Z-Bo and Darius: Together Again

Now that the Blazers’ season is over, Zach Randolph and Darius Miles are back to the sort of thing they do the best: being involved in stories of strippers and gunplay.

I’m not even going to bother opining. I’ve said enough already.

Really, why are these guys still around?

And, really, I hope they aren’t next season.

13 Comments so far

  1. TKrueg (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 1:00 pm

    I know! Maybe Portland should ban strip clubs… make them illegal, to hell with the first amendment. Maybe we could ban handguns… to hell with the second amendment. At the very least, we can just do this until we run every black guy who likes sex and guns out of town. When they’re gone, we can revert back to the way it was: white guys who like sex, strippers and guns.

    Keep Portland white-ish!


  2. Daaaaave (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

    Someone should hook up Canzano with an interview for a job at A Current Affair or Hard Copy.

    Any of you MetBlogger nerds going to show up this time at the Timbers game tonight? 8 pm kickoff


  3. Rusty (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

    I like you, TK, I honestly do. But you always inject race into this, and I don’t know why.

    True, Z-Bo and Darius are black. So, every time I bring up their hijinx, I’m necessarily discussing the conduct of two people who happen to be black.

    But I’ve never identified the problem as race-related. I don’t think it is. It’s an issue of high-profile public figures who continually and repeatedly show up in bad situations that, often, happen to involve guns and/or strippers.

    If Steve Blake or Dan Dickau or Luke Schenster or Joel Przybilla were the ones involved in these repeated issues, I think I’d have the same reaction. If we were hearing about Portland Lumberjax or Timbers or Beavers or Winterhawks of the non-black persuasion being involved in repeated police-interest-contexts, I think I’d be discussing them. If Steve Nash were a Blazer, or Dirk, or any number of white or non-black NBA-er’s, and they got involved in lawsuits for raping people, had their guns showing up in repeated police contacts, were going to strip clubs in town during bereavement leaves while their team was playing 5 miles away, or were a cancer in the locker room, I’d be sick of them just as I’m sick of Z-Bo and Darius.

    Z-Bo and Darius aren’t bad black people. I don’t even know if they’re necessarily bad people. They’re just two guys that get involved way-too-often in bad things, and that’s why I don’t want them around anymore. To simply blame the whole thing on race is to avoid the conduct that’s so problematic, so often.


  4. Rusty (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

    daaaaaaaaaaaaave:

    I think I put too many A’s there, but it’s hard to keep track…

    Anyway, I’m still on the hook to come to a game, and I will. Really. Tonight I have a charity thing I’m going to, though…


  5. atlas (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

    Although I’ll be rooting for the Lakers next season, I do hope that when I check in on the Blazers that both Z-BO and Miles are gone, gone, gone.

    Oh dear, I just had a terrible thought… suppose the Lakers take up Z-BO. I would hope they have more sense than to hire the bloated has-been player that Z-BO is.

    I also really doubt Miles will ever truly play pro ball again… he may suit up someday but I would be surprised of any real contribution to this team or any other team.


  6. Daaaaave (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

    It’s not a race issue, it’s a lazy journalism issue. Two athletes reported by a bouncer to be somewhere in the vacinity of a gun going off. No one hurt, no information on what was going on…it’s the pinnacle of half-conjecture, half leave the rest up for the reader to fill in garbage that we have to swallow as credible reporting in this town. And it was at a strip club. Oooooooh, how tawdry.

    Sports news for the people who want to see what Paris Hilton’s up to on the headlines at cnn.com. Sports news for the Glenn Beck/Nancy Grace audience.


  7. Rusty (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 1:35 pm

    Daaave:

    Valid point. It’s a non-story, but for the fact that Z-Bo and Darius are related to it. Certainly it doesn’t involve any specific allegations or particular conduct on their part which can be pointed to as problematic. But, for those of us who were saying months ago (when the rape case and other stuff like that were going on) that if the team needed to get rid of Z-Bo and Darius to finish cleaning house, it certainly invites more criticism. And I don’t think the criticism is entirely unfair (though I concede it isn’t entirely fair on the same token).


  8. bec (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 3:02 pm

    ok- first off, i agree that zbo and darius need to get their legal issues in check. well- darius actually just needs to sign a retirement waiver and hightail it out of town. but zbo is not a “bloated has-been player”. in fact, he had all star numbers all year. i know that he’s not great on defense, but its hard to name more than a couple blazers who play much of that, anyway. point is- he’s a damn fine offensive-minded player just beginning to peak. he’s only 25, and he fought his way back from microfacture surgery to have a breakout year and get league-wide recognition. so criticize him for his civil suit, his dog-fighting buddies, or his love for strippers (which i still think is a cheap shot), but dont call him a has-been.


  9. stan (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

    To me an ideal Blazer team would not include either Randolph or Miles, but this cockamamy stripclub parking lot story is just dumb. So a couple of Blazer went to a strip club big frickin deal.

    Canzano just used this recent incident to dredge up all the past incidents.


  10. Rusty (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

    Bec:

    He’s an All-Star caliber player. Absolutely no doubt about it. We need to trade him while there’s some chance that teams will see the talent and ignore his history, allowing us to re-capture some value in return, before he has a more major slip-up (which, I’d argue, he’s about due for, given his history…).


  11. TKrueg (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

    Thank you DAAAAVE for illustrating my ongoing point about this town and our Blazers.

    Rusty- My reply is not to single you out as a racist. I’m sure you’re really not. But there is a lot that goes unquestioned in this town as it pertains to double standards, both for athletes and black folks.

