A quick follow up from yesterday's post in which I discussed Jason Quick's perceived silence on the Darius Miles issue. As predicted, yesterday's Oregon Live podcast was a must-listen despite the fact that Sean Meagher appears to have made out with a few birds, contracting avian flu.
Here's a transcript of Quick's explanation of his silence on the Darius Miles affair and his general thoughts on the matter given that, in all likelihood, Darius will play his 10th game this season tonight and his salary will go back on the Blazers' books.
Sean Meagher: When this one game comes up, are you going to have anything on it and how it affects the Blazers going forward?
Quick: If I'm going to have anything on it? [laughs] ...
I can tell you our paper will cover it. And I can tell you I probably will not write it. I just don't want to. I've done him enough. And I think that's one of the perks I have, if I don't want to do it, and I don't think I want to do it, then I kinda can do that.
Also I'm trying to let others at the paper do more. I think Joe [Freeman] has covered it, Geoffrey [C. Arnold] has had a piece on it, John [Canzano] has had a piece on it, and I can also see that whatever I was going to write on it, people were going to say "oh, well, he hates Darius or he does this," I think I was damned if I do, damned if I don't on it. So I just wanted to stay neutral and out of it.
I think the issue is, number 1, obviously, it was such a monumentally horrible decision on the Blazers to send out that email. I don't think anyone can dispute that. I think it was forced down their throats by Paul Allen. Who was very angry. And he has a right to be angry. I think the Blazers as an organization have a right to be angry because the system... they're getting totally screwed by the system.
They've done everything right, they have this player who they have a lot of money invested in, through the course of the years they don't think his injuries allow him to play. So they go through the proper channels, have this independent doctor examine him. The independent doctor says he cannot play. Never in the history of this process has anybody come back and played. Darius will be the first. The Blazers are the ones who are getting hurt out of this. They've done nothing wrong. They've gone through the proper procedures. Everyone's acting like they are trying to sabatoge Darius. I just don't see that.
They're just saying, they have a feeling that people are signing Darius to these 10 day contracts, playing him 2 minutes, having him run from free throw line to free throw line, not even touching the ball, in order to screw with their cap space. And yes I know Darius scored whatever he did against Cleveland, and you know, good for him.
It's good to see that he has finally put in some hard work to get back to a team. And let's be honest, he did have to put in a lot of work, because when he was here in Portland, we've all seen the pictures of him, he was badly overweight, even when he did get back into semi-playing shape, he had a difficult time getting up and down the floor and staying with the Blazers. The progress he has made is monumental and is a testament, obviously, to a bunch of hard work that he's put in. And quite frankly, I didn't think he had it in him. He should be acknowledged for that.
The Blazers are going to take a huge hit on this. Not only for a cap space thing. From a luxury tax thing. People seem to forget, they wan't to point out that Paul Allen is a billionaire, but 8 million dollars is 8 million dollars. And you can say oh, it's like 100 dollars to us or whatever but it's not. Think of what you can buy with 8 million dollars, where you can go, what you can wear, what you can eat, 8 million dollars is 8 million dollars and you're losing that because the system is screwed up, you're going to be a little mad. I think Paul Allen got mad and flexed his muscle a little bit. It probably wasn't the best PR judgment but Paul Allen probably doesn't care either about that right now.
It's an unfortunate situation, I think the NBA really has to look long and hard at the wording, the structure, of that career ending injury, the tax relief, all that kind of stuff. It's really turned it into an ugly situation from both sides. Did Memphis act maliciously on this? Who knows. The email certainly didn't help. It's not going to scare anybody anyway. So, I don't know.
That's wild. Tons of interesting stuff in there.
I love the look into the Oregonian decision-making processes, which appear to mirror the Blazers' 1-4 fourth quarter offense: give Quick the ball and let him go to work, everyone else be ready to catch-and-write in case he decides to pass.
Maybe I'm reaching, but he sounds a little bit like a judge who is recusing himself from a touchy matter. I totally understand how he is in a "damned if you do/don't" situation here. I guess the problem becomes: is the paper's Miles coverage up to the high standard that Quick sets?
If so, then there is no problem. If it's not, and I'm not yet 100 percent certain that it is, then it might be something to take a look at going forward. Sometimes you need to put the starters back in, even if they are tired and want to relax during the fourth quarter.
Aside from that, the stand-out section is his comment on Paul Allen's anger, which I think best explains this whole sordid affair. Really insightful stuff. Don't get distracted by Larry Miller's name on the memo or KP's face on the TV. No way either one of those guys, if given the executive authority, would have chosen the route the team has gone down.
Big ups to Sean Meagher for asking the tough question and to Quick for answering in such detail.
Here's hoping Quick subs himself back in if this thing somehow goes to trial.
MSP Busts Back
I also noted yesterday that Quick went a little bit out of his way to take a shot at the 95.5 morning show's "coverage" of the supposed Sergio for Nate Robinson trade "rumor."
This morning, acording to Lowposts.com, 95.5 had some veiled responses...
The Morning Sports Page countered this morning with a haymaker:
If you're gonna call out somebody for a false report, shouldn't you yourself be batting 1.000?
Next week we'll have the best Blazer beat writer on the show, Joe Freeman.
Funny stuff. I know this isn't news but I'm a sucker for media beef.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)