Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Jail Blazers Revisited

I just got finished reading about Buffalo Bills' Safety Donte Whitner, who was arrested at Ted Ginn's birthday bash in Cleveland last night. The Bills are now officially the 2005 Cincinnati Bengals. Once you have 3 guys (Ko Simpson, Marshawn Lynch being the others) get arrested in the span of a year, then add Terrell Owens, you've got lightning in a bottle. Expect fireworks.

That got me thinking. Anyone remember the Portland Jail Blazers of yesteryear's lore?

Ah yes, the most absurd group of dope smoking, wife-beating, salary stealing NBA players in history. With the help of Wikipedia and others, my memory has been sufficiently jogged. I had forgotten about half these guys, and I keep thinking, "Oh man! He was on there too? No way!"

And lest we forget that Portland has finally dug themselves out of this rut, albeit nearly 10 years later with purely even-keeled personalities that verge on lame. Hey, at least basketball is back in the Rose City.

Imagine having these guys at your house all at one time. Better keep the pepper spray handy!

This is the group of mongrels that nearly destroyed it. Granted they all didn't play together at one time and not all their offenses occurred while a Blazer, but this really is just establishing character:

Jermaine O'Neal - Nothing as a Blazer, but he didn't help matters... he went loco during the "Malice at the Palace" so I doubt he was a saint while he was there

Rasheed Wallace - Quite a body of work:

Led the league in technical fouls in 1999-2000 with 38, then broke his own record with 40 the next year; threatened sleazy then-referee Tim Donaghy on a loading dock and was suspended 7 games (huh, guess he was right about him!); Arrested in 1996 (while on Washington); arrested for dope possession; fined thousands of dollars by the NBA for boorish behavior over the years

Qyntel Woods
- Plead guilty to animal cruelty charges for pit bull fighting. Also arrested for marijuana possession. Now plays in Poland.

Rod Strickland - Dope Smoker, bad teammate

Damon Stoudamire - Police arrived at Stoudamire's home because a burglar alarm was going off. Upon entering, they smelled dope. They found almost a pound of grass hidden in a crawlspace. Stoudamire was
arrested multiple times for dope possession while on the Blazers. He also tried to sneak an ounce of greenery through a Tuscon airport metal detector. Idiot.

Shawn Kemp - Has fathered 7 children out of wedlock (and the number is actually thought to be higher), and was once arrested for dope and blow possession.

Ruben Patterson - The biggest scumbag of all.

Patterson was signed after he plead no contest to sexual assault and was a registered sex offender while on the Blazers. He had attempted to rape his childrens' nanny. He also assaulted a man who scratched his car, as well as attacking his wife multiple times. Man of the year.

Dale Davis
- Probably a big time stoner. Seriously. No way he wasn't.

Derek Anderson
- The swingman was once "spotted in 2005... going through a drive-through window at McDonald’s while his team was playing a game at the Rose Garden."

Darius Miles
- Used the "N" word toward his coach Mo Cheeks which Cheeks found offensive, suspended by the league for dope smoking, and is also one of the biggest wastes of God-given athletic ability in history

Bonzi Wells
- Typical Jail Blazer. Bad teammate, quit on the team, smoked dope, said "...the fans don't matter to us" in an interview, and stripped of his captaincy after cussing out his coach

Zach Randolph
- Arrested for smoking dope and driving, sucker punched his sex offender teammate Ruben Patterson in the face, breaking his eye socket, being lazy, and not playing defense. Oh yeah, and according to Oregonian reporter John Canzano, the cops were studying Randolph's MTV Cribs episode because known felons appeared to be lounging at Randolph's house.

My two favorite stories come courtesy of The Big Lead by way of Canzano:

"Whenever the Blazers sign a player to a 10-day contract the equipment manager provides the player with a free set of team-issue luggage. Sort of a welcome gift. Nothing incredibly fancy, but it’s way better than the stuff I have. So Omar Cook is signed a couple of years ago, and the luggage is placed in front of his locker. Cook was flying in from out of town, so he’s not there yet. Ruben Patterson, the team’s registered sex offender, sees the luggage, knows Cook isn’t around yet, and Patterson basically just decides he’s going to abscond the luggage. He just rips the name tags off and takes it. Nobody says a word, either. It’s not anything violent, but it demonstrates the lack of decency and respect that permeated."

And this one as well, from the same article:

"Another time, in the visiting locker room in Dallas, I had Rasheed Wallace threaten to punch me after a playoff-game loss. Deadline was approaching, I’m the only writer in the locker room and I’m asking Rasheed questions, and he whips around, and tells me to get out of his space or he’s going to punch me out. At that point, his teammates are all looking to see how I react, and in no way am I going to back down. I’m looking at Rasheed, and thinking if he takes a swing I’m going to try and stuff him into the locker behind him if only because journalists everywhere need me to man up in that situation. Either that, or I’m going to get knocked out and blow my deadline. So I tell him I’m not moving. I just stand there, holding my notepad and recorder, and we’re staring at each other. He eventually storms past me to the shower, and while he’s gone Zach Randolph, a rookie then, leans in to me and says, “When ‘sheed comes back, make sure you don’t have your back to him. He’ll sucker punch you.” The great irony is that a month later Randolph sucker-punched Ruben Patterson during a practice breaking his eye socket. Someone was holding Patterson’s arms when Randolph threw the haymaker. There was a period of a few days after that incident where Randolph hid out at Dale Davis’ house because he feared that Patterson was going to try and shoot him."

Just ridiculous! I sure glad this era is over... it sure puts the Bills' problems to shame!

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