all healed.

The bigger thing is you have to love what the Blazers are doing in terms of making moves, trying to get better. My biggest criticism of this team is they were treading water and not making any real progress. That is no longer the case. For the first time in three years, since Bonzi, Sheed and McInnis were dealt, I see progress and a plan. And all indications are the dealing isn't done, there could be a minor deal (Dixon or Outlaw) or a major one (Miles or Randolph).

Are the Blazers a playoff team? No. But they are closer to contending for a playoff spot than the team that finished last season. This season has been about symbolism, and the signing of Przybilla was a positive move. This deal is the same.

Good offseason, good moves, and finally some real progress.

Who was first with the story?
We were, or more specifically I was. Really I know most fans don't care who was "first" with a story, but I do find it interesting that so many people in this media market like to take credit for "breaking" stories in this city. Apparently the Blazer flagship radio station has been promoting they were "first" with news on the trade today. Last night on KGW, they said the story was first reported in a Wisconsin newspaper. Once again, I first "reported" the story at 5:30 Thursday afternoon. Gavin Dawson went with it all day on Friday during our 20/20 Updates. Real GM and other national web sites picked up our story on Thursday. I am far from perfect, but I can make you one promise-you will never hear me take credit for something I or the station didn't do. Why do I bring this up again? When you work hard, build relationships, and get solid information for your listeners/readers first, it is easy to take offense at those who try to sneak in and take credit for your work. Nobody is first all the time and getting the story right is the most important thing. When other media members get a story first, I always give credit. In our little world of sports radio, where we have far fewer resources than television stations or newspapers, we usually are in the role of reacting to a story, so hopefully you can understand on those few occasions when we do break a story, and get something first, we will pound our chests, run promos and pat ourselves on the back.

Thank you and goodbye.
Ian