Over the last few days, the Portland Trail Blazers’ front office has drawn the talk of the fanbase, this time in a not-so-popular manner. The negative publicity comes from Portland’s decision to have its broadcast and radio teams calling road games remotely from a monitor, as opposed to traveling with the team. In his latest column, Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report elaborated on why the move was questionable.
Early on, it’s noticeable — and Highkin notes this too — that Blazers supporters of all environments have been outspoken in their dislike of this decision. In perhaps the main premise of his piece, Highkin provided this thought on the move.
You don’t need me to tell you it’s an objectively terrible idea in every way. It’s unfair to the team’s talented broadcasters, it’s unfair to the fans who pay for cable or streaming packages expecting the best product they can get, and it just makes the Blazers look like an unserious organization after a lot of good people who work there have spent so much time and effort trying to undo that image.
His case also looks into everything the Blazers have done to overcome what’s been a rocky 12 months. The move of allowing the broadcast team to join the team in covering games live and in-person would have sent a strong public relations message, letting fans and customers know how important they are to the product. Instead, the decision to not have the broadcast teams travel marks the latest PR blemish to overcome.
Highkin is especially passionate when he explains how the Blazers’ front office could be out of touch following the loss of former owner Paul Allen.
How do you square that message with the one this broadcasting move sends? There’s no rationale for it beyond the Vulcans saving a few bucks ahead of a sale they insist is not happening. Feel however you want to about the late Paul Allen, but he was always willing to write a check if it improved the Blazers’ on-court or behind-the-scenes product. This would never have happened under his watch.
News of the scaled-back broadcast plans first broke when Dwight Jaynes and Chad Doing discussed it last week during their show on the team’s official radio station. When even the state-approved media outlets are calling you out for cutting corners at the expense of the fans, you’ve messed up.
Highkin speaks on this in further detail, along with in-depth thoughts on the Blazers’ current internal setting during the article, which can be found above.