Bert Sugar passed away over the weekend at the age of 75. I can say in all honesty that Bert crammed more life into those 75 years than most of us mere mortals could get in with twice the time. I am grateful I got to call Bert a friend. Over the years he would come on our show, sometimes without prompting, he would just call up and say he wanted to talk with us. Needless to say Bert had a standing invitation on the program. Bert was the best interview we did. He always had a story to tell and joke that would go over our heads. I will miss Bert as will most of the sporting world. He was an icon, a legend, one of kind. A throw back if you will that we may never see again. Years ago I sent Bert some homemade 80 year scotch I got while traveling in Scotland, Bert sent me back one of Castro's cigars he was so found of and a letter typed out on a typewriter on Bert Sugar stationary. I loved that Bert still used a typewriter. The cigar sits in my home office alongside a hat he sent me a while back and our two of my most cherished positions. Each time I look over at them it reminds me of his amazing life and how much he did and saw. It inspires me to try and live my life that way, to get the most of the years I've been given and to be able to say when it’s my time to ago that I did all that I could the best that I could. Just like Bert. Cheers Bert, here’s to a great run. You will be missed.
Look, I realize LaMarcus Aldridge is way down the list of Blazer players who deserve criticism for this mess but...
Am I the only one who sees him as a Robin and not Batman? I believe this fact is being exposed now more than ever. As I write this, the teams lone All-Star has gotten to the free throw line exactly 0 times in 3 games. Further, he only has 32 free throw attempts in his last 10 full games played. I'm well aware he's being doubled because no one can knock down kickouts consistently. I'm also aware the guy needs a better facilitator in the worst way. However, he's the one who said he wouldn't have been happy being the third option if Brandon Roy and Greg Oden remained healthy. He went as far as to say he would be playing elsewhere. Well, he got his wish. They're gone and he's the guy. Yes, his stats are strong (he's getting his and being paid handsomely for it) but the team isn't good and sits in 10th place in the West. When I think of true All-Stars in the NBA I think of guys who can single-handidly change such a fate. This should be HIS team. Aldridge needs to rise up and set the tone that only he's capable of with this group. He needs to fight through double teams. He needs to get to the free throw line and god forbid get in someone's face and let them know this level of effort is unacceptable regardless of how "wronged" guys are feeling about their situation.
The Trail Blazers are sinking and despite putting up good stats, LaMarcus Aldridge is sinking with them. What does this say about him as a player? LaMarcus has done a great job developing his body, shedding the soft label and growing his game. My guess is the motivation for that was a max contract paycheck. Well, he got it. Now what? The next step in his evolution, to me, is transforming from a Robin to a Batman. Some think this can't be learned. Some think you either are or you aren't. I'm not so sure. He's only 26. He has so many more incredible years ahead of him. The key question is what is he going to do with them? He can cruise along averaging 20 & 8 or he can take the next step toward becoming an irreplaceable NBA superstar. What's it gonna be?
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Timbers score late for draw with Whitecaps
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