View Full Version : How do we fire up the big guy?

Jack Tucker
12-12-2008, 06:53 PM
How do we fire up the big guy?

Let's set aside for a moment the comments made recently by Jason Quick of the Oregonian and just consider what we have all observed. We've seen a young man having a hard time getting used to playing with the big boys. Thats all it is really.

Add to that, that he is coming off an injury and a year away from the game and you have forced upon a 20 year old a learning curve that is steep enough that he is struggling with it. And I think he is also struggling with those who have been anxious to criticize someone who was for a good many reasons unable to be the overnight sensation they expected him to be.

Jason Quick went too far in what he had to say about our starting center. Way too far. If I were a few years younger and had a few beers in me, and I found him sitting across from me in a bar I might even go so far as to invite him outside so he could hear what I really think of him. But I'm not a few years younger. And I won't off in an alley somewhere flying off the handle spewing my pithy sarcasm into Quicks face. I'm just an old man with a laptop. So I'll sack up and be a man here and see if I can organize my thoughts so rational fans out there in Blazerland can understand them.

Do you kick your dog when he is down?

Do you tell your wife she is an incompetant when she is struggling at work?

Do you tell your kids they will never amount to anything if they get a bad grade or get in trouble?

Or do you support them anyway? And let them know you will be there for them and be behind them no matter what? Then do whatever you can do to let them know it and help them feel good enough to take the next brave step forward in facing whatever is challenging them?

In some ways Quicks observations were not that far off the mark. Especially if you look at his followup comments. He just went too far by making it personal.

The kid is down. Our kid is down. And I mean no disrespect to Greg by calling him a kid. In many respects he is a boy playing a mans game and a boy in a mans body. He just isn't completely grown up yet. And quite frankly I'd hate to see either of my kids who are that age be under the kind of pressure that young man is under.

But if they were, I'd help them. I'd rack my brain trying to think of whatever I could do or say to support them.

Greg is our guy. He IS our number one pick. I wouldn't change that, and I doubt the Blazers would either. So what do they do with him? Clearly he is affected by the pressure. He walks out sullenly when introduced at the beginning of the game. When other players are jumping up and down getting ready for the tip off, he just stands there and looks around. And the charming fellow that always had the press laughing is quiet and distant.

If you are the Blazers what do you do with Greg to get the fires going again?

Do you tell him to push back, when other players push him? Or tell him to pretend he is Karl Malone and throw an elbow or two?

Knowing his love for dancing...do you have him pick the opening song and have him lead the Blazers out on the floor? Or have a Dance Dance Revolution contest between him and his teammates and the fans?

Do you tell him to play his rear off, don't worry about the fouls, and then actually start throwing the ball to him while he is moving towards the basket off a pick and roll?

Do you force feed him at the offensive end until he gets over whatever difficulties he is having and let him feel good about scoring some points?

And lastly, as fans, what can we do to let #52 we are behind him no matter what?

Cheer every time he touches the ball?

Chant his name when he is introduced? and when he enters the game?

Cancel our Oregonian subscriptions?

Have our own Dance Dance Revolution contest and make him the judge?

12-12-2008, 07:18 PM
He's doing quite good actually, I'm pretty sure he'll turn out to be just fine without judging a dance competition ;)

12-12-2008, 09:35 PM
Oden seems to have quieted the first wave of critics already, Im not hearing or reading about people being worried about him playing in a full game without getting injuried.

By the all star game weekend alot of people who say he's not doing this or that will get hushed up too. Oden will continue to improve and I said he will average about 10/11 pts and 9/10 rebs a game before the season started and I can see him hitting those numbers by seasons end.

Two yrs from now Jason Quick and all Oden's other daily critics will be praising Oden's every move and act as if they were on board the bandwagon all along.

I will be the first to send him an e-mail telling him to, "chew a bone"...

Im sure overcoming all the obstacles and critics and having true supporters will be enough to light a fire under him!