Ted Leonsis owns the Washington Capitals. He might be more famous for other endeavors, like his former leadership of peak-period AOL. But he owns the Caps, and he's had good success. The Caps sit third in the Eastern Conference right now, and from what I know can sort-of be compared to the Blazers: a young team built from a blank canvas.
In an interview with Hogs Heaven, Leonsis spelled out his 10-point plan to rebuild a mid-market sports franchise. AZ Snake Pit distilled these points out. They are excellent. I'll share just one:
No jerks allowed. Implement a no jerk policy. Draft and develop and keep high character people. Team chemistry is vital to success. Make sure the best and highest paid players are coachable, show respect to the system, want to be in the city, love to welcome new, young players to the team, have respect for the fan base, show joy in their occupation, get the system, believe in the coaches, have fun in practice, and want to be gym rats. Dump quickly distractions. Life is too short to drink bad wine.
I think, actually, that the team is getting there. We've noted some burgeoning camaraderie out there ... and it's just a start. Talent wins, and I repeated that mantra in my head and on StR during the Amare-geddon. But you do it a different way, the Caps/Blazers way, and that entails avoiding the sour. We'll see if that direction continues.
Go read the whole thing.