In the NBA’s dog days of mid-August to mid-September, there isn’t a lot of Blazer-related content to be found. Post-free agency and pre-training camp, precious little news trickles out from official sources, and nearly every relevant topic has been approached from every angle imaginable.
But Blazer’s Edge never sleeps. That often means that we take a more broad approach in the summer; looking at past teams, players, and topics in general in order to bring you, the reader, a fun way to talk about your favorite team while you’re going through basketball withdrawals. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, in terms of pure fun.
But not all these topics are, shall I say, interesting, relevant, or, frankly, good. I’ve certainly written my share of clunkers over the years. But if you think those are scraping the bottom of the barrel, you should see what my editors have told me to scrap over the years. So without further ado, here is my list of pitches that my editors, using their best judgement, shot down. In hindsight, I’m forever grateful to them. Dave, Eric, Chris—thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving me from myself.
Our Responses to the Responses to the 2017-18 Vegas Over/Under Line
I really fought for this one, though it’s the perfect example of how little news there is in September. I actually imagined a pre-training camp September that was a veritable matryoshka doll of Vegas odds responses all the way down. Think Inception, but with less Leonardo DiCaprio and more questions about whether the Utah Jazz are going to find enough offensive production to compete for an eight seed.
Was Brandon Roy Really That Efficient? The Case for Travis Outlaw
Think about it. Sure, 2008-09 Brandon Roy had 13.5 win-shares. Yes, he led the team in virtually every offensive category. He literally and figuratively led the team out of the Jail Blazers era; of course I know that. But do you know where Travis Outlaw owned Brandon Roy? Shooting percentage from 16 feet out to the 3-point line. And the long 2-pointer is the future of basketball, just you wait. I can’t help but feel that, sadly, the Blazers missed an opportunity there.
The Dawn of the Pat Connaughton Era
The one piece above all others I really regret not getting published. The P-Con era starts now. Hold on to your shorts.
Bonzi Wells - A Look Back at a Fan Favorite
When I think back to the Golden Age of Blazers fandom, when the team wasn’t just an entertainment product, but an integral piece of the fabric that makes up Portland, I think of Bonzi Wells. And I know that you do, too. No one understood the link between player and fan, team and community, better than Bonzi.
I know Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum both get love for embracing the city, living in Portland for much of the year, bringing their families up to the Pacific Northwest, and being involved in a multitude of charitable community endeavors, whether publicized or not. But did either of them say “We’re not really going to worry about what the hell (the fans) think about us. They really don’t matter to us. They can boo us everyday, but they’re still going to ask for our autographs if they see us on the street. That’s why they’re fans, and we’re NBA players?”
When I’m older, telling my grandchildren about the good old days as a Blazer fan, that’s going to be exhibit A.
A Rasheed Wallace Investigative Report: What if the Ball DID Lie? What if Both Teams DIDN’T Play Hard?
The truth is out there. But can we handle it?
h/t to Jefferson Smith for helping a writer out with a brainstorming session on a slow news day