The Ruder Reality: A letter to Sheed

Dear Sheed,

I miss you.

I realized it the other night while watching you play againstJermaine and the Pacers.

Things were great right after you got traded to Detroit. No moreJailblazers. No more bad press. Good team chemistry.

But the novelty of the new “clean” Trailblazers wore off fasterthan the high from that cheap weed Damon got busted for. Honestly,things just haven’t been the same without you.

First off, congrats on making the Eastern Conference Finals.

I’ve got to admit, I was a little shocked to see youguaranteeing a victory over the best team in the conference. I’dhave never guessed media-hating Sheed would bust out a Joe Namathimpersonation.

Yeah, I probably should have figured out that being in Detroithad made you a new man when I read a full, three-sentence quotefrom you the other day. More amazingly, it didn’t even includeallegations of league-wide racism or exploitation!

Jeez, a few more of those during your stay in Portland and youwould have been right up there with Bill and Clyde in the Blazerpantheon.

I’m sure you noticed that our Blazers didn’t make the playoffsfor the first time in 20 years. You probably even took somesatisfaction in watching them come up short, telling yourself thathad you been here, you could have provided that little extra to getus over the hump.

They had some “good games” after you left, even a few where”both teams played hard.” But there was something lacking withoutyou to tell us, “It was a good game. Both teams played hard.”

Those were the days, eh?

Without you things have really gone downhill.

20 years of playoffs and now we’re supposed to get excited abouta bunch of ping-pong balls in a popcorn popper? Just so we candraft some snot-nosed punk fresh out of his high school prom?

No thanks.

That’s like breaking off a relationship with Cameron Diaz for afling with that skank from “The Simple Life” … no, not the onewith the sex video … the one Lionel Ritchie rescued from “ThePlanet of the Apes” backlot.

Now you feel me.

The other day the Blazers had a 7-foot-3-inch 18-year-old Koreankid try out for the draft.

I’m not making this up.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, they’re actually consideringdrafting Luke Jackson – you know, the oversized-Frodo look-a-likefrom U of O? Yeah, him.

We never had to worry about being bored when you were here. Youalways had some hilarious gag up your sleeve.

Remember the time you pegged your teammate in the head with abasketball during practice and then ran off the floor laughingwhile he crumbled to the floor?

Or what about the time you threw a towel in Arvydas’ face duringa game?


That time you got pulled over with Damon for smokin’ up in whilespeeding down the highway after a game was pretty good too, buthonestly, my favorite memory will always be your record breaking2000-20001 season.

No one thought that one angry man could get 41 technical foulsin one season, but you proved ’em wrong! Not only that, but you didit with style – ejections, fights, cursing. WWE wrestling hadnothing on you.

When you left Blazers management said Zach would step in to fillyour shoes. Who were they kidding?

Despite all the talent, he’s just a petty felon with apropensity for punching nanny-raping teammates in the face.Boring.

The fact is, nobody can fill your shoes.

That’s why I’m begging you … come back to Portland nextyear.

Your contract is up. You’re a free agent. You’re in charge.

I know you said you felt like “public enemy number one,” but nowthat Neil has gone down – er, been busted – you don’t need to worryabout it.

In addition to your family already being here, let’s face it,where else in the U.S. could a guy like you get a top rated radioshow? OK, scratch that.

Still, like you said on your website, you will always be”Portland’s NBA favorite.”

If Paul can’t find a few million lying around the house (or theyacht, or the Rose Garden suite, or the apartment…) I’d be gladto “CTC” for you.

Rip City forever,
The City of Portland