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Maurice Cheeks, Tonya Harding, Dwight Jaynes, and the Portland sports press

Q: What is the connection between the recently dismissed coach of the Trailblazers and the long disgraced figure skating champion?

A: The Portland clique of "sports journalists."
The front page of the current Portland Tribune is sports. No, nobody got busted for smoking grass this time. In fact, it's not even a news story. The main headline of the Tribune this week is an editorial by Dwight Jaynes that reads: "Memo To Mo: It's Your Fault." Now the sacking of a Blazer coach mid-season is big news in the Rose City, but there's little news reported here. In fact, it's just one fat, bald motherf*#@er who probably couldn't run from one end of a court to another with folding over and gasping for breath, basically rubbing salt in the wound of Mo Cheeks. Even though he didn't win any playoff series as coach, Mo' did what neither President Patterson or GM John Nash have been able to do the minute he set foot in Portland--bring a touch of class to the floor.

Gee, Dwight Jaynes, you sure were right about Mo. So right, you made it a front page editorial to bash the man right after he got fired. "Look at me, everybody, I told you so!" Just a couple months ago, Jaynes had come to the dramatic conclusion Paul Allen must sell the team, because the billionaire who jet-sets with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Steven Spielberg, Bono, etc, spends too much time meddling in the Trailblazers. Great theory, Dwight. Jaynes is so confident, that he even has to date and quote every single column in which he called for Cheeks' scalp. Why Jaynes seems to be an un-syndicated sports writer from Portland, instead of a regular on The Best Damn Sports Show Period, where he could trade sexist jokes about fat chicks with Tom Arnold, is beside me.

Yeah, Dwight Jaynes, stick up for John Nash, even though a recent Oregonian survey showed that three times as many Blazer fans blame him for the team's situation than do Cheeks. Mention how Bob Whitsett bemoaned the "mistake" he made by hiring Cheeks in the first place. I suppose Cheeks went down to New Orleans and did some voodoo thing to make Whitsett trade away Brian Grant, Jermaine O'Neil, Aaron McKie, Alvin Williams, Jim Jackson, and a host of other good, hard-working players in order to get the likes of Shawn Kemp and Jeff McInnis. Yep, it's Cheeks fault that the youngest team in the NBA that met the San Antonio Spurs in the '99 triple finals, went in two years to being one of the oldest teams in the league, with a bunch of ego-maniacs bitching about their $12 million. Sure, Cheeks is responsible for one of the most storied and valued franchises in pro sports turning into the laughing stock of the NBA. Damn, Dwight, not only do you know more about coaching than Cheeks, you probably know more about sports marketing, too! Like, if the Blazers had not traded Rasheed Wallace, one of the best defensive players in the leage and a guy who can crack open 35 points every several games, Cheeks would have found a way to miss the playoffs last year, too.

Bottom line is, this is a town full of so-called "sports writers" like Dwight Jaynes who have not fully recovered from their forced break-up with Tonya Harding. Oh, it was great fun while it lasted, being on the front line of international sports conspiracy, with a chick people like Jaynes jack-off to pictures of, but as George C. Scott said at the end of his Oscar performance in Patton, "All glory is fleeting." Now people like Jaynes have nothing but the occasional pot smoking incident to fuel their yellow-journalism ambitions.

Mo Cheeks was a class act who (though probably wasn't seasoned enough to be the right guy to corral the bucking studs he had to coach) tried very hard, showed he knew enough about the game to maintain three winning seasons, run off occasional winning streaks where the Blazers were the hottest team in the NBA, and had to deal with GMs like Whitsett and Nash who were constantly telling him who to play and how to play (Mike Dunleavy and PJ Carlesimo both stated that Whitsett made a lot of personnel decisions without their advice).

Had Jaynes had the patience to gloat over the firing of the Blazer's first black head coach for just a week and put it in the same column inches where his writing usually gets published, I'd still have a tiny bit of respect for the Portland Tribune. What's more outrageous, is that the editor even when along with this crap. In my editor days, I'd have told him to stick his weiner in some ice water and have some class.

