Recently, I have found myself occasionally defending Rich Cho, against those that would lament that he hasn't done "anything". My stance being that he deserves some time at the helm to discover the possibilities. My belief being that operating a N.B.A. franchise is a much more complicated endevour than most fans would care to understand. I still believe this however...
Larry Miller on courtside said a few interesting things...and not so much what he said, but the way he said it. #1, that it is Paul Allens, Himself, Rich Cho, and the entire franchise's goal to bring a Championship to Portland. This has been said before, and as a fan I think it is the correct thing to say, and the correct goal to pursue. It's my opinion that a franchise cannot accept mediocrity as a long term state of being.
But what bothered me just a little? Larry Miller also said he felt it wasn't time to panic. There was no panic button. Okay, I suppose when charged with leading a franchise and in many cases panic is NEVER a good state to be in. I support "Don't Panic". Larry Miller went on to describe the team as competitive, and management as being in a "don't panic" enjoy the team, evaluate type of mode. Okay all fine, hard to argue with....BUT...
I do think, maybe not immediately, and maybe not until season end but in the very near future for this franchise, if the panic button doesn't need to be pressed....the tough decisions, major moves button DOES have to be pushed. I got the feeling from Larry Millers tone, that management is still holding a lot of belief in the return of Greg Oden, and the viability of Brandon Roy.
While I am for patience, while I am for no panic moves, after hearing Larry Miller speak, I'm not convinced the franchise is heading towards a willingness to make the hard decisions I think are on the horizon. Because if it isn't just marketing double speak, and the goal IS to become a championship team, then the unfortunate truth I believe is that pretty significant and major moves would have to be enetertained. We have pieces, we have talent, but without some pretty significant additions, this team is NOT a championship contender, this season or in the concievable future.
You may never want to panic, but there are points in time when you want to worry. Points in time where you must take stock of the entire franchise, make realistic evaluations, and IMO if you are NOT moving towards improvement or real, viable championship contention? Then you MUST be willing to make moves, maybe even majory moves.
Only time will tell how conservative, outgoing, or willing to make major moves Paul Allen, Larry Miller and Rich Cho are able or capable of doing...but if the phrase, "our goal is to bring a championship to Portland" is to be anything more than President, GM doublespeak or PR fluff...then there might need to be a panic button, and a time to push it.