The tests were to be administered at the arena. “This is the first time they have just showed up and did it,” said Blazers athletic trainer Jay Jensen, who is handed the list of players to be tested. “Normally, they tell you ahead of time.”
For [Greg] Oden, there was little drama … for him. His monitor, on the other hand, might have a different story.
You see, Oden doesn’t like to go No. 1 in the presence of other people. “I get shy,” he says. So in order to provide a sample, he has to go No. 2. “The poor guy,” Oden said matter-of-factly. “I apologized to him.”
…Back in the locker room, Przybilla says he is on his 10th 12-ounce Gatorade. He said he was able to give a sample, but the monitors said it wasn’t enough. “I was that much short,” Przybilla says, holding his fingers apart the width of a Q-tip. “My problem now is that with all these Gatorades, I’m going to be going back to the bathroom 20 times during the game.”
Travis Outlaw can relate to Przybilla’s dilemma. Outlaw a couple of weeks ago reached his four-test minimum with flying colors. “The last one, I got on out of there,” he said proudly.
His third test, though, he couldn’t come through in the clutch no matter how hard he tried and no matter how much water he drank. He was at the Blazers’ practice facility in Tualatin after a shootaround, and after waiting and trying, he decided he might as well go out and shoot baskets. So, his monitor came out and watched him shoot. “I’m just shy, you know?” Outlaw said. “I mean, the guy is like looking over your shoulder. It’s like somebody at a stall looking over at you.”
For all my half-anguished fulminating over what is and isn’t good beat-walking sports journalism last week — fulminating for which, I should mention again, I am fully unqualified — I think Quick’s stuff is a much better rejoinder to Chico Harlan’s (dubiously objectionable) pseudo-bloggery than was my attempt to get all big-picture on that ass. Maybe it’s just that basketball players are more interesting or willing to talk than baseball players, or that Quick is more interested in those players and their sport than Harlan is in his. Whatever the case, this is a good reminder that the choice between dutiful, boring beat reporting and trend-chasing, self-aggrandizing avant-snark is a false binary. Some beat guys just do their jobs better — imagine its parameters more broadly, approach their tasks with more evident personal enjoyment — than others. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that the guys who do it best are the ones who seem least ambivalent about doing the job in the first place.