The Oregonian’s sports editor Mark Hester, on the Portland Blazers’ unusual move of issuing a press release criticizing the newpaper’s coverage of the team.
The article, which was written by Blazers beat reporter Jason Quick, described coach Nate McMillan’s desire for a team with the right “attitude,” for unselfish players who “want to be here.” The Trail Blazers said the article was misleading and “twisted McMillan’s words,” though they later focused their objections on the headline, which said: “McMillan at odds with his star.”
The dispute centered on this quote:
“You’ve got to have the attitude that you want to be here, and if you don’t, then when you are here, you work while you are here to make this club a better team,” McMillan said. “So, do the things you are supposed to. Be where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be there. And when you are out on the floor, give 100 percent, and when things aren’t going right, look at yourself first.”
The article, which was published Wednesday, contrasted those desires with recent statements by Zach Randolph (above) when asked by a reporter “if he wanted to be here.” A short version of Randolph’s answer: “They pay me a lotta money.”
When asked about how his views squared with Randolph’s comments, McMillan said, “What did I just say? Exactly what I just said.”
The article raised the question: Can Randolph play for McMillan?
The article was accurate. The Oregonian stands behind it and Quick, who is in his sixth year as the paper’s lead Blazers reporter, said Editor Sandy Rowe.
“Jason Quick is a first-rate professional. His work stands along side that of the best in the business,” Peter Bhatia, executive editor of The Oregonian, said. “While none of us is perfect, his coverage of the team is without peer. He covers the Trail Blazers as a basketball team, but he also covers them as an important local institution. He knows the game and he is a watchdog for our readers.”