Blazers Make S.I.'s "Most Hated" List

And now for something completely different...

Sports Illustrated has created a list of the 25 Most Hated Sports Teams of all time.  The 2000-2001 Trail Blazers come in at #21.  Richard Deitsch opines:

With their incessant bickering and boorish behavior, the Trail Blazers, long cherished in Portland, alienated their customers and disgusted the rest of the league's fans. The biggest lightning rod, of course, was forward Rasheed Wallace...who set an NBA record with 41 technical fouls, threw a towel in the face of teammate Arvydas Sabonis and had to be restrained by teammates from charging coach Mike Dunleavy in the locker room. The Oregonian described the Blazers as "tanking it in the playoffs [in a first-round sweep to the Lakers] amid a cloud of tantrums and technicals." The frightening aspect of this "Jail Blazers" era is that there are multiple teams from which to choose and moments to pinpoint. To wit: The following season, in December 2001, swingman Bonzi Wells told SI about being booed: "We're not really going to worry about what the hell [the fans] think about us. They really don't matter to us. They can boo us every day but they are still going to ask for our autographs if they see us on the street. That's why they are fans and we are NBA players."    

Well, at least Portland got mentioned in the same breaths as the Yankees, Cowboys, Duke, The "U", and Man U.  That's something!

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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