Skip to main content

The Story of Portland “Jail” Blazers - One of the most (dys)functional teams in NBA History

  • Author:
  • Publish date:
maxresdefault

During the early, to mid-2000s the Portland Trail Blazers were known as the Portland Jail Blazers. Players like Rasheed Wallace, Damon Stoudamire, Zach Randolph, Qyntel Woods, Darius Mieles, and Bonzi Wells ran into frequent problems with the law.

During his time with the Blazers, Rasheed Wallace regularly averaged over 30 technical fouls per season. In the 2000-2001 season, he logged 41 technical fouls, a record that still holds up to this day. He was charged for marijuana possession a couple of times and suspended for seven games in 2003 for threatening referee Tim Donaghy in an incident after the game.

Damon Stoudamire had a couple of marijuana charges as well. One of them famously happened at an airport in 2003 after he tried to pass through the metal detector carrying the weed wrapped in aluminum foil. He was suspended by the team and fined $250,000.

Then, Ruben Patterson remembered mostly for his off-court problems. In 2001 he pleaded guilty to attempting to rape the nanny; he was sentenced to 15 days of jail and labeled as a registered sex offender. He was convicted of misdemeanor assault by attacking a man who scratched his car outside of a nightclub.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Qyntel Woods was arrested for speeding and using his basketball card as an ID because he didn’t have his license. He was kicked off the team because of animal abuse — he was allegedly involved with a dog-fighting group.

Darius Miles and Bonzi Wells had problems with the coach Cheeks. In 2004, Miles verbally assaulted his coach with racial slurs, while Bonzi was also suspended for assaulting a coach but even physically assaulting a referee.

Zach Randolph had a wide range of accidents, including getting arrested with weed, physical assault, and DUI (driving under the influence). In 2003 he punched Patterson at practice and broke his face because, according to the other players, he hated how Patterson had always bullied the younger teammates.

In all that disfunction, they were still able to win 50 games in multiple seasons. (2000: 59-23, 2001: 50-32, 2002:49-33, 2003: 50-32). They made the conference final in 1999 and 2000. However, after 2003 they didn’t do so well anymore; rebranding was necessary, so they traded players such as Bonzi and Wallace.

The Golden State Warriors coach, Steve Kerr, played for Blazers in the 2001-2002 season. He recalled, “What a great experience that was. That was awesome. That might have been the most fun year I have ever had in NBA, to see the dysfunction. I had never seen it anywhere else.”

Grant Hill recalls competing against the original Dream Team

Grant Hill recalls beating the original Dream Team in a scrimmage game: "We already knew that no one would believe us if we told them"

Grant Hill reflects what it meant for him and other college players when they actually beat the original Dream Team before the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona in a scrimmage game

WWE star Logan Paul and Dwight Howard

WWE legend Triple H’s dare to Dwight Howard: “Be like Logan Paul, Bad Bunny, Tyson Fury”

Dwight Howard doesn't just want to be a run-of-the-mill professional wrestler.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett

"I’m still a Timberwolf until I die, as I am a Celtic" - Kevin Garnett addresses rift with Minnesota Timberwolves

Kevin Garnett is not in good terms with the Minnesota Timberwolves but his love for the city has never changed.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love

"It's a way to really challenge yourself" — Kevin Love talks about the hardest workout he's ever done

Kevin Love revealed the hardest workout he has ever done and it doesn't have anything to do with basketball.

BYU Cougars guard Jimmer Fredette shoots over San Diego State Aztecs forward Kawhi Leonard

“He said some things” — Jimmer Fredette on Kawhi Leonard's trash talk

En route to a 72-54 win, Kawhi Leonard approached Jimmer Fredette and talked smack to him.

lebron-james-boban-marjanovic-min

Boban Marjanovic doesn't think LeBron James is "the strongest player" in the league: 'It depends on what you measure'

Boban Marjanovic thinks it's impossible to hail LeBron James or anybody as the strongest player in the league there are a lot of factors to consider in measuring strength.

Yao Ming & Steve Francis

"It was me who was bothered by it" - Steve Francis on Yao Ming's transition to NBA

Steve Francis thought Yao Ming will succumb to the pressures of being an NBA star, but he was proven wrong.

Kobe-Bryant-Allen-Iverson

The Sixers reportedly almost drafted Kobe Bryant to team up with Allen Iverson in 1996

Drafting Kobe and AI in the same draft would've been the best draft a team had in NBA history.