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Deadspin Slams Deandre Ayton, Trail Blazers

Portland “isn’t normal”, per column.

Washington Wizards v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

As the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Brooklyn Nets 105-103 on Wednesday night, they did so without the services of starting center Deandre Ayton for the 12th straight game. 11 of those absences were due to ongoing tendinitis in the 7-footer’s knee. Ayton missed Wednesday’s game because he could not get to the arena due to icy conditions in the Portland area.

One day after the contest, Sean Beckwith of Deadspin took the opportunity to blast Ayton and nearly everyone associated with the Blazers alongside. In a brief, barb-filled article, Beckwith took the entire organization to task for their disappointing season and everything that’s led up to it

Beckwith started, and ended, with the Ayton situation, expressing incredulity that the center could not find his way to work when so many others did that evening:

Now, there are some backwoods neighborhoods in the Rose City, the U.S. is in the middle of a deep freeze and Domin-Ayton is from the Bahamas. It could’ve been an honest mistake that is in no way correctable via a phone call to the team, asking for a ride from one of the dozens of employees who were able to make it to the Moda Center.


None of this is normal, and neither is Ayton taking a WFH day because he didn’t shovel his driveway and couldn’t walk to a location that an Uber can get to. Un-f*cking-real.

But Beckwith didn’t stop there. He also lambasted Trail Blazers General Manager Joe Cronin for the sorry state of the team, staring with off-season deals surrounding former franchise superstar Damian Lillard—moves the author termed “quarters on the dollar”—and continuing with the currently-impoverished on-floor product: long as Rip City is losing, GM Joe Cronin is happy. Player development, coaching, trying, even showing up — it’s all optional as long as it results in more draft assets and an indefinite reign over the front office. There’s not one player on the roster who isn’t performing like he’s ready to be dealt.

Blazers Head Coach Chauncey Billups did not escape the tirade:

Billups isn’t winning or developing talent, and his relationship with Cronin appears to be the only thing keeping him employed. The GM doesn’t want to admit wrongdoing because that’s more evidence he’s a fraud who only got the job due to Neil Olshey’s cancellation.

And that’s only three slices of the toxic layer cake.

Do you agree with Beckwith or do you think the critique goes too far? Evaluate and share in the comment section below.