(Yesterday we looked into Travis Outlaw not feeling the love. Today, we touch on Outlaw feeling Oregon)
As longtime Oregonians, it’s sometimes difficult to hear our beloved Trail Blazers talk about life in the Portland metro-area. It never feels like disrespect, but every now and then you can sense the vague presence of hurt feelings emanate from the fanbase when a player talks about there not being much to do in their little corner of the country. Sure, that declaration is usually used as explanation as to why many of the guys spend extra time in the gym or manage to stay out of trouble, which are both undeniably good things, but it’s slightly disheartening to hear nonetheless. After all, Oregonians are unabashedly proud of their state, so it’s not surprising that they’re desperate to foster a kinship of proximity with the players they so furiously support. They want their players, guys whom they consider their own, to love life in the Pacific Northwest as much as they do.
As it turns out, maybe the conversion from NBA player who lives in Oregon to Oregonian who plays in the NBA just takes a bit of time. Say, six years. That’s how long it has taken Travis Outlaw, the longest tenured player on Portland’s roster, to come to the realization that Oregon ain’t half bad.
“Oregon is fun,” said Outlaw. “People be like ‘Man, what you do out there?’ I tell people Oregon is definitely fun. I’m having the most fun. I’ve been here six years so I kind of know what’s going on with everything, so Oregon is becoming fun to me. I’m like (turns head as if surveying the Oregon landscape) ‘Ooh!, Ooh!, Ooh!’”
If anyone should take a shine to good old Oregon, it’s Outlaw. An avid angler and animal lover, Travis shares many of the laidback, you-do-your-thing-and-I”ll-do-mine values that Oregonians cherish. Travis is always going rep Mississippi, and he’ll probably always be more flathead catfish than Chinook salmon, but hearing him talk about Oregon, you can see that the Beaver State has made inroads into his heart.
“I’m a country boy, and ya’ll got a lot of things that you can do outside,” said Outlaw. Nature walks and all that stuff? That’s cool. I can go out and walk my dog wherever. There’s a lot of stuff here to do.”
Now that Outlaw has realized what a special place Oregon is, maybe he can work on convincing some of his friends in the locker room.