In the seconds after Portland’s gut-wrenching series loss to New Orleans, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Mannix took to Facebook to publish quotes Neil Olshey made last month, regarding how the team might be impacted by its first-round performance.
The large portion of the quotes relate to the franchise’s focus on building through the draft, player development and opportunistic trades, which have consistently been echoed by Olshey in an almost mantra-like tone throughout his tenure with the Blazers.
In relation to the team’s direction, he said it was unlikely that decisions would be made purely on the playoff result with factors, including style of play and the team’s performance towards the end of the regular season, to be considered.
“So I think you have to take into context not just the outcome of the series, but you know who were you playing? What was the style of play? How were they playing coming into this series versus how were you playing coming into the series?”
He then discussed the challenges of adjusting the roster.
“I don’t know that we can shift our focus and think we’ll buy our way out of trouble if we’re not good enough in free agency, because it has never been here a viable approach. I mean we have cap from four to five years and I think there are players that like us, that like how we play, they like our team. Then there are extenuating factors that mitigate the things that we do relative to other more attractive markets in terms of lifestyle, cap space, travel, et cetera.”
Olshey then adds a few things that are likely phrases Blazer fans have heard before.
“So I think the way you have to build your team here--and I think they were on the right path before--is you’ve got to draft well, you’ve got to build your players, you’ve got to be opportunistic with trades, you’ve got to hire a great coach, you’ve got to put in a system and you’ve got to have some consistency and stability.”
Rumors about the team’s future have already made their way to Twitter with NY Times’ Marc Stein speculating on coach Terry Stotts’ status with the team.
Questions about the future and personnel of this team - on and off the court - will be answered in coming days, weeks and months, however it is unknown which direction Olshey and, maybe more importantly, owner Paul Allen will take.