Below I've taking quotes and made comments. In part I'm commenting because Travis feels fans hate him. I won't back down from statements I've made, but I do want Travis to know that I don't believe fans hate him at all. Anyway, it was a cool article and one people should check out.
And people have long assumed that Outlaw wasn’t very smart, perhaps because of his country drawl, perhaps because of his anxiety around large groups of media, or because he never attended college. He would admit that books and school were never his forte, but at the same time, Outlaw is one of the wisest guys on the team. He has an incredible ability to assess a situation and break it down to the simplest and most logical of terms.
I keep hearing that people don't think Travis is smart. (Which is different than the BBIQ) I was hoping someone could link me to that because I have yet to read that myself. I just keep reading this and it irks me because... well... I haven't read that anywhere of anyone actually saying it but I hear people talking about this rumor of it being said. I think it's more rumor than actual fact. I really don't think it's been said anywhere, but if it has, please link it so I can mentally whip the person who said it.
Frankly I think he's a cool and wise guy. I have no idea about his intelligence because I just don't know him, but I do see signs that he has some good wisdom about him and every article I ever read, when he comes down from being brash, seems to show this as well. (not that brash is bad, sometimes you need that and it can be used. I honestly like that at times when it's the player representing the team and showcasing that they have confidence and pride in what they're doing.)
I loved that Travis said this:
This is the last year in his contract, and after his earlier tweet, I expected him to be statistically motivated. But when I asked him if he felt he needed to have a big year to get a good contract, he surprised me with his answer.
“I feel like everybody wants somebody off a winning team, that’s the way I look at it,’’ Outlaw said.
He talked about putting his work in this summer, an area that has been lacking in his previous six seasons. I asked where he felt he improved.
“I would have to say and I hate to use the word, because I don’t believe in it, but basketball IQ. But just my whole aspect of looking at the game. I used to look at it as scoring mentality. But now it’s like I look at it as, what's my advantage? I mean, I know I can get my shot off against anyone, but now it’s kind of like, we know you can get your shot off, but can you get in the lane, create for others, or can you score when the team needs it?’’
I think a lot of what he says gets blown up(referring to Quick's interview last year about scoring and then the twitter). They're stars playing at an elite level and yet they're also young guys having fun. Who HASNT bragged about something in regards to sports. You're talking smack and letting it out because you feel proud in what you do. We all do it, but when a star does it, people go stupid nuts.
Part of that is people may also feel nervous. The team we have is incredible, so what's going to go wrong? I think some of us, and i"m likely guilty too, are looking for something bad because we can't believe how good things are going.
Either way, I love what Travis said here. He still seems focused on offense and I think he could be a defensive juggernaut if he put his mind to it, but it shows an overall desire to do what it takes to win for and with the team. I admit I'm a person that was a little concerned that he'd be more focused on himself (although I think I mostly brushed it off, just raised the eyebrow), and this puts me completely at ease and tells me that he's having fun talking smack, but in the end, he totally gets it. Frankly, it makes me like him more and I don't think I'll be worrying about brash comments in the future.
Travis also talked about the lack of fan love.
“I read the blog, and I saw some of it,’’ he said almost sheepishly. “I wanted to write back on it, but I said some things don’t deserve a response. Everybody has their opinion, and me sitting and arguing about it ain’t gonna solve it.’’
It’s one of the reasons why Outlaw contends that he is one of the most hated Blazers and likely to be traded. He says he is “fine” with Portland (“heck, been here six years, it’s like a second home”) but at the same time he claims he has never been embraced.
I don't think ANY blazer fan hates Travis. I could be wrong, but I really don't think this is the case. I suspect that of all the guys on the blazers, he's probably the one who's coolest to hang out with.
I think what this is about is that fans see someone who can be absolutely amazing in Travis. He can score almost at will, his length and athleticism make him a potential match up nightmare. What I see is someone who can be a star. I also see someone that isn't always in the right spot or isn't always doing what I believe is the best decision. I do NOT hate Travis. I love the guy, but as a basketball player I also feel frustrated because I believe he can be so much more. If Udoka came in and did what Outlaw does, I think people would be excited because it all comes down to expectations. We don't expect Udoka to do anything at this point, but a lot of us expect the world of Outlaw. It's stupid, but it's what people do at times.
My end conclusion on Travis is that we, as fans, never know the whole story. Maybe Nate sends him out there with a "don't worry about anything except scoring." The players are asked to fill roles and I trust this coaching staff and management to make the smart decisions with roles and position. They know what they want from the players and what the players can do and Travis's minutes showcase the fact that he gave the team what they wanted. The fact we won 54 games showcases the fact that the team was right about what they wanted. The fact he hit game winner after game winner showed that he gets the job done.
If Travis is reading this, just remember that Fan's are idiots (yes that includes me). We love being being backseat coaches because we love our team and we love the game. There was a time where I believe the fan base was smarter than management, but that time has long passed. Now the fans are idiots and the only people Travis should be concerned about is the coaching staff and what THEY tell him he should be doing. 54 wins say they know better than the fans.
We do have a log Jam at SF. I don't know who'll win out and who'll be traded, but honestly, if outlaw is about winning and team and wants to be here, I will happy to have him. If he does leave, you better believe I'll be clapping for him when he's introduced.
On a side note... holy crud this seems to have become more complicated to post since last i did it!!!