Last week I was all set to post the latest installment of Honor Terry Porter when someone had to go and get injured and then go and get surgery. I won't name names here, but it threw my whole swag off. I was unswagged. Deswagged? Swagless.
In any event, Sean at Oregonlive had some audio from a recent episode from 95.5's "Wheels after Work" in which Brian Wheeler and Kenny Vance interview Phoenix Suns General Manager Steve Kerr. Sure they talked about Darius and some other shiny subjects but the question and answer that jumped out to me was, of course, Kenny's question about the Terry Porter hiring.
Back in May when I constructed my Jersey Retirement Formula, I came up with 5 categories for judging a player's worth to an organization. The fifth category, let me remind you, was about "The Intangibles."
This section takes into account the player's personality, contributions to the community and investment in the organization.
Ask yourself, "Is the player a credit to the organization, the city and the league?"
To me, and to many of you, this is where TP30 really hits a home run. But don't take my word for it, here's what Steve Kerr had to say about his new coach...
"Well I know that people who followed Terry in Portland over the years know exactly why I picked him as our coach.
He's just an incredibly class human being, first of all. A great guy.
Somebody who I was teammates with in San Antonio for two seasons. So I got to know Terry very well.
Once everything went down with Mike D'Antoni, and my search began, Terry was the first guy on my list just because of his experience in basketball and the type of person he is. How smart he is. What kind of leader he is.
I felt like we got the best man for the job. I really liked the fact that he had a couple of years as a head coach in Milwaukee for experience purposes.
You ask around the league about Terry and everybody raves about him. He's just the kind of person I want on my team. And I'm excited to have him."
Back in May, I only awarded Terry 3 out of 5 points in this category. After listening to Steve's sweet talk, I think we can safely bump that up at least one notch.
By all accounts (including Wheeler's), Kerr himself is one of the league's class acts so it's hard to imagine a more authoritative answer to the posed question, "Is he a credit to the organization, the city and the league?"
You might be thinking, "What did you expect Steve to say? He hired Terry after all, of course he's going to say he's a great guy." Yeah, I get that. But get this: Steve Kerr hired him. The D'Antoni situation was messy; Steve was looking for reliability; and to whom did he look first? TP30.
KP does not have a monopoly on emphasizing character when it comes to building a quality organization. Aging roster or not, I know Terry will be teaching and leading the way, with class, all season long. To a man like Kerr, that is worth its weight in gold.
Steve said, "he's just the kind of person I want on my team. I say, "Terry is just the kind of person whose jersey should be hanging from the Rose Garden rafters."
Blazers management: let's get 'er done.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PS Word is that Mr. Wheeler's surgery this morning was a success. Again, our thoughts go out to Mr. Wheeler and we wish him a speedy recovery.