Nate McMillan’s Efforts Undermined?
In fact, very little of Portland’s 122-110 loss to Minnesota was the fault of the Trail Blazers coach. Still, the record shows (Nate) McMillan as Saturday’s biggest loser. And be sure, in the end, it’s going to be his head on the platter, served up by a faction of selfish and disgruntled Blazers players who don’t give a rip.
Said one veteran: “You could spend a day in this locker room and you’d figure it out. Some guys really care. Others just want the season to be over.”
There are some hardworking players who still want to win. And there are loyal fans who want to see victories because they pay premium prices for tickets. And all of this is being undermined by a snickering, pouting, hollowed-out corner of the locker room that wants nothing more than to play out the final 29 games of this shortened season, collect a paycheck, and then, go on a vacation.
Before Saturday’s game, McMillan talked about the variety of ways in which he’s trying to motivate his players. He’s used video. He’s yelled at them. He’s practiced them, and given them extended rest. “Every day,” he said, “you’ve got to think about what you need to do to get them ready and motivated.”