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Jail Blazers: How the Portland Trail Blazers Became the Bad Boys of Basketball by [Kerry Eggers]

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Jail Blazers: How the Portland Trail Blazers Became the Bad Boys of Basketball Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 110 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“One of the great cult teams in NBA history deserves its own book (and, for that matter, movie). Eggers is the perfect chronicler and he delivers with (pardon the pun) this blunt retelling. The anecdotes—equally maddening and comical—capture an era. But the larger story—enablers, unaccountability, and the corrosive influence of money—is timeless.”
—Jon Wertheim, executive editor, Sports Illustrated

“You will want to read Jail Blazers ever so slowly. So many delectable details to digest and savor. So much was news to me.”
—Peter Vecsey, the first national NBA columnist, NBC/TNT/NBA-TV analyst

“The Jail Blazers—a team and an era we're not likely to ever see again in any self-respecting professional sports league. It was a constant tightrope walk between comedy and tragedy. Kerry Eggers’s exhaustive research brings it all back in an incredible saga of a franchise gone wrong. Whether you are a Trail Blazer fan or not, this book will amaze you.”
—Dwight Jaynes, digital editor/on-air host, NBC Sports Northwest

“A comprehensive look at one of the darkest eras of Trail Blazers basketball, which is enriched by extensive interviews from many of the key characters. Jail Blazers even unearths some untold stories and scenes that will remind just how wild and crazy the ride was for Trail Blazers' fans.”
—Jason Quick, The Athletic

“Kerry Eggers provides excellent, in-depth, never-before-told events that occurred during the Jail Blazer era. This book is a must-read for sports fans who crave unfiltered, behind-the-scenes details about a group of talented, volatile players that shaped history.”
—Chris Haynes, senior NBA insider, Yahoo! Sports

About the Author

Kerry Eggers is a sportswriter who has covered Portland sports for more than forty years, writing for the Portland Tribune since its inception in 2001. He is a five-time winner of the Oregon Sportswriter of the Year Award and has covered major sporting events throughout his career, including the Summer Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, and NBA Finals to name a few. He is the author of six books, including Blazers Profiles, Clyde the Glide, and The Civil War Rivalry: Oregon vs. Oregon State.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07D2XF5RZ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sports Publishing (November 20, 2018)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 20, 2018
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 7884 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 506 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 110 ratings

About the author

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Kerry Eggers wrote sports for Portland newspapers for 45 years. He worked for the Oregon Journal from 1975-82, at The Oregonian from 1982-2000 and at the Portland Tribune from 2001-2020. Eggers is a six-time the National Sports Media Association’s Oregon Sportswriter of the Year, winning in 1981, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2011 and 2018.

Through his career, Eggers covered a variety of major events, including two Summer Olympic Games, four Super Bowls, a World Series, two major-league All-Star Games, five College World Series, two national championship football games, three Davis Cup ties, a golf U.S. Open, a Pro Bowl, six track and field Olympic trials and many NBA Finals and NBA All-Star games.

Eggers is past president of Track & Field Writers of America and recipient of the Jesse Abrahamson Award as the nation’s top track and field writer. In 2014, he was honored with the “DNA Award” — recognizing “extraordinary passion and dedication to sport in Oregon” — at the Oregon Sports Awards.

