Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jason Quick takes heat for honesty

As most of you know, Portland is a pretty small and tight sports media market. But recent comments on Blazers center Greg Oden by The Oregonian's Jason Quick, who covers the Blazers, have drawn the ire of Blazer fans and some local and national media.

Quick's comments, which can be heard here, have really upset some of the Rose City faithful and caused some strong reaction on national blogs like The Big Lead and Deadspin, as well as dominate the local, and obviously slow, sports media scene. Even Kornheiser and Wilbon brought the story up today on Pardon the Interruption.

I do not know Jason Quick, although his work is has been praised by everyone I know who consistently label him as "the best NBA beat writer in the nation".

What fans do not realize in situations like this, is that Jason Quick does not work for the Portland Trail Blazers. Although this market is small, and friendly it does not mean that there is only going to be one voice about every issue.

Sometimes it is tough to separate all of the media entities here. You have Mike Barrett being interviewed on Canzano's radio show, Dwight Jaynes doing post-game shows for Comcast, and Quick doing his thing every gameday on the 1080 the fan show.

Sometimes, especially when the Blazers are doing well on and off the court, the voices all sound unified and I think that confuses fans who might assume that all the media want the same thing the average Blazer fan does.

Jason Quick, just like Canzano, should not write or say what Blazer fans want to hear. He should be honest, ethical and fair.

In this incident, he might have chosen his words more carefully but what he said was honest and even the most die-hard Blazer fans know it.

Watch Oden on the court. He plays without passion and enthusiasm. When he does get an opportunity to dunk the ball, which is about the only good thing he is doing on offense right now, he takes his frustration out on the rim.

I do not know what the future holds for Oden.

But my suspicion is, at some point he will receive much harsher criticism than Quick's recent comments. If the Blazers continue to improve Oden will be spotlighted by national media either for the good or for the bad.

If he fizzles out with an injury or other problems the criticism will only get worse. Do you think Sam Bowie goes anywhere without people reminding him about his shortcomings?

I applaud Quick for giving an honest answer about a difficult subject. Furthermore Blazer fans should be grateful to have someone covering the team that does a good job reporting because if there was ever a need for someone to keep the organization accountable, it would be Jason Quick who would do it first.

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