Derrenmatts from Celtics Green contacted mookie, the owner of Rose Garden Blog, to get a Blazers' fan's analysis of Sebastian Telfair. He sent back a great piece which I have included for you below. Excellent analysis from a fan who watched him in his first 2 years!
When Sebastian Telfair entered the league, he was seen as that next great NYC point guard. He had the pedigree of following his cousin Stephon Marbury into the L and coming out of Lincoln High, he’d already been hyped by no less than SLAM Magazine as a prodigy to watch. Understandably, when Portland drafted Bassy with the 13th pick in the 2004 Draft, the fans were excited. There was a lot of uncertainty attached to Telfair, but there was a truckload of excitement. And excitement was what Portland desperately needed at that point. After being a perennial playoff team, 2003-04 was the first non-playoff season in a very long time (since 1982) – the longest playoff run in professional sports was broken and the fans wanted something to cling to as a hope for the future.
2004-05 : Stand clear - Rookie Superstar in training
Telfair certainly was not thrown in at the deep end. More than that, he had both Damon Stoudamire and Nick Van Exel manning the point during his rookie season, meaning that the weight of expectations did not fall on him in the same way as if a team like the Clippers or Magic had drafted him. Bassy provided some exciting moments that rookie season – he even started 26 of his 68 games. There were moments where he would fly at what seemed a million miles an hour, only to collide with a brick wall of defenders and turn the ball over. Equally there were moments where you would see the spark of what we were hoping for, as he would streak to the basket and throw a playground style behind-the-back pass to a perfectly positioned teammate. All of these highs and lows were taken with a grain of salt. He was a rookie and everyone was happy to accept the learning process.
2005-06 : The handcuffs are off – this is your team Bassy
In Bassy’s second year in Portland , suddenly there was no more Stoudamire, no more Van Exel. It was clear that the Blazers’ management was making a statement. The future of the team was to revolve around Telfair at the point and his apprenticeship was now over. Every pundit in the nation predicted a massive season for Bassy on the back of a very good final month of his rookie year. He was handed the reigns as starter – but even during the pre-season it was apparent that things were not going to be as smooth as hoped. Telfair was still prone to the occasional crazy turnover or poor decision – and his FG% was appalling. Coach McMillan did have some other options. Steady but unexciting Steve Blake had been brought in as insurance and there was also rookie Jarrett Jack to be groomed for the future. The end result was a point guard by committee scenario in Portland .
Telfair started 30 games in 05-06, only 4 more than his rookie season. Blake got the majority of the burn with 57 starts and Jack started 4. There were definite signs of increased maturity in Bassy during the season. His turnovers per 48 minutes reduced from a monstrous 4.51 as a rookie to 3.36 last season. The overwhelming factor for fans watching Bassy – as far as I can guage -- is frustration. The guy has so much potential. We’re all behind him, urging him on. There are three things I can say without a doubt about Telfair: he is a natural passer and point guard, he can ignite a team with his lightning pace and flashy skills and he has nowhere near reached his potential as yet.
Not long after Bassy was traded to Boston , I asked the question on the Oregonian’s Blazers Forum (which was also re-published at SLAM Online), “Will you be bitter if Bassy succeeds?” The overwhelming response from Blazer fans was NO. On the contrary, we want to see him do well – we can see the potential there for a very, very good NBA player. I stop short of using the term ‘greatness’ as I don’t think he has provided solid signs as yet of deserving that moniker, but the boy will bring a totally different tempo and identity to Boston – that is for sure. Portland may not have been the place for him. There is no doubting that there have been some poor locker-room influences around in Telfair’s two years with the team. A change of scenery may lead to a career for Bassy somewhat emulating that of his cousin. source: mookie - The Rose Garden Blog
Thanks Mookie. We're expecting Telfair to make a difference in Boston. I'm glad that you guys don't have any hard feelings towards him. Telfair did say that it was tough leaving Portland. Seems like his experience there has been a good one.
Maybe a change of scenary, more in the east coast vein, will do him good. Plus in an uptempo environment, he should feel more at home.
Mookie, I think one day we will indeed meet your Blazers in the Finals. You guys have a lot of good young talent who will hopefully live up to their talents. I followed Jarret Jack while he played for GTech and I think he's going to turn out to be a very solid PG (reminds me of a more athletic Sam Cassel). LaMarcus Aldridge has double double potential and he's likely to be one of the more athletic big men in the NBA. Of course, Brandon Roy has the making to be a solid pro, even from his very first year in the league. Zach Randolph is already an impact player and if he can ditch his negative vibe, he'll be much more appreciated. And of course Martell Webster we are familiar with. He and our Gerald Green are grouped together because of their ties in the 2005 draft. Some experts say that Webster is like Paul Pierce. But IMO, he's more like Michael Finely. Either way, he could turn out to be a key player for your spuad.
Good luck to your team this season. We'll be checking in on Raef and Dickau periodically.