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Full Court Press

In case you missed it last week, here's episode 2 of my podcast with Kevin Pelton. We are expecting a very (VERY!) important guest on this week's show. Stay tuned for that. 

Thanks to reader Aaron M. here's a nice Printable Blazers Schedule.  

Please do yourself the favor of reading Timbo's sensational two part epic on Andre Miller.  Part 1Part 2

Joe Freeman on Brandon Roy...

But as he looked back on things Friday, Roy viewed the experience as a positive, saying it humbled and changed him for the better.

"Before I talked to (Romar) I was discouraged," Roy said. "Once I talked to him, I realized ... I had to mature a little bit and say, 'Hey, I can't take everything so personally. The organization is trying. My agent is trying.' The biggest thing for me is I've never been in a situation where I had to worry about myself. I've always been more worried about ... how's this team improving or how can I help people? I've never been a Me guy. So I was a little frustrated because I didn't want people to think I was being selfish or that I was holding out for myself. And that's why I wanted it to end faster than it did.

"I was handling things like a teenager; taking everything personal and every day personal. (Romar) said to relax.

Dwight Jaynes with a nice piece on where Brandon Roy stands as one of the all-time Blazers.

I will never forget Game 2 of the NBA Finals when the Blazers had the ball in the waning moments with a chance to beat the Pistons in Auburn Hills when Rick Adelman called a timeout. "Square him up and bust his ass to the basket," I could hear Adelman screaming at Clyde during the timeout through the din of the Palace. That's what Clyde did and he drew a foul. With the game on the line - Bang. Bang. Two free throws and that series was square at a game apiece.

Man, that was Clyde.

Casey Holdahl on Brandon Roy...

Of course there's the relief of financial stability, but that wasn't issue, as there was never any doubt Roy was going to get paid. The real source of anxiety for Roy throughout the negotiating process was being in a situation where he had to focus on himself rather than the team. It was uncharted and unwelcomed territory for the two-time All-Star.

"That's the biggest thing I was struggling with," said Roy. "I've never been a ‘me' guy, never worried about myself. Now here it is I have to be a little selfish. My agent is like ‘You have to be a little bit more selfish in this situation.' And I'm like, ‘I just want to get this done.' I want to play with my teammates. I don't like this process, and I think that's what made this hard. But at the same time I'm glad it's over with."    

Kerry Eggers on Brandon Roy...

"I drove up to watch a small workout in Seattle," Pritchard recalled. "I remember driving back from the workout and thinking, 'This is our guy. He is going to be a pillar of our franchise.' I told (owner) Paul Allen that."

Roy made good on Pritchard's intuition, earning NBA rookie-of-the-year honors in 2006-07, then gaining selection to the All-Star game in each of the last two seasons as Portland quickly improved from laughingstock to potential championship contender.

Brian Smith on Brandon Roy...

Last season, Roy carried the Blazers to the playoffs.

Now, Blazermaniacs want more. Much more. That's what Roy's max deal was for.

The Blazers now belong to No. 7. Just like the Celtics once belonged to Larry Bird, the Lakers belonged to Magic Johnson, and the Bulls belonged to Michael Jordan.

Let's see where The Natural can lead the red and black.    

Brian Smith on Brandon Roy Jr....

How many other NBA stars who had just signed a reported $80 million-plus contract would allow a young child to steal the show? Few to none. But Roy did, and he didn't seem to mind a bit. Roy never looked annoyed or aggravated. He never gave the "Can you do something with this kid?"  face. He just talked, answered questions and balanced his son on his lap. The loose, unrehearsed moment was refreshing.    

Joe Freeman also typed up the full presser transcript.

Sean Meagher has video from Brandon Roy's Press Conference.

John Canzano claims Brandon Roy is just a regular guy.

Roy spoke at his news conference on Friday, then, met with team executives, ran errands, and packed up his children and his fiance into his car. The Roy family headed North on Interstate-5, toward Seattle, with the kids squawking in the backseat.

They got stuck in 5 o'clock traffic.

Just a regular guy.

Wendell Maxey grades Kevin Pritchard's offseason...

Now I know Pritchard has taken a pounding across the league from various pundits, but let's give the guy a break: he drafted well in getting Jeff Pendergraph and Dante Cunningham. Stashing Victor Claver overseas was made for the money, and moved disgruntled point guard Sergio Rodriguez on draft night. Aside from not landing two free agents in Hedo Turkoglu (who I believe Paul Allen wanted maybe more so than Pritchard and Nate McMillan) and Paul Millsap, Portland eventually got their guy in Andre Miller - who will pay bigger dividends than those other two guys for the maturation of Greg Oden, Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge alone.

