The Trail Blazers have gone through some things this season.
The owner died. The center broke. The future is uncertain. But at no time have they been reduced to a fragmented mess of an NBA franchise.
It's not the lakers.
The president of the team, Magic Johnson, resigned on Tuesday night. Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke wrote: "The Lakers could and should end up in a better place after this decision, but first there will be a carnage."
How does coach Luke Walton survive? What's up with general manager Rob Pelinka?
Which brings us, of course, to Trail Blazers, Inc.
The Portland franchise deserves a nod today. To finish like the seeded No. 3 or No. 4 in the West. For being resistant. For keeping it together in the middle of some own butcher shop.
None of us can be sure who will own the Blazers in one year. I'm not even sure who is running the franchise now. The sister of the late Paul Allen, Jody? Paul's best friend, Bert Kolde? President and CEO of Vulcan Sports & Entertainment, Chris McGowan?
The events that occurred on Tuesday night in Los Angeles were a good reminder. You want "BEAT LA!" Not "BE LA".
Which brings us to Portland GM Neil Olshey.
It is not a secret that Olshey becomes a man from Southern California. In addition, it is no secret that there is much uncertainty beyond his current contract in Portland, which expires in 2021. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who has known Olshey for a long time, expressed something interesting after the departure of Magic.
Woj said the Lakers could think of Olshey.
I bet the general manager of Portland did not wink at him.
All this comes a week after I heard rumors that the Olshey camp might be rummaging, seeing where New Orleans could go. Danny Ferry is running the side of basketball operations for the pelicans on an interim basis after the firing of Dell Demps. And let's be clear, I do not blame Olshey for a bit, if that's the case.
There is no job security in Portland. Not with the property in the air. Also, type A Olshey has never been a Portland guy. Can you imagine his blood pressure when he realized the work of the Lakers, a challenge very different from the one he had to face in Portland?
The Lakers. LeBron. All that valet parking.
Also, I think Olshey could be good at that. In part, because he likes the glow of Southern California. Longs for the big stage. And I think sometimes he has looked for conflicts in Portland, possibly out of boredom. In addition, your mind has to be numb with small movements in the list of players trying to go up positions.
Earlier this season, the media covering the team laughed when a note about Olshey appeared in the game notes. He noted that he had achieved 299 victories, "the third executive to count 300 victories in command of the Trail Blazers."
He has done everything he can do in Portland, is not it?
That was underlined almost a year ago, after the Blazers were swept again in the first round of the playoffs, this time to New Orleans. Olshey appeared in a defensive position in the exit interview, trying to "fork" the regular season of the postseason.
It was a foolish act. Nobody fell in love with that. But in the end, when he's not successful in the postseason to show his work, that's what he does.
Olshey has made 24 exchanges since he was hired in the summer of 2012. Nine of them involved "cash". He has failed in free agency, overestimating the players, because he often operated from a position of weakness. or, frankly, any other GM in the league, would it start off in Los Angeles with LeBron and a projected cap space of $ 35 million?
The Blazers are heading to the playoffs again. They will be celebrated, and also, be a loser. The franchise plays short and has a 10-game losing streak in the postseason.
You will have to talk about that in a possible job interview.
The Portland franchise will one day get a new property. That group of owners will want a coach and general manager of their choice. There is a ticking clock for what you see currently.
Fans and the media will surpbad the current franchise regime.
He always does
From Bob Whitsitt to John Nash, Steve Patterson, Kevin Pritchard, Chad Buchanan, Rich Cho and Olshey. And do you know what has been the only constant?
You and me, friend
Olshey will not survive any of us. That is the work.
The remains in Los Angeles are a shock. A reminder of how fragile the trajectory of an NBA franchise can sometimes be. And while it's true that Magic Johnson has never felt as if he's really committed, the Lakers are one of the franchises of the clubs in the league.
The degree of difficulty for the Lakers' franchise is much lower than in Portland and other small markets in the NBA. The stars of the league (see: Anthony Davis) remind us annually.
The Lakers could come to sniff in the coming weeks. If so, Olshey will be interested. But make sure this is not a distraction for the Blazers.
They have already endured much heavier things this season.