Professional sports team management often turns a blind eye to the bratty behavior of their athletes when they perform well for the team and bring in big bucks for the franchise.
However, the sports world may never again witness the “pa-role model” line-up of this group of knuckleheads.
They were the NBA’s infamous Portland Trail Blazers or “Jail Blazers” of the early 2000s.
Portland “Jail Blazers”
Better named the Portland “Jail Blazers”, the franchise featured a team of felons, alcohol abusers and potheads. They were talented but troubled athletes. These jailhouse jocks quickly angered the team’s loyal fan base. They damaged the City of Rose’s reputation around the league as a model championship organization and brought embarrassment to the franchise.
This star-studded Portland team was expected to compete for an NBA title. However, the Portland “Jail Blazers” imploded as quickly as these great athletes filled the lane on the fast break. Their names regularly showed up in the local police station’s arrest reports.
Instead of taking the charge on the basketball court, these troubled athletes were being charged in police offices away from the hardwood. Ruben Patterson was charged for felony domestic abuse. Zach Randolph was booked for driving under the influence. Qyntel Woods was charged with animal cruelty and marijuana possession. Rasheed Wallace and Damon Stoudamire received misdemeanors for marijuana possession.
The “Jail Blazers” Irritated Portland Fans
While still on the court, other “Jail Blazer” players irritated Portland followers. Lazy efforts and abusive comments toward teammates, refs and coaches created more problems for the team. J.R. Rider, Bonzi Wells, Nick Van Exel and Darius Miles further upset their own fans. As if enough petals hadn’t already fallen off this rose, the team’s flaky center, Shawn Kemp, left the team in mid-season to check himself into a drug and alcohol rehab clinic.
Since the outbreak of the Trail Blazers early 2000s reputation, the Portland franchise has rebuilt its once respected team. The organization has drafted gifted athletes who also possess off the court character.
Instead of blazing a path to the local jail, here’s hoping these players pioneer a trail for the City of Roses back to the NBA Finals.
Kudos, sort of, to the former “pa-role model” Portland Jail Blazers.
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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!