Pritchard also extended Roy - which was never cause for major concern by the way - and now the focus is getting LaMarcus Aldridge's contract done. He'll get that done too.

All in all, I feel comfortable giving Pritchard an over grade of "B-" this offseason.

Patrick Crawley from Basketball Fiend hands out a grade as well...

Even after a mediocre draft, I give the Blazers a B. Getting Miller for the right price and extending the heart and soul of the team, Roy, into the 2014 season were important moves for Pritchard and Co. So was dumping Sergio Rodriguez

Scott Howard-Cooper of CNNSI also hands out a grade...

Forget missing on Hedo Turkoglu and Paul Millsap. The Blazers went into the offseason with a pressing need at one starting spot and addressed it by signing point guard Andre Miller. Turkoglu would have been the headliner move and Millsap would have been the solution for another need, backup power forward and designated rebounder at the position as LaMarcus Aldridge continues to struggle in that department. But Portland is better because of the Miller signing, and especially better because it committed only two years of guaranteed contract. The only departures were Sergio Rodriguez (15.3 minutes a game) and Channing Frye (11.8). Portland also reached agreement with two-time All-Star Brandon Roy on a five-year extension.

Austin Burton from Dime Magazine has a short Q and A with Jerryd Bayless.

Dime: Other than the Andre Miller thing, have you been following the NBA offseason moves?
JB: Not really. The only thing I'm worried about is me, and getting more minutes next year.    

John Hollinger from ESPN had a great piece about the changing economics of the NBA (ESPN Insider only)...

The Sixers were at next season's projected tax line even without re-signing Andre Miller, and that doesn't account for a draft pick next year, either. Now you understand why they showed amazingly little enthusiasm for re-signing one of their best players. I'm told Miller entered free agency looking for a $40 million deal, but with cap space tight and his own team sitting things out he had to settle for a third of that.    

Dwight Jaynes writes about closed NBA practices.

I approached a current NBA head coach recently, one whose time as a coach has spanned both eras, and he talked about it.

"You just can't open them these days," he said. "Media has changed so much. Somebody is going to film it with a camera so small you don't even see it and have it all up on the Internet in 10 minutes. Every little thing that happens, even if it isn't filmed, will be bounced around and analyzed on the web for days. Can you imagine?

"There just would be no control over anything."

Johnny Ludden from Yahoo! looks at the Spurs rebuilding efforts...

Gregg Popovich didn't care about Manu Ginobili's bad ankle. Or Tim Duncan's aging knees. Or even the full-body disappearance of Roger Mason Jr.

As the San Antonio Spurs coach looked at his roster last April, he saw the same problem many in the league saw.

"We weren't beating the Lakers, even if we were whole," Popovich said.

Robert Runyon writes an "emotional preview" for Portland Monthly Magazine...

The schedule will be the only leaked news for two months (other than Roy's much-deserved contract extension), and it will be fussed over by basketball obsessives to the point of madness. Still, knowing as little as we do about injuries, conditioning, and off-season improvement, it would be unfair to come up with any sort of genuine analytic overview at this stage of summer's doldrums.    

Kerry Eggers on LaMarcus Aldridge's extension...

"We have been working on it," Pritchard said. "We're hopeful it gets done. Our intent is to have LaMarcus under a long-term contract very soon."    

SJ from Rip City Project on Brandon Roy...

Let me just say that this whole B-Roy "drama" should make people think twice. It's great to care about the franchise, but to panic and think that Portland wasn't going to sign Brandon Roy to an extension was just silly. It still makes me chuckle to this day thinking about some of those statements. At the same time it was one of those moments where as a Blazer fan I wanted to cringe. Let's stay classy, y'all.    

Sheed from on Brandon Roy...

Roy is as clutch as they come.  He's won multiple games single-handedly.  He makes big plays at the most important moments and constantly proves that the team needs him.  Not only that, but he takes pressure off his teammates and allows open looks for everyone on the floor. He's like a super star wide receiver drawing double and triple coverage.  He just makes life easier for the other four guys on the court.  Roy the basketball player is worth a max contract, but his contributions don't end when he steps off the court.    

Tad H. sent over this video footage of Greg Oden at the Team USA minicamp

The Nuggets just lost a piece... Linas Kleiza is going to Greece.

Apropos of nothing, you really must watch John Wall The Future smurf Jerry Stackhouse in a pro-am game. 

Drop any links that I missed in the comments and be sure to frequent the fanshots.

-- Ben (