"THE LONG, HOT WINTER: A Year in the Life of the Portland Trail Blazers" by Rick with Dwight Jaynes Adelman

"THE LONG, HOT WINTER: A Year in the Life of the Portland Trail Blazers"

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Coach Adelman of basketball's talent-rich Portland Blazers, aided by a reporter for the Portland Oregonian, offers a diverting but relatively dry game-by-game diary of his team's 1990-91 season. As defending Western Conference champs, Portland was favored to win it all last year. But while emphasizing defense and a ""free-form offense"" and passing game that allowed them to rack up 63 wins, the most in the league, the Blazers faltered in the playoffs, losing to the L.A. Lakers in the conference finals. ""We just collapsed,"" Adelman says. As he recounts the season from October training through June playoffs, including capsule accounts of almost every game, he sings consistent praises of his team, elaborating his philosophy that a coach should realistically concentrate on what a player can do. While generally avoiding controversy, Adelman does criticize NBA officiating, particularly that of Jake O'Donnell: ""For whatever reason,"" Adelman says, ""we seem to have a problem with him."" The coach addresses contract negotiations and player squabbles, such as Yugoslavian Drazen Petrovic's trade demand (eventually granted), in the same evenhanded, lukewarm manner, though he gives his late-season media feud with former Blazer star Bill Walton a lengthy, petulant rehash. Given their terrific regular season, which climaxed in a 16-game winning streak, the Blazers' playoff performance can only be termed disappointing, but Adelman stoutly looks to next year: ""We can win with the twelve players we have on our team right now,"" he says. While not without some interest to all basketball fans, this paean to the Portland team will play best in the Northwest.

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 1992
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster