Blazer fans are a rare breed. We’re a passionate, loud, and (generally) knowledgeable lot when it comes to bar stool conversation about our favorite team.
But just like a broken clock is right twice a day, even the most finely tuned clock can drift off-time occasionally. I’ll freely admit it; I’ve had some bad takes about the Blazers over the years. I’m sure you have too. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; after all, nobody bats 1.000.
With the off-season in full swing, I thought it might be fun to share our all-time bad takes. I’ll start with a couple of mine:
Kendall Marshall Will Be Better Than Damian Lillard
To be fair, I didn’t watch a lick of Big Sky Basketball in 2012, or ever, for that matter. Kendall Marshall wasn’t a perfect player at UNC; he wasn’t very quick, he was a poor defender, he was a bad free-throw shooter. But Portland needed a point guard, and he was the one I knew. I never thought he was going to be elite, but could develop into a solid, distributing point guard who knew how to play the game the right way.
When Portland drafted Lillard, I kept hearing great things from those in the know, but having never seen him play, I kept returning to the tired “but he’s from a small school, look at the competition he went up against” take.
Rudy Fernandez is Going to be Manu-lite
If you didn’t watch the Blazers 10 years ago, it’s difficult to overstate how exciting Rudy Fernandez was when he burst on to the scene in Portland. A star in Spain, Fernandez brought energy, swagger, and a relentless 3-point attack several years before it was en vogue in the NBA.
In his rookie season, Fernandez scored 10 points per game off the bench in 25 minutes and led the team in 3-point attempts, shooting 40 percent from downtown on more than five attempts per game. Fernandez had a flair for the dramatic, and immediately became a fan-favorite as the Blazers jumped from 41 to 54 wins in the 2008-09 season. As Rudy adapted to the NBA game, it was easy to envision him as our own Manu Ginobli-style super-sub. Not as talented a player overall, but our own international reserve guard with a flair for the big-shot.
Unfortunately for Fernandez and the Blazers, after taking a hard foul from the Lakers’ Trevor Ariza, Fernandez dealt with back problems. There were also whispers that he had attitude problems as his lack of aggressiveness upon his return from the injury limited his effectiveness. Ultimately, Fernandez was shipped off to Denver, where he played only 31 games before returning to Spain.
When were you sure of something that turned out to be dead wrong? Let us know in the comments!