This blog post isn’t about Darius Miles. I promise. But it is about how wallowing in the Miles mire now is an obstacle Portland must overcome quickly.
That first big hurdle could arrive in the coming weeks with the NBA trade deadline fresh on everyone’s mind. You think the rumors going around the league are bad right now, just wait another 15-25-35 days when it gets real crazy.
As someone who covers the league, I couldn’t but help think about Portland’s position in all of this the past few days – well, at least since Friday.
How hard will it be now for Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard to work the phones – knowing what has transpired regarding Darius Miles (that’s the last time you will hear Miles’ name mentioned, I swear) – and not feel that will play a factor into how other front offices respond? He won’t be communicating via e-mail. This much we know.
After talking to a trusted league executive – with the scoop detailed over at HOOPSWORLD titled, “Has Portland Hurt Trade Chances” – I have a better understanding of the bigger picture. And I mentioned this in the piece, but the NBA is so “relationship” and “contact” driven.
All sports is that way. Heck, sportswriting is that way.
In his book Falling Hard, a must-read boxing book by Chris Jones that recounts his rookie year covering the fight game, Jones says it perfectly:
“The meeting represented my first lesson as a would-be reporter: journalism is founded almost exclusively on contacts.”
I buy that. I also believe building “relationships” is the key to any success – business, marriage and even in basketball. And just as any team in the NBA hopes for success, that accomplishment is largely predicated on those “relationships” and your ability to establish common ground with others or your “contacts.”
I’m just not sure how far such rapport goes under Portland’s recent off court circumstances.