July 13, 2012
Has Paul Allen's wealth really brought anything to the Portland Trailblazers?
Trailblazer fans are once again infatuated with the team's most recent draft picks. Meanwhile, the front office is spending the offseason trying to piece together the rest of another ragtag team to surround Lamarcus Aldridge.
Do you ever get the feeling that all the front office wants to put together is a competitive enough team to fill the seats of the Rose Garden?
Again, like the last 35 years, a team is being assembled that will not win a championship. This one will not even go deep into the playoffs. It is likely that yes, once again, this team will not even make the playoffs! How many years do fans have to go through watching draft picks turn to flops! Take a look back on the history of Trailblazer draft picks. It has about as much punch as a list of names you would find in a phone book.
"But the team is trying to rebuild."
Don't give me that crap! So what was last year? I'll tell you what it was – a waste!
It all stems from the top.
I hear the talking heads on television, usually the Trailblazers television and radio announcers employed by Paul Allen, heaping praise on him like he is a messiah or something. I don't know how many times I have heard them say, "We are so fortunate to have an owner like Paul Allen." Well, for one thing, I might say the same thing if he was my boss, especially him being one of the wealthiest people in the world.
But what does that statement, "We are so fortunate to have an owner like Paul Allen" actually mean? Because Paul Allen is so filthy rich we should feel fortunate to have him as the Trailblazer owner? I have nothing against wealthy people; however, I do have something against wealthy people with misguided approaches to their basketball teams.
Every since he has owned the team we have heard nothing but how his deep pockets would entice players, coaches and front office personnel to Portland. Has it happened? Since he has owned the team, his money has not attracted one superstar free agent, top coach or general manager to join his franchise.
Where are all these top flight players who were projected to flock to Portland because of the private airplane Paul Allen purchased for the team years ago? Where is this stellar coach Allen should be able to attract with all his moola. Where is the best general manager in the business, one that would remain in Portland and not enter the revolving door of general managers this franchise has experienced over the past several years! Where, I ask, is the evidence that Paul Allen's money has helped this franchise one iota!
After all these years, this team looks as though it might have to accept an assistant as a head coach, a no-name general manager with little on his resume, and a team reassembled for yet another year. That is all Paul Allen's billions can buy?
Since Paul Allen has owned the team, what has been the result?
Posted by Gary Zauner