As FryeGuy has pointed out in the sidebar, Bill Simmons has a mammoth piece at ESPN.com about the impending state of the league given the current economic crisis. It's worth a read.
The money point in my view is that the next round of bargaining regarding the CBA is going to be brutal. Simmons speculates it'll quickly become lock-out brutal and stay there just as long as it takes for the owners to get their way. The timing is bad for the Blazers too: 2011. Just at the beginning of what should be the prime years for this squad. A couple seasons off would be a serious crimp in our growth curve.
Simmons has a couple other lines in there about the RLEC and potential offers. Plus he offers this gem:
Portland seems content to be just a Promising Young Team With a Huge Internet Following for the next 12 years.
OK, Bill...hi! :::waving::: You got us to link you with that one. E-mail us sometime and we'll let you know how we do it...our part of it at least. (Hint: It has mostly to do with Ben's astonishing good looks and with a new cologne I've invented.)