Not all roses in Rose City
Throughout Rip City history, fans have grown unusually close to the players who have donned the pinstripe. In fact, it’s fair to say that Blazermaniacs have overvalued talent on more than one occasion, but the truth is, the phrase, “once a Trail Blazer, always a Trail Blazer” is more than just a cliché around the Pacific Northwest.
Fans find it natural to cheer for their favorites, but the fact remains that a few players have managed to leave on a sour note.
Luckily for fans of the Portland Trail Blazers, there’s nobody on this year’s crew who can be deemed unlikeable. Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum are seemingly the stars of the show, but everybody on the roster has shown potential in the eyes of the PDX faithful.
The 2013-14 roster is about as likeable as it comes, but taking a look back in time, it’s easy to find a few players who simply won’t be remembered for their best days in Rip City.
At this point in the process, Greg Oden is more of an honorable mention. Fans have been bitter about the 2007 draft for a long time, but now that the big man is attempting a comeback with the Miami Heat, reasonable basketball minds are willing to put feelings aside and wish him the best on his road to recovery.
The Trail Blazers drafted Zach Randolph in 2001, and by his third season he was averaging 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds per game.
So what’s not to like? A bitter, bitter attitude.
Randolph was technically a post-Jail Blazers addition to the organization, but he’s also the reason it took so long for the team to officially rid itself of the bad rap. To make matters worse, the team traded him away in 2007, and he’s done nothing but improve ever since.
When the Trail Blazers traded for Darius Miles, fans were ecstatic. The youngster had all the potential in the world, and beyond all else, he was exciting as it came with his ability to fly above the rim.
Unfortunately for fans (as well as the organization), a big-time contract, attitude problems and a multitude of injuries kept him from ever becoming the player he was supposed to be.
Bonzi Wells/Qyntel Woods
This spot is reserved for both Bonzi Wells and the lesser-remembered Qyntel Woods.
The truth is that Woods likely deserves the spot more than Wells based on two simple facts: less production, worse transgressions. The guard never made a name for himself on the court, yet he managed to make headlines through the ever-popular pastime of dog fighting.
Wells, on the other hand, had a nice run with Portland. He was an integral player on a competitive roster, but his actions on the court (as well as threatening reporters and disrespecting fans off of it) made him an easy guy to hate the second he left the Great Northwest.
The No. 1 spot on this list is an easy one for any fan who watched Raymond Felton during his solo season with the team.
Felton was brought in to be the point guard of the future. His style replicated that of his predecessor, Andre Miller, yet he was years younger and had the potential to lead a veteran organization to postseason success.
As it turned out, the Felton experiment was a complete disaster, as his efforts were just as bad as his anemic production.
If you ask fans across Portland, Felton never cared about winning with the Blazers. He showed up to camp completely out of shape, and he never turned things around despite having talent all over the roster.
Felton left Portland after just one year, and quite frankly, that solo season ended up being one of the longest, hard-to-watch campaigns in recent memory.