Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen met with the local media at halftime of Portland's game against the Denver Nuggets at the Moda Center on Thursday.
Allen's Seattle Seahawks have advanced to this year's Super Bowl.
Here's a transcript of Allen's comments.
Seahawks in Super Bowl
It's amazing. This is my second time. It's been an incredible year for the Seahawks. The support of the fans has been amazing. Then, just the way the team has come together, the way the defense has played, the way our offense has been able to make timely plays like they did in the NFC championship, Russell Wilson's performance in his second year. All that has carried us to the Super Bowl and it's been an amazing experience for the fans and for me as an owner.
With success of Seahawks and Blazers, reflect on owning a sports franchise
I've said this before, it all really starts with the general manager and the coach. Pete Carroll and John Schneider, those are two guys who have done a sterling job in their roles. Here, [Blazers GM] Neil [Olshey] has come in and basically taken some of the players we had, added -- we made a conscious decision in the offseason here to add to our base of talent. And that's obviously made a big difference from the way we finished last year. That's very heartening and to have the record that we have at this point, halfway through the season, is very, very encouraging. But we still have a ways to go.
What have you learned about selecting the right people to lead the organization?
Well, I mean, general manager -- I like to talk about the golden gut. General managers that not only have a sense for the players, how they're going to perform, dealing with what people expect, getting team chemistry right, but they also have to be able to make trades. If you look what Neil has accomplished since he's been here, it has all of those hallmarks. I've gotten a lot of comments in the past about the number of changes I've made to get to what we have now, doing a great job. I made those changes because I didn't feel like we had the right person. That's proven to be true.
Of course, the coach is supremely important as well. In Seattle, I've talked about how Pete Carroll -- every coach has his own -- I'm kind of surprised at the variety of styles that successful coaches can have. Some are very communicative and positive and energized like Pete Carroll, he has all that in spades. Some of them are more cerebral, some are more directive. You have to find the style that suits you and gets the best out of the players on your team. [Blazers coach] Terry [Stotts] has done a great job as well.
Richard Sherman's interview with Erin Andrews
Richard is an extremely intelligent and passionate player. Certainly, the NFL, compared to the NBA, it's super physical and so emotional. Almost every play. I think some of the emotion was present in some of those comments he made. When you sit down and talk to Richard, he's a very engaging, intelligent, good-hearted guy. All of these things, all of us realize, if you're going to the Super Bowl, everything gets magnified. You have to keep that in your mind. It's the first time for everybody on the Seahawks team.
Trade a Super Bowl berth for an NBA Finals berth?
Any time you get to compete for a championship in a professional sport, it's a magic thing, it's a new life. The fourth time and I haven't won a championship. If we did that would be fantastic. I don't think you can -- they are both such amazing things. To win you have to go through so many games to win a championship in the [NBA]. In the [NFL], there's maybe more of an element of what happens in a particular game that carries you there. I think you maybe pinch yourself maybe even more in the NFL, to think of all the injuries, all the crazy plays and everything that happened. I assume most of you guys watched that last game. There were just some amazing momentum-turning plays in that game. It was really emotional.
Expectations for Trail Blazers considering strong start
I think any time you have an encouraging start that we've had, it makes you want to bear down even more, and figure out how do we improve from here. Obviously, on the defensive side of the ball, there's still definitely room for improvement, if we're going to challenge for the conference championship.
Timeline for watching Seahawks beat Saints, Blazers beat Celtics
You go to the divisional game like that, you are so full of adrenaline and anticipation. When the game is over, a tiny bit of that wears off but you're still full of a lot of energy. I had the option to come down and I had set it up so that I probably wouldn't have come down if we had lost the game. But we won so I was still full of energy, so it was great to be able to zip down here and watch the Blazers.
Raising 12th Man flag
It's amazing. I try to do what I can to put the organization in a position to win games, to have positive seasons. But I don't do things like that very often. I basically do it because the fans are thinking maybe I should, or the organization is thinking maybe I should, it's not because I request it. When you get that kind of positive feedback, it makes you feel good about what you've been able to accomplish.
I think there are a number of fans -- many fans -- in the NFL that are passionate about their teams. I just think it's about like Portland, any time you have a smaller city, people are just that much more passionate about the [team]. I think the whole gestalt of the 12th Man has really taken root in Seattle, made everybody feel like part of it in a very meaningful way. I hope that's going to carry on to New York. I know we're going to have a lot of 12s up there for that game. I'm excited about that. We've done a few things to enable them to express their enthusiasm.
LaMarcus Aldridge extension
I talked to Neil about those things. As you guys know, at the appropriate time we'll consider all those options. That's usually when it's time to look at an extension -- after the season is over.
I think this is his best year. Statistically it's got to be. Rebounding numbers, scoring, just his all-around game. He's so -- if you watch him out there, he's so engaged in the games. He's taken on more of a leadership role. I think it's evident in all aspects of his game.
First, there's the weather. I don't think trying to figure out the weather in the Northeast right now, it's not an easy thing to do. Will that have an impact on the game? I don't think anybody knows what the impact on the game could be. Both teams are used to playing outside, could be a tough environment. I have no idea what that impact will be. That's a tough challenge.
The thing we have, of course, is our defense is so amazing with the Seahawks. It's going to be fully challenged playing agains the Broncos. They're a very talented team in all aspects of their team. I just look forward -- for me personally -- to an amazing game. You're playing these divisional games, NFC championship, Super Bowl, the opposition is an incredibly talented, capable team. You just how the players are in the moment, focused and bring their best games.
Philosophy entering the trade deadline, aggressive because of strong start and need to improve defense?
No. I think we're looking more at internal development, what changes we can make or tweaks we can make. I don't think we're looking at any blockbuster trades or anything like that. Although we always listen.
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-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com |Twitter