This may be a tepid defense at best, but I do believe that there are some issues with Nate that caused some of these problems. Felton admittedly was out of shape and at the start of the season seemed to get gassed by the end of the 4th quarter. But in our very good start Felton didn't look like a huge problem. He looked like a player that once he got a little more settled and in control would be a reasonable point guard. As the season progressed this seemed less and less likely.
His main defense has been that he was uncertain about his role and Nate made him lose confidence. If Felton were the lone player that's made this complaint it would be obvious that Felton was the problem. However except for Steve Blake can anybody name a 1,2 or 3 on the team that has not at some point in Nate's tenure seemed to either be uncertain of their role on the team and/or shown a real issue with self-confidence out on the court.
Sergio --After a good start disappeared from the league. May not have been a good player but never developed. Always complained about his role on the team and seemed to lose confidence in himself as his stay in Portland continued.
Rudy --After a good start faded in Portland. May not have been the all-star he thought he was but seemed to lose something over the course of the first season and was not the same player in his second season. Always complained about his role on the team and seemed to lose confidence in himself the longer he played for Nate.
Bayless -- Always looked like he was overthinking everything. He started hot in summer-league but couldn't change his style to fit the Blazers. Always played as if someone was looking over his shoulders and was ready to yank him.
Miller -- Clashed almost openly with Nate at the beginning of his stay in Portland because he didn't know what his role was and didn't see himself as a backup.
Roy -- After his knee injuries spent last season questioning his role on the team and whether he should start or not. In commenting on his retirement mentioned his role on the team was a factor.
Mills -- Yanked in and out of backup positions. Can't say that he was unhappy as he never openly complained. But headed to China when there was a real opportunity to be the backup PG for the Blazers.
Batum -- Didn't sign a contract extension, partially because of $$'s but partially because he was uncertain of his role on the team.
Wallace -- Complained about playing out of position. After a great start with the Blazers, faded and looked less and less comfortable playing his game.
Babbitt -- Is apparantly an excellent shooter in practice but looks out of sorts whenever he's in a game and like he's pressing to hard to make an impression. Never seems to have confidence in himself.
Crawford -- Complained about playing out of position and not knowing his role on the team.
Matthews -- Has never complained, but after a great start with Portland last year seems to have lost confidence in his shot and his role on the team. Has been yanked in and out of the starting line up.
Armon Johnson -- Started great but definitely lost the confidence of Nate. Didn't see enough of him afterwards to see if his play was affected.
I know I'm missing some players. But if there are any constant refrains about Nate from the players it's:
1. They don't know their role on the team and
2. They don't play with confidence because they feel that Nate doesn't trust them.
Now Felton is the worst symptom of these issues and he's not a great player but Nate certainly didn't create an environment where players played without looking over their shoulders at the coach.