On Tuesday, new Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey was introduced to the local media during a press conference at the Rose Garden. A digest of some of his comments was posted here.
Here's a round-up of the press conference coverage.
Sarah Hecht of Blazers.com has a full transcript.
Jason Quick of The Oregonian writes...
On shaping the roster: "I will say that anybody we are going to pursue, in terms of a major addition, is going to need to be someone who will be here long term, that we can build with. ... I would anticipate more having younger players, whether they are free agents, draft picks or acquired via trade that can be part of the organization for the long term."
On what he values in players: "I'm a big guy on character. I look at talent, chemistry and character. There's a check-and-balance with each one, and they have to reconcile one another. But I want a team that plays together, plays the right way and players who put the team ahead of their own accolades, or success, or contractual situation."
Dwight Jaynes of CSNNW.com writes...
Olshey was really good at the news conference. But he was over the top with just one other quote, too. I had to restrain myself from breaking up when he asserted that "this is an organization to be feared."
Do even hardcore Blazer fans buy into that at this point?
Fear them? The cynic inside me could not resist thinking, "Only if you're a young center who has been drafted by them early in the first round."
Matt Calkins of The Columbian writes...
"This is always where I wanted to be. This where my heart was. I want to raise my family here, and I want to be part of the community here," said Olshey, adding that his jumping ship had nothing to do with what the Clippers did wrong and everything to do with what the Blazers did right. "Everybody that I've known raved about the situation here and the commitment to winning. All of that instilled a confidence in me."
Olshey made a point of saying that in a year, he doesn't plan on sitting around giving press conferences but instead watching the Blazers play in the postseason. He added that "retool" was a more accurate word than "rebuild" in regards to his plans of making Portland a winning organization.
Annie Peterson of the Associated Press writes...
"I like working under pressure. I like working on deadlines," Olshey said Tuesday when he was introduced as Portland's new GM. "I think we're going to put our head down and move forward, and I think when we put our heads up in July after summer league, we'll be in great position."
"This is not about what the Clippers did wrong. It's about what Portland did right," he said.
Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune writes...
Olshey insists the contract wasn't an issue, that Sterling -- with whom he held a good relationship -- would have matched Portland's figure if the owner had gotten the chance.
"The money was a wash," Olshey says. "It wasn't about that. It was really about that proactively, Paul and Larry and the (Blazers) organization were willing to make a commitment to me. Once Portland came in, (Sterling) was willing to put any resources together. The financial part of it wasn't an issue.
"I told Paul, 'If you make the offer and it's fair and equitable, I won't go and get a counter-offer (from Sterling).' Paul needed to hear that from me to know I was committed. At some point, money doesn't trump integrity. I wanted to be here because Paul wanted me here."
John Canzano of The Oregonian writes...
Olshey's 34 minutes on the microphone, ironically, breaks Pritchard's record 30-minute news conference. It also matches the combined 34 minutes that Rich Cho spoke for during his entire tenure as GM.
Olshey referred to Clippers owner Donald Sterling as "Mr. Sterling" but called Blazers owner Paul Allen "Paul." I don't think this was accidental.
Mike Acker of Rip City Project writes...
This guy was ready. The Portland media isn't the New York or LA media, but there are questions to be answered, and now there's a guy to answer them. And answer them Mr. Neil Olshey did.
Using words like "deal flow," and "long term," and "no quick fixes," and "Western Conference Championships," Olshey laid out a generalized plan of attack to resurrect a franchise that took a step backwards in 2011-12.
It wasn't all softballs and home runs of prognostication though. Olshey answered a few tough questions about Chad Buchanan, Kaleb Canales, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, drafting, and potential free agents.
Jason Peterson writes...
The way Olshey was talking about the guy was if the Blazers had Phil Jackson or Red Auerbach waiting in the wings. Listen, Kaleb Canales might be a hard worker and a really nice guy but he's not the right guy for this job. When Olshey said "I don't see anyone bringing more to the table than Kaleb Canales" I was a little more than surprised.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter