(Portland’s Joel Pryzbilla, about to be whistled for goaltending for the 10th time in 5 minutes)
One of my favorite moments from last night’s Mavs/Blazers telecast was TNT’s Marv Albert waxing eloquent about the virtues of Ian O’Connor’s excellent “The Jump”. Steve Kerr, perhaps not having read the book, expressed amazement that you could fill a book with stories about an 18 year old.
The teenager in question, Sebastian Telfair, might be the last man standing in Portland after Thursday evening’s debacle, writes The Oregonian’ s Geoffrey C. Arnold.
The tension between Darius Miles and Kevin Pritchard broke out into the open Thursday night at the Rose Garden. And Ruben Patterson said he is done with the Trail Blazers for the rest of this season and has requested to be traded before next season.
Miles, apparently miffed at being replaced during a 102-90 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, didn’t bother to return to the bench after being taken out with 4:03 left in the first half. Instead, Miles threw his headband into the stands and ran directly to the tunnel and into the locker room.
Assistant coach Tim Grgurich chased after him, and Miles later returned to the bench. Miles said he needed to use the restroom.
Miles started the fourth quarter and scored on a fast-break layup with 8:34 remaining. But during the ensuing timeout, Miles again stood away from the team. Then Miles pulled himself out of the game, walked to the locker room again with 7:28 remaining and did not return. According to a Blazers spokesperson, Miles’ sore neck was bothering him again.
“I hurt and came out of the game,” Miles said.
Patterson, already upset about his playing time and the team’s decision to give younger players more prominent roles, erupted in a postgame tirade and said he’s not going to play in the team’s final four games of the season.
“I don’t want to get into details, but I think I’m gonna sit out these last four games. Because I went through so much for this team and it doesn’t seem like these guys want to win here,” Patterson said. “And I can’t deal with that. I don’t know if it’s management or what, but it’s obvious they want to play the young guys. I’m too good of a player for that. We are out there, trying to play hard and help this team win, and it seems like they don’t care.”
Some of the Blazers players were apparently upset with Miles’ actions throughout the game. Both Stoudamire and Patterson had animated conversations with Pritchard during the timeout after Miles walked off the court for the final time.
Miles has had his troubles with the Blazers this season. His well-publicized tirade toward former coach Maurice Cheeks in January resulted in a team-imposed two-game suspension. Miles was asked about his standing with the team after the game.
“You’ll have to ask (general manager) John Nash and Kevin Pritchard that. I play for the Trail Blazers and I’m supposed to be here for another five years,” Miles said. “It’s not whether I want to be. But I have a contract for five years, so I’m supposed to be here. I might want to be here, but they might trade me somewhere else.”