First off, reading material from the Fan Fest:
- Ben over at BE drops a monster recap.
- Sheed from Bust a Bucket with his thoughts.
- Joe Freeman of the Oregonian with this article on it and observations afterwards.
I’m not going to lie, even if I wasn’t there last night, it’s getting more difficult to not get swept up into the hype associated with this season. I think Blazermania might be stronger than the swine flu right now. We’re talking about 16,000+ for a scrimmage!! Color me impressed Rip City. Although is it bad that the cynic in me is wondering how many of these are bandwagon fans and how many of them will be looking to jump off on the first 2-game losing streak? Yeah, it is.
Things I’m taking away from the Fan Fest.
- The crowd chanting for LaMarcus to get signed. If anything this makes me way more confident/happy about this LMA contract situation. For one, it takes away any concerns I had about LMA taking this the wrong way, as if its a slight and feeling ‘unwanted’. So well done there Blazer fans. I’ll take a happy/hungry LaMarcus in a contract year.
- Batum is turning into a bad, bad man.
- Martell Webster appearing to be back. All the reports of his on-court play are great, but these quotes from Joe Freeman’s observations that I linked above are what made me the most excited:
“I’m just going out there and having fun, really,” Webster said. “Whatever the result is after this training camp, it’s great either way, no matter who gets the starting position.
“I hope (Batum) gets it. Honestly. To tell you the truth, I hope he gets it. I think he’d be a great starter on this team. For me, it’s just about making sure I’m ready when my name is called, whether that be starting or coming off the bench. Either way we have two phenomenal units. I’m excited to play with either one.”
Freeman already had that part in bold so I had to keep it. Just a hell of a quote. The devil’s advocate in me wants to say ‘he’s just saying the right things’ but Martell’s never really said these kind of things before. If you remember one of the biggest concerns surrounding Martell’s game was his mental mindset. It seems as if he’s in the right place, and honestly could Batum’s emergence have been the best thing for Martell Webster’s career? Stick with me now, Batum being as good as he is will continue to push Martell to get better (something I was concerned about, it seemed he was settling into a niche as a spot shooter) while also taking some of the pressure off of him. We need Martell to be great but not as much as before. I think it’s quite the luxury if you ask me.
- Rudy Fernandez just might be able to shoulder more of the offensive load.
- Juwan Howard might be a better pickup than I ever would have thought and trust me typing this sentence scares the hell out of me.
Let’s hope all of this isn’t too good to be true.