But Dwight Jaynes has no class. Most of the Portland sports press has no class. Oh for the days of glory when Tonya Harding's fuzzy pussy pictures in Penthouse would get Portland sports writers mention on ESPN or even CNN. Did you ever notice that Mo would never use an opportunity in front of the camera to gloat? That just goes to show you something, doesn't it Dwight?

Anarchy-nonymous
It's time to forgive Tonya 07.Mar.2005 05:49

Bill

It's time to forgive Tonya, she is a genuine Portland treasure. The skating association and the press love to persecute her because she is self made. She's not a prissy elitist like other figure skaters.

nice class, there 07.Mar.2005 08:33

Someone who knows

Just to correct something: Cheeks is NOT Portland's first black coach. Ever hear of Lenny Wilkens? One of many, many errors in this piece.

Sports talk 07.Mar.2005 09:11

first-time listener==long-time caller

"What's more outrageous, is that the editor even when along with this crap."
DWIGHT JAYNES IS THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF THE TRIBUNE. SO LIL DJ CAN WRITE ANY THING HE WANTS AND USUALLY DOES.....AD NASEUM.

IF YOU HAVE LIVED HERE ANY LENGTH OF TIME YOU KNOW THE BLAZER'S ARE THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN. SO THE BLAZER'S ARE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE IN THIS MID-SIZE VILLAGE. YOU PROBABLY ALSO KNOW THAT THE WRITERS AT THE OREGONIAN, WILLY WEAK, AND TRIBUNE ARE 99.9% WHITE. THIS SKEWS THE WRITING; LOOK AT THE BULLSHIT THAT JOHN CANZANO WRITES ABOUT........
RASHEED WAS TRADED BECAUSE HE WANTED OUT......WAS THE WHITE PRESS RESPONSIBLE? PROBABLY MORE THAN THE SPORTS WRITERS ARE WILLING TO ADMIT.

"Had Jaynes had the patience to gloat over the firing of the Blazer's first black head coach......"
CHEEKS WAS NOT THE FIRST BLACK HEAD COACH OF THE BLAZERS, LENNY WILKINS COACHED THE TEAM IN THE MID 70'S

BUT CHEEKS FIRING IS NOT A RACIAL ISSUE...HE DID NOT WIN. THIS WAS HIS FIRST HEAD COACHING GIG, AND IT SHOWED. ON-THE-JOB-TRAINING SHOULD NOT BE PART OF A NBA HEAD COACH JOB DISCRIPTION.

BTW, YOUR COMMENTS OF
"I suppose Cheeks went down to New Orleans and did some voodoo thing"
AND
"Mo Cheeks was a class act who (though probably wasn't seasoned enough to be the right guy to corral the bucking studs he had to coach)"
COULD BE THOUGHT OF AS RACIST, OR IGNORANT OF RACE RELATIONS.
IS THAT TOO POLITICAL CORRECT? DON'T THINK SO....IT IS THE 21ST CENTURY AFTER ALL.

Boycott Professional Sports! 07.Mar.2005 10:11

Jonathan E

If you go to games or watch sports on TV, then you are one of many who use their hard earned time and wages to make these sports figures millionaires. You are making them millionaires so that they can go about making the pretense of encouraging atheletics to school children, while at the same time they run dog fights in their own back yards. If you support professional sports, you are supporting corporate globalism and the bread 'n circus mentality the globalists want to foist on all of humanity. In essence, you are supporting the world of "Rollerball".

Well... 07.Mar.2005 11:16

Basketball fan

There is a lot of truth in this. The sports journalists in Portland are extremely bias against the Blazers, especially the younger ones. With the exception of the Quintel Woods dog fighting fiasco, no other "scandal" reported by the sports journalists has really been a "scandal". So Rasheed and Bonzi and Damon smoke pot. So what? So Darius can't manage his money: who cares? What about the game? What about what's happening on the foor?

