Wednesday, 28 July 2021 09:28

Going Limp

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PORTLAND, OR (AP) - The Portland Lumberjacks sit at 16-54 with less than a dozen games left and despite how dismal this season is, if they did not win one more game, they would still not have had the worst season in franchise history.  That dubious honor goes to the 2021 Lumberjacks who had some players go on to a much higher profile - Jesse Yoshida and Ronald Richardson topping the list.  With as bad as the season has been, the sole consolation is that the new management has not traded away their first round pick so there is some consolation prize (such that it is) for having to endure such a dismal season.  With fan attendance at an all time low (26% arena capacity on average), one has to wonder if this is the beginning of the end of Portland's basketball experiment.

 

"Warning signs were present last season," said Portland's interim GM, "Attendance was 39.1% and that's not even the low point in franchise history... that's reserved for '23 when fans only filled Joe Mufferaw to 23.4%."  Despite that, the profit margins for nearly the past decade have been consistently double digits.  This year may break that chain though as bloated contracts combine with absentee fans have the Lumberjacks staring at a -$13mil hole.   The sole hope of keeping the Lumberjacks afloat for another season rest on the league's revenue sharing program which raises the typical "why should we be forced to carry a dying franchise" arguments from other owners whose teams manage to remain profitable.  League insiders say that an ownership group based out of New Orleans has been making noise about their desire to bring an OBWL team to the Big Easy but when the (then) Dragoons pulled roots from Ft. Worth  they landed in York to become the Labradors, that rumor seemed to have no substance.  Fast forward, one year later, the same whispers are back and, this time, they involve the Lumberjacks.



At a recent rally meant to support the team, a large section of diehard fans were passing out paper bags which fans wore on their heads chanting "Help our Kendall" during the event.  They were ushered away but not before disrupting the entire event (not that there were many other fans in attendance to begin with) and local press caught up with one of the organizers of the disruption who preferred to remain anonymous, "This season is a joke and it's obvious that everyone on the team has just given up and gone limp.  Noel Black isn't an answer and you've got Kendall going one on five every game.  It's a joke and he's not going to want to say around here if we don't get him some help.  He's a star... no, an ALL star and he deserves to have talent around him.  It's the least this team can do for condemning him to play here."

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