A lot of teams don’t like to use the “R” word — rebuild — because they fear it will scare off ticket buyers. Which strikes me as thinking your fans are shallow or stupid — fans of a team want hope, and they will come pay to see and cheer on young players so long as they see a future developing.
Whether the Trail Blazers want to admit it or not, they are rebuilding. They will have a lot of cap space and a couple first round draft picks this year as the roster is re-shaped in the post Greg Oden/Brandon Roy era.
But the Blazers do already have a star — LaMarcus Aldridge. One of the best young power forwards in the game. An All-Star. And those kinds of players often do not want to ride out a rebuild.
But Aldridge is good with it, he tells CSNNW.com.
“I don’t think I’ve reached my prime yet,” LaMarcus Aldridge said. “So, if we get a good group of rookies in this draft, they’ll be able to gain some experience in the next couple of years and we’ll be a force a couple of years from now….
“You don’t reach your prime until you’re about 28 or 29,” Aldridge said. “I’m 26 so I got a few more years until then. If we bring in the right guys, we’ll be very good down the road.”
My guess is Blazers fans — a loyal and knowledgeable fan base — feel the same way. Changes had to be made, it was time to move on no matter how much Roy is loved.
The Blazers have a chance here. All they really need is a GM with the vision, a coach who can coach it and smart moves. That includes ownership staying out of the way of the basketball people. All that is what should make Blazers fans nervous, not simply the idea of a rebuild.
MIAMI (AP) The Miami Heat will be without starting forward James Johnson for at least two games and probably more after bursitis was found in his right ankle.
Johnson left Miami’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday with ankle pain, and an MRI performed Sunday led to the bursitis diagnosis. Johnson is not traveling with the team for its trip for games at Atlanta on Monday and Boston on Wednesday.
The team says Johnson could miss seven to 10 days, which would also mean his status for home games against Dallas on Dec. 22, New Orleans on Dec. 23 and Orlando on Dec. 26 is in some doubt.
Johnson is averaging 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Heat this season.
LeBron James notched his third-straight triple-double on Sunday, this one coming against the Washington Wizards. But before the game, the story was all about how James was voicing a silent protest — in Washington D.C., no less — by wearing a special version of his shoes.
LeBron took to the floor wearing his LeBron 15s, but this player edition had the word “Equality” on the back of them. James wore one black shoe and one white shoe.
James wore the black versions of this shoe in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ opener to start the season.
LeBron finished the game with 20 points, 15 assists, and 12 rebounds. The Cavaliers beat the Wizards, 106-99.
The Carolina Panthers are up for sale. Owner Jerry Richardson said he would sell the team late on Sunday following an announcement by the NFL that Richardson was under investigation for “workplace misconduct”. The NFL’s investigation and Richardson’s decision to sell was preceded by a report from SI saying Richardson had paid out settlements amid sexual harassment and racial slur claims.
Enter Sean Combs and Stephen Curry.
Combs — that’s Diddy, you to and me — has previously voiced his interest in being involved with the NFL, and after seeing that Richardson would be selling the team, jumped at the chance to boost his profile. Combs tweeted that he wanted to buy the team, and that’s when Curry joined in.
Naturally, Curry is from Charlotte and went to both high school and eventually college in the area, playing at Davidson. He’s an avid Panthers fan and has been on the sideline for the team publicly many times over the years.
Curry being part of an ownership group for the Panthers would be pretty wild. Perhaps Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan would like to join in? It seems like they would have the liquidity and credit availability between the three of them to get the team.
Then again, the asking price for the Panthers could be north of $2 billion. The last team to be sold was the Buffalo Bills in 2014 for $1.4 billion. In September, Forbes released a valuation for the Panthers that put them at $2.3 billion.
Might need to get a few others involved in this one.
Vince Carter is 40 years old and playing in what could possibly be his final NBA season. The Sacramento Kings guard started his career with the Toronto Raptors, and on Sunday he played what could possibly be his final game at the Air Canada Centre.
And so, when Carter was subbed out late in the fourth quarter on Sunday, the folks in Toronto did what came naturally: they cheered.
The whole thing was pretty great to watch, and a real testament to how Carter is viewed by fans in Toronto.
Carter scored just four points in 25 minutes for Sacramento, going 2-of-5 from the field while adding three blocks, two assists, a rebound and a steal.
The Raptors got the win over the Kings, 108-93.