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Allen Finds Energy In A Challenging Season

02/04/10
  1. Written by: caseyholdahl  / avg. rating: 5.0



    Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen admits there have been tough times this season. The season-ending injuries sustained by Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla, along with Allen’s own battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, have made for some rough moments in a season that started with lofty expectations not seen since the days of Clyde and Terry.

    “We got bit by the injury bug this season,” said Allen. “That’s been a real challenge, but the heartening thing is a lot of the players have stepped up. The rookie players, they’ve done a good job.

    “Now we’re getting of the guys who were injured back. So it’s been a challenging season, but we’ve won some big games like the one we won (January 30th) in Dallas with Andre Miller having 52 points. I watched that on the edge of my seat like I’m sure a lot of Blazers fans did. So it’s been a challenging season, but I think a rewarding one.”

    Even through those heartbreaks, which has included all but five members of the team missing a significant number of games due to injury, Allen has found comfort in traveling to the Rose Garden to watch his team overcome the odds and remain in the Western Conference playoff race.

    “I really enjoy (going to the Rose Garden),” said Allen. “I talk to Nate (McMillan) before most games, go to the locker room afterwards. Those moments are all very special to me. Some of those times, especially early in fall, when I came, I didn’t have a lot of energy, so they really helped to reenergize me.”

    No one would blame Allen if he had chosen to sit out the season while undergoing chemotherapy, but more often than not, Allen can be found sitting on the baseline near the Trail Blazers bench. It’s possible the benefit of watching the team he has invested in so heavily, both financially and emotionally, has allowed Allen to get through some difficult days.

    “I’m doing much better,” said Allen. “I’m just about finished with my treatments, fingers crossed. Everything is going well so far. It’s been a challenging few months for me too.”

    Even through his own trying times, Allen has been able to step back and view the season with the perspective of someone who has seen the highs, lows and everything in-between through 20-plus years of ownership.

    “I think for me personally, the moment those injuries occur and you know someone is going to be out for the season or whatever, those are tough moments. The ups and down of individual games, I try to be philosophical about. I’ve been the owner for over 20 years now, so they hurt, but they don’t hurt for days like they did in the early times. I just try to keep the whole season in perspective.

    “Like any franchise we’ve gone through our ups and downs and we’re on the upswing now. That fan support and the feeling you get going to games. I think out in the community, the way the players can feel the support and the coaching staff, everybody feels the support of the entire community. That’s great.”

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