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Thanks to Dr. C for this tip: you can see Shavlik Randolph at the 2:30 mark of Asher Roth's "I Love College" music video

Here's an open question: which Blazer do you think is most jealous of the fact that Shav has been in more rap videos than he has?  My first guess, I hate to say it, is Jerryd Bayless.  Thoughts?

Dwight Jaynes on shady characters.

Is there a point when the Blazers should add a player with a bit of a troubled past, if he's the guy, talent-wise, who can make a difference in a drive toward a championship? At what point do you go with just one shaky character guy if he's a difference-maker? Can you trust the rest of the choir boys to keep him in line at this point?

Everyone says the Blazers need a banger, right? What if he's not exactly the guy you'd invite home to meet the family? Can you live with that?

Wendell Maxey writes for Oregonlive's You Be The GM Series on Channing Frye.

Maybe Pritchard did his own future telling that last day of October when management opted not to extend Frye's contract leaving him to become a free agent this summer. Back then, Channing said he wanted to earn the contract. Pritchard explained they had conversations but felt it wasn't a "fair deal for both sides". The Blazers were okay with that. Something says they still are and will continue to be.

Brother Wendell also had a nice end-of-the-year retrospective on Beyond The Beat.

I know this: they've come a long way. They really have in such a short time. Remember last year when they finished 41-41 and well out of the playoff picture?

That season ended on the road too with a 100-91 loss to the Phoenix Suns. Then Blazers point guard Jarrett Jack got ejected for tussling with the Suns Brian Skinner at halfcourt. Von Wafer - of all people - ended up getting some run for Portland in place of Jack after that. Flash forward a year and some odd weeks later, and Portland has nothing at all to be ashamed of.

Nothing at all.

Trail Post names Shavlik Randolph 12th most valuable Blazer of the season. And names Brandon Roy #1.

Some nights, Brandon Roy is the best shooting guard on the planet. I think that's the easiest way to describe his greatness. Sure, Kobe and Wade take the title a little more often, but Roy's now in the conversation for the best 2 in the league. And he's only getting better.    

Andy Popp at PDX Pipeline sees 3 glaring problems.

  • Steve Blake has too many exploitable holes in his game. He's lost a step on defense, has trouble creating his own shot and isn't a great passer. If you want to win a championship, you need more than that out of your PG.
  • Greg Oden needs (lots of) work. When he catches the ball, you can actually see him start over thinking things. His jump hook for example, I'm sure he kills with it in practice, but in game situations he isn't comfortable. All the practice and coaching in the world wont help that. It's logging minutes on the floor during the regular season.
  • The Blazers need another All Star. If Aldridge can continue to advance his post game, I think he will get there. He might still be 2 years away.

Geoffrey Arnold reports that USA Basketball loves them some Blazers.

Brandon Roy is one of three Portland Trail Blazers who will receive an invitation to participate in training for the USA Basketball team this summer, according to managing director Jerry Colangelo.

Should Roy, along with LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden, accept the invitation, the three will be among 20-24 players competing for roster spots for USA Basketball as the team prepares for the World Championships in Turkey next year and the 2012 Summer Olympics scheduled for London.

Greg Jayne of the Columbian has some end-of-the-year questions. Including...

3. Can Travis Outlaw be a reliable third scorer?

Outlaw was a productive offensive player off the bench throughout the season, and was third on the team with 12.8 points a game. During the fourth quarter of close games, he was the No. 2 option on offense behind Roy.

But Outlaw struggled mightily in the playoffs against Houston, averaging 9.0 points and shooting 32 percent from the field.

The Blazers need to determine if that was an aberration or if Outlaw will always struggle in the postseason.    

Greg Jayne takes issue with a throwaway paragraph about Oden from a week or so ago.  Come on, man, next time put my name on it and link to BE. It's the right thing to do.

Bustabucket.com has a translation from Sergio regarding his current mind state.

Sergio Rodriguez said that his future with the Trail Blazers would be in the hands of his agent, but that their goal would ultimately be to find the best place to be as a professional, and if that was somewhere other than Portland Sergio would go without any problem.

"I have shown that I can play in the NBA, and therefore I should have the chance to develop my game on the court," he said.

Also a big fan of Bustabucket's Rudy and Sergio photoshop in this series.

Loaded Orygun says his thank you's!

Beyond Bowie has a primer on Joel Freeland.

At eight hundred grand, this should be an easy financial decision for the Blazers to make, (assuming of course that we can convince him to walk away from millions a'la' what Rudy did for the honor of wearing red and black). And, eight hundred grand sounds about the right price to pay for what will likely amount to be a 12th man on the bench for playoff-bound team.

Some Moron wrote a long piece about Steve Blake. The same moron should never be allowed to make picks again.

This website, which has been making the twitter rounds, is clever.

Also a twitter find, this video from Tom10 is something else...

Please drop any other links you find in the comments.

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)