The recent flurry of interviews with Nolan Smith and Jon Diebler I was immediately struck by one reality. They both sounded like very intelligent, high character, "Nice Guys". Buchanan in his press conference interview went out of his way to attach that evaluation to Diebler and Smith. "They are what this franchise is all about". Well I just want to throw one idea out for discussion. Has the pendulum swung too far?
I lived as most of us have, through the Jail Blazer Era. It almost destroyed this franchise, and it wounded the relationship between this team and the majority of fans. I was happy to see this franchise embrace Character and Chemistry as factors in assembling a roster. I'm glad the Blazers look at the whole picture and do evaluate the character of a player when making roster decisions. BUT.....
Has the pendulum swung too far to the "Nice Guy" side? Are we passing on talent at the expense of making sure the prospect we obtain could usher at a wedding or baby sit our pets? Please, I'm NOT saying we go back to the mistakes of the past, but I am saying I don't necessarily feel every prospect The Blazers obtain must pass 28 layers of compatibility...and be everyone's favorite brother or uncle. Or have some heartwarming or heroic story of a character building moment in his past.
Is it time we embrace a little potential dysfunction? A little edge? The guy that's not afraid to break the bottle on the edge of the bar and start swinging it around?
Or am I totally off base here? Is the fear of the past, and the stories of the past enough for you to say...Nah...stay the course.
I'm not trashing either Diebler or Smith. They handled "interview day" great. But ultimately? As much as "Questionable Character" can distract a team or franchise...."Good Character" doesn't guarantee talent. Being a great guy...doesn't mean that person is necessarily going to be a great player.
When it boils down to it....my Personal Pendulum leans toward valuing character. Because I think it does matter. I think in those tough moments, in life or even in a game, when it really counts, The guy that is focused and has good character and mental strength will out perform the troubled individual.
But I can't help but wonder if The Blazers haven't reached a point where they are looking for Character Perfection at the expense of playing talent...and perhaps...just perhaps we need a better balance.