The bottom line is that corporate media is all the same. Even on the sport's page.

to Jon E 07.Mar.2005 11:24

Bball fan

And what's wrong with making millionaires out of poor black kids?

The only thing professional sports fails to do is inspire people over 20 to play ball, not just watch. Games are healthy and fun and should be a part of any really free society. Its fun to WATCH and PLAY basketball! If your anarchist/activist society has no room for sports, than I don't want to be a part of your anarchist/activists society.

err 07.Mar.2005 12:28

Lloydd

"What's more outrageous, is that the editor even when along with this crap."
DWIGHT JAYNES IS THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF THE TRIBUNE. SO LIL DJ CAN WRITE ANY THING HE WANTS AND USUALLY DOES.....AD NASEUM.

IF YOU HAVE LIVED HERE ANY LENGTH OF TIME YOU KNOW THE BLAZER'S ARE THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN. SO THE BLAZER'S ARE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE IN THIS MID-SIZE VILLAGE. YOU PROBABLY ALSO KNOW THAT THE WRITERS AT THE OREGONIAN, WILLY WEAK, AND TRIBUNE ARE 99.9% WHITE. THIS SKEWS THE WRITING; LOOK AT THE BULLSHIT THAT JOHN CANZANO WRITES ABOUT........
RASHEED WAS TRADED BECAUSE HE WANTED OUT......WAS THE WHITE PRESS RESPONSIBLE? PROBABLY MORE THAN THE SPORTS WRITERS ARE WILLING TO ADMIT.

"Had Jaynes had the patience to gloat over the firing of the Blazer's first black head coach......"
CHEEKS WAS NOT THE FIRST BLACK HEAD COACH OF THE BLAZERS, LENNY WILKINS COACHED THE TEAM IN THE MID 70'S

BUT CHEEKS FIRING IS NOT A RACIAL ISSUE...HE DID NOT WIN. THIS WAS HIS FIRST HEAD COACHING GIG, AND IT SHOWED. ON-THE-JOB-TRAINING SHOULD NOT BE PART OF A NBA HEAD COACH JOB DISCRIPTION.

BTW, YOUR COMMENTS OF
"I suppose Cheeks went down to New Orleans and did some voodoo thing"
AND
"Mo Cheeks was a class act who (though probably wasn't seasoned enough to be the right guy to corral the bucking studs he had to coach)"
COULD BE THOUGHT OF AS RACIST, OR IGNORANT OF RACE RELATIONS.
IS THAT TOO POLITICAL CORRECT? DON'T THINK SO....IT IS THE 21ST CENTURY AFTER ALL.

These sportswriters are assholes 07.Mar.2005 14:04

fan

I finally cracked and wrote a pissed off letter to one of the Blazers writers for the Oregonian. He was still complaining about Rasheed Wallace. These asshole sportswriters drive me crazy! This guy did all he could to get people to hate Rasheed Wallace, then he finally got what he wanted, but he's still not happy! He's still writing worthless articles about how much he hates Rasheed Wallace. What do these guys know?

Rasheed Wallace did a lot more for the Blazers than any of these jackass sportswriters ever did.

Tonya? 07.Mar.2005 16:16

me

I once liked her for her Chutzpa, but she really is nothing to call a Portland treasure. She wants to be a sports hero, but she does everything in her power to promote her dysfunction. If you're interested in being a great female boxer, you don't spend your evenings smoking and drinking, you spend your days running and staying in shape. She coulda been a contender and for her misgivings I am truly regretful. I know she's had it tough, but so have others. She could still be irreverant and be great, but she chooses to be irreverant and irrelevant.

