After sleepwalking through the worst day of his professional life, Mike Barrett needed to find something to ease his wandering mind.
So roughly 24 hours after he was let go as part of a Trail Blazers Broadcasting shuffle, Barrett stepped into the garage at his Tualatin home and tinkered around with his 1971 Chevy C-10 pickup. If, for only a moment, the troubling reality that his 17-year career with the organization was over took a backseat to his beloved hobby.
"A little garage therapy," Barrett quipped.
While Freeman states that Barrett's emotions ranged from sad dejected, to reflective and grateful, Barrett himself made it clear that he loved his time with the Trail Blazers.
"I'm really, really thankful and really blessed," Barrett said. "I know it sounds cheesy. Everybody rolls their eyes when you say stuff like that. In this work, they expect you to be angry and cynical. But I want people to understand I'm not mad. I'm grateful. I never felt entitled to a job like this, and the fact I had it for so long is an incredible blessing."
There are of course those out there who wish to know what "MB" has planned for the future, but the man himself has made no plans yet. However, Freeman indicates that there could be another NBA team out there that attempts to change his mind.
He said it's way too early to speculate about his next move. He still has one year left on a two-year contract extension he signed last summer, so the Blazers will pay him next year, offering ample time to figure out what lies ahead. His preference is to stay in the Portland area so he doesn't have to uproot his wife Shelly and their two children. But at least one NBA team has pursued Barrett in recent years, so it's possible another NBA play-by-play opportunity will surface.
Beyond being thankful for his time with the Trail Blazers and looking to the future, Barrett notes that the most overwhelming support during this time of confusion for him has come from the Rip City faithful.
Barrett said he has been overwhelmed with support the last 24 hours. His peers around the NBA have reached out to offer sympathy and encouragement. Friends within the organization have called to say how much they will miss him. He's even heard from a half-dozen NBA referees. But he says the most touching — and "humbling" — response has come from Blazers fans.
Barrett is pretty candid about his feelings and open about reflecting on his time with the franchise- especially considering he was let go little more than a day ago. To read Freeman's piece in it's entirety, click here, it's worth your time.