    Unfortunately, much passes for conventional wisdom. As we’ve bantered about before, my contention is that Darius Miles has been demonized FAR beyond his actual guilt. Ditto for Zach. It’s a snowball effect… most people in this town know jack-squat about their Blazers, and Darius is so far gone in people’s minds, they can’t even point to anything he’s done besides yell at Coach Cheeks. (I’d probably do it too considering how poor of a coach he was. These are men being coached by men, not some high school team… I don’t see why two men can’t yell and argue if something isn’t right).

    The reality is, people make these judgments through perception. Darius is public enemy #1, why? He’s guilty of getting what every player wants (a fat contract) and not loving the game bad enough to match that money. That makes me pissed as a Blazers fan, but I don’t HATE the guy in absolute terms like so many writers, bloggers, radio personalities, and fans who frequently cite him as a ‘cancer’, ‘gang banger’, ‘ghetto boy’ or whatever.

    There is no reason to get so red faced about Zach and Darius. Oh yeah, they may be young and stupid sometimes, but that’s the price society plays for demanding premier athletes spend all their waking lives training rather than learning through living life. You take the good and you take the bad when people are paid ridiculous amounts of money to dribble a ball for a living. Frankly, I’m tired of our debate being determined by middle-aged white guys who feel threatened by young black men. Don’t tell me I’m imagining something… I f**king talk to people all the time, and there is definitely much latent racism that has dictated fan participation in Portland and elsewhere. And I can tell you it never ceases to shock me what passes for reason, and 9 times out of 10, there’s a generation AND race gap.

    When Don Imus and his sidekick got fired for saying “nappy headed hos” and “Jiggaboo”, it was comical/sad to hear all the conservative talk hosts blame ‘gangsta rap’ for setting the tone. In fact, I listen to Savage, Rush, Gibson on occasion (why I don’t know) and have been blown away by how blatantly racist they can be. And it’s then normalized for their predominantly middle-aged white guy audience, and I see the results all the time. When Imus got canned they panicked, knowing their transcripts would be scrutinized, knowing they had said things FAR worse, FAR more frequently. How these people can shun ‘gun culture’ in black America and encourage it in white America is beyond me. And what about the pursuit of wealth and how it’s perceived for each race? How about sex? It’s time to get real about this…


  12. Rusty (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

    TK: Didn’t think you were singling me out, I just think simplifying this into a black v. white issue is ignoring the fact that what Portland fans want are guys like the Blazers of the early 90’s, who played the game on the court, only showed up off-court in public service or community outreach settings, and who otherwise didn’t make waves.

    Guys like Brandon, LaMarcus, Travis Outlaw, Martell, and Freddie Jones appear to be.

    To say “there is no reason to be so red faced about Zach and Darius” is to ignore the littany of issues that have come up with both, whether it be Zach’s sucker-punching of Ruben, or Darius’ walk-offs from games before they’re over, or Zach’s (alleged) rape scenario and the tawdry details surrounding it, or Darius’ yelling at the coach (which may not be a big deal to you, but it certainly is to others) to Z-Bo’s gun showing up in various places (including his drunken buddy’s hands at — surprise! — a strip club), to Darius porking up by 40 pounds when the team has hired him a trainer to … well, if you don’t get the point, you’re not going to.

    The fact is that, whatever their talent level and however bad you perceive their behavior to be, the ultimate fact is that the Blazers are trying to shrug a certain image that was cultivated (and not just in the eyes or Portlanders) over the course of several years, and to get the monkey all the way off of their back they need to get rid of these two people who, despite the fact they may be very nice, keep on showing up in situations that fans, management, the coach, and most of the other players (I’d wager) would rather they not show up in.


  13. TKrueg (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 5:17 pm

    Rusty-

    Re: Darius – I’d much rather he was gone too, along with his fat contract and his newly fat ass. I also realize that on the character spectrum, DMiles rates less favorably than many new Blazers. But I also understand the Blazers are behind the 8-ball, and even if it is their fault for giving him that contract, the reality is it will be hard to be rid of. As a city and as fans, we’ve already bemoaned that fact ad naseum. So… what if Miles does rehab his knee and decides he’s not done with basketball? Since he was never comfortable being a leader, he could contribute at the 3, especially if we trend toward the run and gun offense.

    Not saying it’s likely or not, just saying it’s possible since he’s displayed a recent willingness to be a part of the team. Remember how high the town was on Miles just before the Blazers threw crazy money at him? They did that because fans liked his play on the court and they felt a little pressure to retain a popular player. Maybe that can be him again, at least in the way fans have a love-hate relationship with Zach and his 24-and-10 numbers.

    Rusty, you admit/realize that Zach and Miles are fairly tame compared with past Jail Blazer culprits (including Jerome Kersey and his penchant for 15 year-old Utah groupies??) but claim the Blazers still need 100% squeaky-cleanness in order to finally move on. Excuse me for saying, but I think it’s you that needs to move on. You’re ignoring the fact that the Blazers, especially Zach, have nearly pulled a 180 in one or two short years, in terms of character, effort, hunger, and HOPE. And yet you’re not willing to ‘buy in’ as a fan, simply because you still carry this silly grudge around?

    You need to get real. There are all-stars around this league that do things far worse than Zbo or Miles ever do, but somehow they are bulletproof. There are also plenty of all-stars that don’t play defense for shit. Zach was the only person to average 24 and 10, and yet he didn’t get a single vote for all-NBA. Instead of tearing this guy down and playing chicken little every time he sneezes, we should be marveling at how far he’s come since surgery and how hard he’s worked to get there. Getting recognition around the league would only help the entire team build momentum (see: Roy, Alderidge).

    It’s like Miles and Zach have the ability to turn grown men into whiny little hand-wringers over tales of sex, guns and alcohol. As if it doesn’t exist in every part of society with acceptance. Man up and be a fan for chrissakes.



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