He has written eight books: Blazers Profiles (1991), Against the World (1993, with co-author Dwight Jaynes), Wherever You May Be: The Bill Schonely Story (1999), Clyde “The Glide” Drexler: My Life in Basketball (2004), Oregon State University Football Vault (2009), The Civil War Rivalry: Oregon vs. Oregon State (2014) and Jail Blazers: How the Portland Trail Blazers Became the Bad Boys of Basketball (2018). His latest book, “Overcoming the Odds: How Jerome Kersey Blazed a Trail from Virginia to the NBA” — which was released in September 2021.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
110 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2018
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By Rick Shaq Goldstein on November 27, 2018
Imagine how heartbreaking it is… when you order a book you want to read 6-7 months before it’s to be officially released… then for some unknown reason it is delayed… without explanation… for weeks upon weeks… upon weeks. Then when you finally receive the book… you can’t even make it to the “beginning”… of the first chapter without there being a major mistake. On the fourth page of the INTRODUCTION… the author in referencing the Los Angeles Lakers team facing the Portland Jail Blazers (i.e. Trail Blazers) in the 2000 Western Conference NBA finals… states “The Lakers advanced to the NBA Finals, where they disposed of the Indiana Pacers in six games to claim their first championship since 1991.” The last time the Lakers had won the NBA Championship was 1988… not 1991! And that’s just the beginning of a seeming endless avalanche of mistakes and typos. Way too many to list here. But another one of note was on page 170… when the author states: “… high and mighty Lakers, led by unanimous league MVP Shaquille O’Neal”. That is incorrect! Though “SHAQ” should have been the unanimous choice… one wayward vote went to Allen Iverson. I don’t know who’s more to blame for the unprofessional editing… the writer or the publisher.

Either way… it’s a shame… because many of the portions of this detailed reporting on the disastrous era of the Jail Blazer’s assault on human decency… along with the reputation of the city and the very NBA itself… is pretty interesting… in streaks… that is. Much of the book is reminiscent of old-time sports broadcasting before TV and cable… where an announcer is simply reading ticker tape and box scores. Much of the history is done in this manner… which is not artistically exhilarating in the least. The strongest parts of the book are where the author interviews the many subjects… a decade or more after the fact… after time… and maturity… have both passed and increased. As a lifetime NBA fan I was very aware of the nauseating behavior time… after time… and yes… after time… AND… again… of many members of the Jail Blazers… but not in such detail as is provided here. I also wasn’t aware of how far over the salary cap… and over the luxury caps… the Blazers were… all while never winning a championship during this portion of their existence. It is amazing how they just inhaled millions upon millions of dollars out of billionaire Paul Allen’s wallet.

Of the many Jail Blazer… players… coaches… executives… and owners…. who were rightfully thrown under the bus… the one who was thrown under the bus… under the train… under the steamroller… under the La Brea tar pits… and under the ocean with cement shoes… was Bob Whitsitt...

“For a decade, Whitsitt had made changes every season, using owner Paul Allen’s considerable wealth to stockpile talent and chase the elusive NBA Finals berth he had never attained in 18 seasons as a general manager. Much of that talent had exuded questionable character, casting a shadow on the franchise in the eyes of the community.”

(This next statement of fact is so unbelievable… and to me summarizes the whole embarrassment and insult on the word integrity… that to me is synonymous… with the stain on basketball that was known as the “The Jail Blazers”… that I must put it all in capitals!)


Let me ask you a question… have you ever watched a movie where every single person smoked the whole movie… and it was so disgusting that by the end of the movie you didn’t even want to be in the same country as someone that smokes… have you ever watched a movie where the main characters… never stopped drinking and getting drunk… without ever stopping for a second… and even if you normally like to drink a few beers… you don’t even want to see a beer commercial for a month after watching the movie???

Well… after reading this book… you are nauseated beyond description when it comes to Rasheed Wallace and technical fouls… when it comes to J.R. Rider… and stupid insane life decisions… non-managerial logic by Dunleavy and Cheeks… and Carlesimo… asinine drug maneuvers and arrests by Stoudamire and Wallace… and half the roster… boorish actions and words by Bonzi Wells… criminal behavior by Ruben Patterson… and 2/3 of the other Jail Blazers… and more missed practices than any team… in any sport… in history…

I could go on and on… but I’ve had enough… 500 pages of this… in descriptions mimicking a teletype report… and yet I wanted to give this a four star rating… just because of the after-the-fact interviews… but then as sure as the sun rises in the morning… trickling down like salt from a spilled shaker… more typos.

P.S. Bob Whitsitt “never studied chemistry in college.”
P.S.S. The quote in my review title is from Steve Kerr.
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Aggravating for Trail Blazers fans. Totally worth the read.
Reviewed in Canada on November 4, 2020
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James Lee
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough technical fouls for jail
Reviewed in Canada on February 21, 2019
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Dave Hughson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in Canada on December 1, 2020
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