For a progressive view of sport 07.Mar.2005 17:28

Left fielder

Never mind these corporate windbag hacks who churn out pompous drivel.
For a progressive sports column read Dave Zerin at
 http://edgeofsports.com/
He also has a book coming out very soon called
What's My Name, Fool: sports and resistance in the United States (Haymarket Books)
 http://www.haymarketbooks.org/

Tonya a boxer? 07.Mar.2005 20:14

bill

Dear Me
You say that Tonya should be more motivated to be a boxer, but she is not a boxer, she is a figure skater. The last time she went down to Lloyd center to skate, the media clowns were there to harass her. Does she deserve to be persecuted and ridiculed all her life? No wonder she drinks...

Dear Bill 08.Mar.2005 07:53

me

Well, she was a skater, a damn good one, possibly one of the best with her triple axil, but she took the low, cheap road and then turned to boxing, now wrestling and has become a sideshow. The media persecuting her??? - They love her. She was drinking well before the media got hold of her. She had her chance of being the best. Believe me, I was among her best supporters, but she has turned her life into a freak show, not the media.

The main piece is off, but right 08.Mar.2005 13:50

who knows

I'm a journalist in town, and while I can't say much, I can say that Dwight James and the entire Trib staff is lost. The Tribune for the most part, follows other news publications leads, like the "O" and even rips off headlines like "Welcome Back Potter" from the local homeless paper. They are led around by City Hall insiders, like most journalists in this town, and in my opinion, won't last another 5 years. DJ has no class, and hasn't got a clue of what it takes to coach a professional b-ball team. It's one of many examples of why the Trib is sorry.

It's also been said, that's it's not the Trailblazers, it's this whitebread town. Nobody wants to come to Portland to face the "morally correct sports fans of this town." Wallace, Wells - Detroit, Memphis, please - who's the last one's laughing, not Dwight James...

Apologies To Lenny... Pity for Tonya... Respect for Mo... Derision for Dwight 08.Mar.2005 18:44

Anarchy-nonymous

I consider myself a good Blazer fun, but I honestly did not know Lenny Wilkins spent a term with Portland. You all who corrected me were right, I was wrong.

As for Tonya... I agree with "me." Tonya could have been the best, a national icon here in Portland. I also agree that she is an odd example of how a class-based society can eschew those at the bottom. If Tonya was born to the privilege of Nancy Kerrigan, people like Jeff Stone (his current name--don't go to his chain of tanning salons in Portland) would have never come within 100 yards of her. Life isn't fair or equal, and it's even less so when a Republican is in office, but we ultimately have to play the hand we're dealt. Tonya played from the bottom of the deck and got caught. Her career is a freak show of financial instability and Jeff Stone is local, white-trash glitterarchy because he sold his pictures of his skater-squeeze's twat to Penthouse. So much for fairness. She needs to find somebody who will manage her money well, then do a nude shoot on ice for Penthouse, and prepare for retirement.

And as for the "voodoo" comments, that was intentially meant to agitate some racial connotations, because I think Jaynes himself is very racist in how he backs white players and criticizes African-American players. Those who took exception missed the irony of the statement.

As for Mo... The wrong guy at the wrong time, because Whitsett felt he could keep John Lucas (the right choice at the time) on hold while he played the field. Whitsett counted wrong and, as he did with the Kemp trade, made matters worse by doing something rash to save his own ass. The irony is that after four season with the Blazers, Cheeks was finally starting to look like a good NBA head coach, and some other team will reap the reward for Portland's investment (as Indiana did for Jermaine O'Neil).

Which brings us to this sorry, self-aggrandizing, bald, fate, pud-scribe by the name of Dwight Jaynes. Not one once of class. Zilch. Thanks for those who told me he's an assistant exec editor or whatever, because at least I know why he get more than a half cent per word for his submissions. To "Who Knows", the journalist in this "whitebread" town's point, you are exactly right. People should remember, this is the PORTLAND Trailblazers, not the LAKE OSWEGO Trailblazers.

They actually should be called the Lake Oswego Trailblazers 09.Mar.2005 08:56

Will

I don't know of any Blazer that lives in Portland. They all live in suberbia.The practice facility is in Tualatin. The only thing Portland about the trailblazers is the Rose Garden, and they are only there 41 days of the year.