04 May 2009
It didn’t take long for Channing Frye to fall in love with Portland when he first arrived two summers ago.Dude became a cult hero like that. Makes it that much tougher knowing this season may have been Frye’s last with the Blazers.
During the course of the season, I often touched base with Frye about what he thinks his long term future will be with the Blazers. Since we have some history together, I figured he’d at least give me the straight dope.
If he didn’t want to go there, he didn’t have to. But he went there last November after learning Portland opted to extend Martell Webster's contract, but not Channing's. Frye went there again briefly prior to the start of Game 5 against Houston here in Portland.
Sitting at his locker, we talked about his first playoff experience (he actually said he prefers the “physical” play of the postseason) and how he’s keeping tabs on some of his boys in the playoffs – Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala, Jason Terry with Dallas and of course the Lakers Luke Walton…because that’s how those Arizona guys roll.
With Frye, it’s hard not to talk about the days in New York – since we were both there and witnessed the drama daily. Channing lived it. I just had to write about it. It's funny though - we both say the same thing about those days with the Knicks: "it was never about basketball."
That’s why Channing loved coming to Portland. It was the chance for him to get back to basketball.
Once the topic changed to what his plans were going to be regarding free agency, I couldn’t help but flashback to the conversation we had seven months ago.
“For me, I want to show them what I can be and show my worth to this team,” he said then.
Try and try, the show wasn't exactly Oscar worthy. More like straight to video. Portland needs more out of that slot behind LaMarcus Aldridge. And they’ll go get it somehow, someway this summer.
Don’t confuse who Channing is as a player with who he is as a person though.
There is a difference between the person and his profession. Said this before and I will say it again about Frye: if he were a cliché, he would be “good guys finish last.” He’s easily one of the best quotes around the league, and those of us who chat him up know exactly what I’m talking about.
That doesn’t always translate to the court neccessarily.
I’ve felt this way for some time - and said it more times then not – but I don’t believe that Channing will continue to call Portland home after this summer.
I may be wrong. But I don’t think so.
pic via: zimbio
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