MAILBAG (PART 2): Trade Deadline Plans and Fanbase Temperature on the Trail Blazers’ Rebuild
Plus, plans for Ibou Badji, and were the Gary Payton II situation and Lillard's trade request linked?
I opened part one of this mailbag column earlier in the week by talking about the depressing-but-unsurprising news that the once-great Sports Illustrated got caught using AI to invent fake authors to churn out SEO bait. I talked about how seeing what’s happened to many legacy media outlets only made me feel validated in my decision 18 months ago to get out of that game entirely and try to do this on my own.
When I wrote that, I was just talking about my own feelings on it. I know anyone doing what I’m doing is working at a disadvantage when it comes to exposure. One of the things that can’t be replaced when you’re not working for a major outlet is the firehose to get your work out to more people. More than half the battle, I’ve found, is in making people aware that you even exist.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I woke up yesterday, opened up “X, The Platform Formerly Known As Twitter” on my phone, and saw this:
When you’re not in the newspaper or magazine game, these sorts of awards aren’t something you think about a lot. I am a member of the NSMA, and I am of course aware that they do state-by-state awards for Sportscaster and Sportswriter of the Year, but it’s never crossed my mind that it was something I might get nominated for, especially not being affiliated with a major outlet.
I’ve never been a big self-promoter (I probably should do it more) and I’m terrible at taking compliments, so it was a little uncomfortable yesterday when I started getting texts from friends and colleagues congratulating me for being nominated. But I won’t lie and say it isn’t pretty cool to be recognized in this way, alongside five other people who I can honestly say are all friends and people whose work I respect immensely.
It also tells me that people are connecting with the work that I’m doing, which is a great feeling. Those of you who have thought my work is worth giving me your money for, I can’t thank you enough.
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Anyway, let’s get to why you’re actually here: part two of the latest Trail Blazers mailbag. The first part went out a few days ago. This one covers the trade deadline, Ibou Badji, Gary Payton II and more.
I know we’re still a bit of a ways out considering it’s not even December so might be a moot point, but I’m curious if you have any sense roster-wise what could potentially transpire the closer we approach the deadline? We obviously knew this team wasn’t going to win many games and I would assume even less now with all the injuries. With that being said, do you think Joe Cronin and staff will elect to stand mostly pat at the deadline to let things play out as guys get healthy or do you think they’ll be more active in that space to acquire either draft capital / young wing/forward?
- Shane L.