Box & One With Nate McMillan

By Wesley Chism Jr.
Updated: April 1, 2008

SEATTLE — The Portland Trailblazers are going to be a team to be reckoned with sooner than later. The lost of first round draft pick, Greg Oden, definitely put a damper on things and so the dreaded curse lives on.

Despite it all, the Blazers managed to put together a few great runs this season and at the present moment are sitting on a 38-36 season. A lot of credit goes to Coach Nate McMillan and how has put his stamp on this team and the players have responded.

“When we step on the court this team is prepared to compete with anyone in the league”, said McMillan.I’m not about to make any excuses for what would could’ve done this season if Greg was in the lineup.”

“The most important thing that we stress to our team is understanding what is expected of them every time they step on to the court and executing the game plan to the best of their ability,” he added.

Portland has the youngest rooster in the league but they’ve grown up very fast this season. “Good things have to happen for you to win games and they way these guys step up to the plate is more than I could’ve asked for”, said McMillan.

Second year guard/forward, Brandon Roy has had a great year and was selected to the NBA All-Star team. “Brandon is a very coachable player and he has been good for this organization and has been great for the league”, added McMillan.

He has a great desire to learn and truly wants become better player. I believe that he’s only just begun to scratch the surface of what he’s capable of doing.”

I can’t even imagine what this team is going to do next year with Greg Oden in the lineup, it’s scary! What I can tell you is that this man has got muscles. I mean the kind of muscles that you get from being in prison!

“Oh, yes, we are excited about having Greg join us and outlook for this organization is bright”, said McMillan.

Martel Webster and Travis Outlaw have had a superb season. I also feel that LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the most improved players in the league.” The Trailblazers have got a lot to build upon and will be right in the thick of things this time next year.

NOTE: McMillan, a former Seattle Super Sonic great, whose jersey hangs in the rafters shared these thoughts about the team moving to Oklahoma:.

“It’s a very difficult situation to see and it is surreal. It just doesn’t seem like anything like this could be happening. In the 90’s, we had a great fan base that was committed and loyal. We played for the NBA Championship and to see what has transpired just doesn’t make sense to me.”