Here's a humorous mailbag response from David Aldridge of NBA.com, in which he responds to the notion that he's out to get the Trail Blazers and the city of Portland by saying the team has admitted to him that hard times could be in store this season.
Why do you hate America? Or, at least, the Pacific Northwest?
From Jesse Palmer: You do realize of course, Mr. Aldridge, that if the Blazers have a winning record by the end of the season, a few Blazer fans might remind you of how you and others never wanted that to happen? I'm not sure what your basing Portland's supposedly assured bad win-loss record in the upcoming season on other than that I suspect that you and the higher-ups in the NBA really, really don't want that to happen simply because its Portland. I could be wrong about this suspicion, but I don't see you talking down other teams this way.
Sigh. Jesse, I want you to think -- really think -- about this. Why would a winning season in Portland be something that I "never wanted ... to happen?" Seriously. What benefit would that provide me? More money? Is there a 5-foot-10 supermodel out there whose interest in me depends on my never, ever going to Portland? Do you have some other evidence that I don't like your city? If you do, it would be incorrect, as I have had some wonderful times in the Rose City. I am basing my contention that the Blazers will struggle this season on a) the Blazers telling me they think they're going to struggle this season, b) the Thunder, Lakers, Clippers, Spurs, Nuggets, Grizzlies, Mavericks and Jazz. Do you, really, think the Blazers are going to be better than any of those teams in the West this season? It's not "talking down" a team to make an assessment of how it will do in a given season. For the record, I don't think the Kings, Suns and Hornets will do all that well in the West, either. I don't hate any of those cities, either.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter