The Portland Trail Blazers have been a disaster since the departure of former general manager Neil Olshey. In his place, the team brought in Jerry West to take over as president of basketball operations.
The neil olshey water bottle is a problem that has been growing bigger. Portland’s Neil Olshey has been in the news recently, and his problems are only continuing to grow.
It was obviously a source of pride for Neil Olshey.
Carmelo Anthony, who had been without a job for more than a year when the injury-plagued Portland Trail Blazers hired him in November 2019, re-upped ahead of last season despite knowing he’d be demoted to the bench, the same gut-check move that had previously forced him out of the league. But, unlike his ill-fated stint as a first-time reserve with the Houston Rockets in 2018-19, Anthony understood precisely what he was getting into with Portland, and one of the main reasons for it was his faith in Olshey.
During free agency, Olshey promised Anthony that the Blazers would be active “custodians of his legacy,” a statement that resonated with the future Hall-of-Famer following his disastrous stints in Houston and Oklahoma City.
In December 2023, Olshey informed Jason Quick of The Athletic, “It was totally real.” “Having been in two tough circumstances previous to his arrival in Portland, we recognize that as the current custodians of his legacy, we must embrace a heightened degree of responsibility that extends beyond game-by-game success or failure. That duty has a different meaning for each of us, but everyone from executives to coaches to players enjoys being a part of his Hall of Fame journey.”
After Portland’s notoriously weak defense was destroyed by the short-handed Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs, Anthony signed with the Los Angeles Lakers nine months later, a long-awaited development. One of ‘Melo’s best pals, LeBron James, is on the verge of winning a ring, but time is running short.
The hiring of Chauncey Billups appeared to seal Anthony’s fate. Since their time as teammates with the Denver Nuggets in the late 2000s, the Blazers’ new coach has not been kind to Anthony’s style of play. Portland and Anthony’s breakup was almost certainly mutual.
On a recent episode of Posted Up With Chris Haynes, Anthony, on the other hand, clarified his departure from the Blazers. While Anthony has no animosity against his previous club, he expressed astonishment that no one from Portland’s front office returned his calls this summer, particularly because he wanted to return for another run with Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and the rest of the squad.
@CarmeloAnthony, a Lakers standout, has joined Posted Up with C. Haynes. He joins the podcast to talk about his book “Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised,” joining LAL, advice to Damian Lillard, revealing three teams he explored, and why he tried waiting on Portland.
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September 14, 2023 — Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes)
It’s worth repeating that Olshey kept his word to Anthony. Despite his usually poor efficiency statistics, the Blazers made ‘Melo a nightly component off the bench—even a member in their small-ball closing lineup—and force-fed him the post-ups and isolations he loves all season.
Anthony wasn’t the impact reserve that his sporadic scoring outbursts and internet adoration implied. Allowing him to go was always the correct decision, and any concerns about Portland’s playing frontcourt depth were allayed by the subsequent acquisition of Larry Nance Jr. Regardless, Anthony clearly shown enough with the Blazers last season for the Lakers to call and prolong his career.
Legacy is safeguarded.
However, the recently disclosed background behind Anthony’s departure speaks to Portland’s front office’s irritating, perplexing, and harmful attitude to player mobility in general.
Olshey has always emphasized that the draft, trade market, and player development are the greatest ways for the Blazers to acquire talent, since they are vehicles of roster turnover driven by teams rather than players. When it comes to free agency, small-market clubs like Portland have an inherent, nearly insurmountable disadvantage against glamour cities like Los Angeles, New York City, and Miami, and Olshey won’t let the public forget that on the few times he makes himself accessible to the press.
But, all too often, his explicit acknowledgement of that fact comes off not just as self-serving, but as a window into Olshey’s true feelings about Portland. Olshey, a Los Angeles transplant born in Queens, doesn’t have to admit to the typical NBA player’s dislike of playing in the Pacific Northwest. Since taking over the Blazers’ front office in 2012, he’s offered his own criticisms of the city he’s called home.
The following conversation, from a 2016 roundtable of general managers, resurfaced on the internet in August, soon after Portland’s early free agency moves revealed that Olshey would not be responding to Lillard’s demands for major squad improvements. Olshey’s back-slapping remark to Eugene, OR native Danny Ainge about “spending a lot of time” in the northwest didn’t sit well with a fanbase already irritated by him blaming Terry Stotts for the Blazers’ first-round loss, the sham process that led to the hiring of Billups, and his steadfast refusal to break up Portland’s core.
Olshey is at ease acting in the face of local opposition. Jody Allen’s laissez-faire attitude toward ownership makes this possible. But what is the collective view of NBA players on Olshey? Olshey—an actor with TV credits on shows like All My Children before pivoting to life in basketball—is mostly selling himself and the enviable locker-room culture he’s helped build with the Blazers over the last decade if he’s not trying to persuade free agent targets and potential trade acquisitions that they’ll love playing in Portland.
Nobody knows how the front office’s lack of reaction to Anthony’s desire in returning fits with that kind of persuading. It wasn’t the first time Olshey had basically snubbed an incumbent free agent who was adored by both teammates and fans. After LaMarcus Aldridge stunned Portland and the NBA by signing with the San Antonio Spurs in free agency in 2015, Blazers management couldn’t even bother to inform Wesley Matthews, who was still recuperating from a ruptured Achilles, that he wouldn’t be returning.
Matthews told The Oregonian at the time, “I was pissed off.” “I felt belittled.”
Olshey generally avoided any implied criticism from his players before the conclusion of the 2023-21 season, while taking a lot of heat locally and in league media circles. However, the Blazers’ most contentious summer in franchise history altered everything.
When Lillard recently addressed his waning devotion to Portland, it didn’t take much reading between the lines to deduce his displeasure with Olshey. Many people who have direct contact with Blazers players, whether it’s trainers, family, or friends, voiced their frustration with Olshey on social media during the summer. The locker room’s most significant tide of judgment seems to have shifted against him.
That doesn’t signify anything until the 2023 offseason. Portland’s trade capacity is restricted by both C.J. McCollum’s bloated deal and the unclear situation of Lillard’s future in Rip City now that free agency is gone. Trust that Olshey’s reputation among players and their agents will play a role in the Blazers’ success when it comes time to either rebuild from the bottom up or aggressively retool around Lillard.
Olshey will not be promoting Portland as a basketball town. He’ll have to work around the humiliating circumstances of Anthony’s leaving. And the allure of the Blazers’ lauded culture won’t be as strong as it was when the front management bungled Billups’ hire and Lillard was completely committed to the city.
At the very least, if Olshey is still alive, he’ll be able to rely on his self-assurance.
The Portland’s Neil Olshey problem is only growing bigger is a story that has been brewing for quite some time. Portland’s general manager, Neil Olshey, has had to deal with multiple problems in the past few years. Reference: portland nba.
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