I was so sad to hear the Trail Blazers traded Sebastian Telfair last month. He was my favorite player on the team for the two years he was here. So let me get this straight: the Blazers haven't traded Darius Miles but the were willing to part with a prodigal point guard whom people have already made a movie and written a book about at 19?
Although undersized and at this early stage in his career soft on defense, Telfair has an amazing ability to pass and score. He’s also got some Magic Johnson-esque razzle-dazzle. I was really looking forward to thousands of no-look passes over his Blazer career, not to mention a few hundred behind-the-back ones. Then there’s his real specialty, throwing alley-oop plays.
He also came to the Blazers already a star at 18. The likes of Jay-Z were attending Telfair’s high school games in New York just to see the kid. I once saw him at the Adidas Originals store, and he had this amazing outfit on, a kind of Kanye West preppy look. Yet he was also a hard worker in practice, and a nice guy. I interviewed him last year for a magazine article, and came away impressed with ‘Bassy’. I just really cringe thinking of him becoming a star in Boston, although I still wish him success.
Meanwhile, the most experienced point guard left on the Blazers is Jarrett Jack, whose rookie season was last year. One thing I do have to concede is great about the trade: we used the pick from Boston to pick Brandon Roy, who also seems poised to be a star.
But considering that Roy was taken with the 7th pick and LeMarcus Aldridge the 2nd, we could conceivably have gotten Roy without giving up Telfair. I’d rather have Telfair than LeMarcus Aldridge. Chances are Aldridge will be a good player too, but Portland now has a stockpile of power forwards/centers: Zach Randolph, Joe Pryzbilla, Raef LaFrentz, Jamaal Magliore.
With the league’s worst record last year, one can’t blame Portland for being active. They made six trades on draft day (including Telfair for the #7 Roy pick) and another since. It just always hurts when someone you held out a lot of hope for is suddenly gone. And when your team is a losing one, hope for the future is what you cling to.
But luckily my favorite sport, college football, is looming a lot more closely on the horizon than basketball.