X

Portland Trail Blazers: Locker Room Riddled with Turmoil and Chaos

Kristian Winfield@@KrisWinfield_Correspondent IIIMarch 5, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 15:  Head coach Nate McMillan of the Portland Trail Blazers argues a call during their game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on February 15, 2012 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

For some, losing weighs equally heavy on the mind as it does on the heart.

That proved evident in the Portland Trail Blazers' 122-110 home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, with tempers rising high in the locker room after the game.

The Oregonian's John Canzano summed it up best:

Joel Przybilla was ticked after the game, and bee-lined to the locker room from the bench like a guy thinking, "I came back ... FOR THIS?!?" Gerald Wallace was so angry that he slammed over a large recycling bin in the arena tunnel, out of sight of fans, spilling paper and plastics that had to be picked up by some poor guest services guy in a red vest. Jamal Crawford sat by his locker, with a blank expression and said, "It gets old."

Keep those guys.

Keep Nic Batum, too. And LaMarcus Aldridge. And Elliot Williams and Wesley Matthews. Those guys want to win, too. But after that, it's trade bait.

Seeing some type of emotion out of this listless group of guys is a sign of good things to come, but it doesn't seem like there's much of it among them.

Factor in the quickly approaching trade deadline and owner Paul Allen's tendency to pull the trigger on deadline deals, and you've got a turbulent locker room with the Blazers' season hanging in the balance.

What's worse is that the same turmoil causing chaos in the locker room is extending up to the front office, as HoopsWorld's Yannis Koutroupis tweeted:

"Was just told by a source that Portland's turmoil extends up to the front office. Teams aren't sure who to talk to about potential trades."

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 21:  LaMarcus Aldridge #12, Gerald Wallace #3, Nicolas Batum #88 and Marcus Camby #23 of the Portland Trail Blazers celebrates their 97-92 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

After firing GM Rob Cho midway through last season (after he orchestrated the deal that brought Wallace to Portland), Allen has yet to hire a full-time general manager, allowing Chad Buchanan to run the show as the interim for the time being.

Canzano also addressed this issue via Twitter:

"Big question for Blazers organization... Who do you call if you want to make a deal with Portland?"

CSNNW.com is reporting that the Lakers are rumored to be interested in a deal for Raymond Felton that would send ex-Blazer Steve Blake back to Portland. Sports Illustrated is reporting that the Clippers are rumored to be interested in acquiring Jamal Crawford, but neither negotiations are said to have gotten off the ground.

But to cap it all off, the blame isn't being placed on inconsistent play, nor has it been placed on poor front office management or wallowing team defense.

Coach Nate McMillan, who's averaged 51 wins per season between 2008 and 2011 with an injury-riddled roster, is receiving the bulk of the scrutiny that comes with losing.

On March 4th, Canzano tweeted:

"Veteran Blazers player tells me there are some in the locker room working against Nate McMillan."

From the locker room to the front office, the Portland Trail Blazers are doomed. Maybe years of failed expectations are finally catching up to them.

Or maybe the loss of Brandon Roy, who was the voice of the locker room and the leader on the court (especially where the Blazers hurt most this season, which is down the stretch when they need a bucket), is a bigger issue than we all thought.

Either way, the Trail Blazers need a trade to salvage this season, and if they choose not to do so, they'll be starting fresh after contracts expire in the offseason.

Kristian Winfield is a Featured Columnist for the Portland Trail Blazers on the Bleacher Report.

 TwitterButtons.org

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.