April 30, 2003

Blazer's Coach Maurice Cheeks saves the day.: (From Metafilter)

posted by Joey Michaels to basketball at 01:18 PM - 14 comments

Reposted for you, vito90. An inspiring story which is maybe worth a discussion here. Also, watch the video!

posted by Joey Michaels at 01:20 PM on April 30, 2003

Oh man, I just can't watch that video. Everytime it gets to the point where she starts to screw up, I shut it down. I suffer from some sort of embarrassment-by-proxy and it just HURTS to see someone trying so hard and being embarrassed like that. But I think what Cheeks did was fantastic. I've seen clips where anthem singers have gone completely haywire and all that happens is snickering and laughing among the professionals on the sideline. The fact that he's a loving father is obvious when you see/read about what he did.

posted by grum@work at 01:54 PM on April 30, 2003

Way to go Mo! It's said really that such a class guy is saddled with the jailblazers. I have nothing against the team on its own, but how much can Portland put up with after going from a franchise full of somewhat classy and decent players to Rasheed et al.?

posted by trox at 02:12 PM on April 30, 2003

Okay, I was finally able to watch the whole clip. I can't imagine the horror that she felt when she realized she had screwed up on such a MASSIVE stage. But in the end, she's going to be remembered sweetly for persevering (and not bawling her eyes out). And it was good to see the crowd (while initially derisive) join in and help her along at the end. Bonus points for Maurice for not being patronizing, but just stepping in and helping her get back on track. And for the hug at the end and just walking back to the sidelines like nothing had happened (no waving, no thumbs up).

posted by grum@work at 02:38 PM on April 30, 2003

Totally classy. That poor kid is still going to be made fun of in school for the next five years, but what are you going to do? It would have been worse if it weren't for Cheeks.

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:53 PM on April 30, 2003

Thanks Joey, and thanks, Maurice. Reading the emails to the team about the incident I can't help but snicker at the number of people who praised the Blazer organization as a whole, calling them "classy". There are clearly alot of non-hoop fans that saw this on the evening news and know nothing about the true nature of the Blazer's team.

posted by vito90 at 02:59 PM on April 30, 2003

vito90: Just goes to show you how one truly classy act can overshadow, well, a whole bunch of not so classy acts. Nice to know that it isn't just the case that one bad apple spoils the bunch - one good apple can also make the bunch seem good. Man, awkward phrasing from me.

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:22 PM on April 30, 2003

Does anyone know if rumors about his possibly being let go after the season had any truth to them? Someone on the radio mentioned that he might have inadvertently saved his own job. Would the Blazers let him go after this? But wow, just read the article again and got chills for the second time. Twas a mighty grand act.

posted by pfuller at 03:24 PM on April 30, 2003

That was kinda moving. He did the right thing and saved the day for the girl, for which he deserves a lot of credit. He can't sing for toffee though.

posted by squealy at 03:42 PM on April 30, 2003

Rasheed Wallace is the guy the Trailblazers need to run out of town, not Cheeks. If they let Mo go they deserve everything bad thing that happens to them. Sorry Vito.

posted by kloeprich at 04:40 PM on April 30, 2003

"I just didn't want her to be out there all alone." That about says it all -- Mo did a right thing.

posted by mattpfeff at 04:41 PM on April 30, 2003

I was at the game and I can tell you that it was one of those incredibly awkward moments. She'd beat out a bunch of other singers American Idol style over the course of the season, and seemed to have some real talent. Within about a second of Cheeks walking up to her the crowd had started to help, and although it doesn't sound like it on any of the copies of the tape that I've seen we drowned both of them out in the end. Unfortunately, it was about the only good moment of the night. I love Portland, and I love going to Blazers games, but it's sad when the only person who shows any heart is the coach, and it's not for basketball, but for helping a little girl out of a spot no one would want to be in. Rumors of Trader Bob ditching Cheeks at the end of the season are running rampant up here. Most fans I know hope Paul Allen steps in and gets rid of Bob Whitsitt as a start instead... We all know he won't. He'll keep throwing money at players who don't deserve it, while Bob trades the ones that do away.

posted by togdon at 06:33 PM on April 30, 2003

That's so heart-warming it hurts -- as a parent I'm already prone to overwhelming sentimentality, but that video is like a Frank Capra movie. (The fact that one of our members was there is also cool.) That girl has been invited to perform again. You gotta think she'll ace it, now that she's been through the worst already. It would be a shame if Cheeks was fired after becoming a national hero. His nonchalant response at the end was a classic parenting technique: "this is not that big a deal; you did great." My mother did the same thing after my only cello recital in sixth grade, a performance so out-of-tune and audibly gruesome that people in the audience began to display signs of nausea.

posted by rcade at 06:44 PM on April 30, 2003

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