The Boycott continues...

June/2005: Sports - This year has marked my re-emerging interest in basketball. I used to be a huge hoophead. Back in the day, I actually had every NBA player's PPG and APG memorized. Every play. I could have told you what Luc Longley's PPG was. Luc f'n Longley. T'was all I would do, play basketball and keep up on NBA news.

Then came Ruben.

Ruben Patterson is the scummiest man in the NBA. There is nobody worse. He makes former player Dennis Rodman look like Captain America. He makes Kobe Bryant seem like a feminist. Ron Artest? The guy deserves a medal for beating up Detroit mutants when compared to Ruben Patterson.

What exactly did Patterson do? Here's a synopsis:
Seattle SuperSonics forward Ruben Patterson will enter a modified guilty plea to an attempted rape charge in an incident involving his family's nanny, his lawyer said Monday night. The nanny, who cares for the Pattersons' three children, went into a child's bedroom and saw Patterson standing there naked last Sept. 25, according to a suburban Bellevue police report cited by KING-TV. He grabbed her and she had difficulty fighting back because of his size and strength, the Sept. 30 report said. She allegedly got away after performing a sex act on Patterson, the report said. Patterson's wife was not home at the time. Bellevue police spokeswoman Marcia Harnden said Monday night she could confirm police took a report regarding a rape complaint from Patterson's address but she could say nothing more.

That not bad enough for you?

Trail Blazers forward Ruben Patterson was arrested Monday night on a felony domestic assault charge, the latest Portland player in trouble with the law. Tualatin police spokesman Sgt. Doug Nafziger said Patterson was taken into custody after his wife, Shannon, called 911 and said he assaulted her at their home. Nafziger said that when police got to the couple's home Monday evening, ``They found that Mrs. Patterson had minor (injuries).'' The couple's children, ages 2 and 10, were in the house at the time, police said. The presence of the children is enough to boost the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony under Oregon law.

That's Ruben Patterson. He's scum. It has been nearly four long years of boycotting the Portland Trail-Blazers. Not a dime has gone to anything Blazer-related. Won't even watch the games on TV. The acquiring of Patterson literally destroyed any interest I had in NBA basketball.

This year, however, I started shooting hoops again. Excellent playoff coverage on TNT lured me back to watching non-Blazer basketball teams. I started keeping up on NBA news and when the Blazer's got the third pick... there it was... the opportunity to be rid of Ruben Patterson.

The third pick, while a great pickup, didn't really benefit us. Out of the best four players, two are point guards, a position we don't need with Sebastian Telfair. So when dozens of trade rumblings popped up with the third pick and Patterson being married to any dealing of the third pick in the draft, I started getting excited. I would like to support our basketball team. I want to see a return to big-time Blazer basketball. The options seemed endless when it came to dealing the third pick and Patterson...

And today, we dealt the third pick to Utah.

Patterson was not included in the deal.

With our best trade material gone, there's really little chance to get rid of Ruben Patterson. His contract has a "trade kicker" that makes him hard to get rid of... and nobody wants him to begin with. He's scum. He's a pariah in the league. Utah fans rejoiced when we blinked and didn't keep our demand up that Patterson be dealt with the trade. Chad Ford on ESPN even joked about the relief they can feel now that Ruben "Rape 'em and beat 'em" Patterson won't be in Utah.

It's a complete failure on the part of Portland GM John Nash to actually take into account what is not only good on the court, but good for business. He blinked on a Jazz bluff that if we didn't pull the trigger before the draft, that they'd yank the deal. We received very little in return, a late first round pick and a conditional pick that may not even end up being ours. They're laughing in glee in Utah, while those disaffected Portland fans saw our best chance to be fans again slip away.

From now, there are only two things to be hoped.

1. That we can trade off Patterson somehow, to someone. A long-shot, but there is still some small glimmers of hope.

2. That we make the smart decision and hire Terry Porter, a legend here in Portland, as our next coach.

Both moves would do much to heal the rift between the team and the fans in this city. As Charles Barkley said during the NBA playoffs on TNT, it's a tragedy what the Blazer organization has done to us. There used to be basketball hoops on every street-corner. Blazer tickets used to be the hottest in town. They were being paid to have most of their games air on local TV in prime time... now? Tickets are often turned down, even for free... the games are carried on Comcast's local channel only. Hell, they used to sell Pay-Per-View packages that would include a ton of Blazer games. That's how hot the franchise was in this town, how beloved.

In the years since, the Blazer management have made every bad move possible to destroy the fanbase. It's a fraction of what it used to be. Being Portland's only major-league franchise, the entire town would bleed black, red and white. Autograph signings had lines around the block... now? Nobody gives a damn. The buzz is gone. The love is gone.

Today, the Blazer's once again threw away a big chance to get some love back. There is still a window to be able to do so... but it's closing rapidly. Many of us would rather have a team that loses every single game than one that includes pieces of human shit like Ruben Patterson.