Monday, January 12, 2009

Talking with Travis: Outlaw the hated?

(The following is the first of six posts based off of conversations with Travis Outlaw)

It's hard to imagine that anyone could legitimately "hate" Travis Outlaw. Sure, he might do some things on the court that, from time to time, drive you crazy, but Travis is simply too kind a person to despise.

But according to Travis, or more correctly, his cousin, you do, at least those of you who frequent blogs and message boards.

"My cousin told me about (what people write online)," said Outlaw. "He’s like ‘Travis, they hate you in Portland.’ And I’m like ‘You for real?’ And he’s like ‘Yeah.’ I was like, oh well, I don’t know everybody hated me. He said ‘Yeah, they hate you here.’"

I spend some time around Travis and have discussed this topic with him enough to know that he's not entirely serious (Outlaw tends to speak out of the corner of his mouth in a lower tone when he wants you to know he's joking around), but the twinge of doubt is there. A part of Travis, a guy who consistently asks and is legitimately interested in the opinions of others, really feels as though he's Portland's least wanted.

Now the declaration that people in Portland "hate" Travis Outlaw is likely overblown, at least in this case. Maybe Travis sparks more disagreement amongst fans than any of his teammates, which could actually speak to the devotion many feel toward him, but I see far too many No. 25 jerseys running around the Rose Garden to believe that Outlaw is loathed to the extent which he imagines.

But good luck convincing Travis of that. Even after hitting the game-winner against the Pistons, Outlaw still joked that he's not feeling the love.

"They most definitely still hate me," says Outlaw post-game. "They probably still be like ‘That’s still a bad shot; he just made it.’"


viclubsmau4eva said...

you know i know there are times where consistency becomes a problem with some of his shoots at times but man.. I do not know whats up with people saying trade Travis Outlaw. Hey Travis if you are reading this there are people that love you man and I am for one am a fan and especially my girlfriend she is a huge fan of you.

These people that talk about hating you need to just close their mouths because you are great player. Keep up the good work

Go Blazers


blazersfan247 said...

Travis if your reading this... There is NO way that ANYONE that calls them self a Blazers fan could hate you after all the things you have done for this team.

keep up the good work

Unknown said...

It's the band-wagoners. Every sports team has them, and they are not to be taken seriously. I'm a fan of all of the Blazer players, and Travis is extremely important to the success of this team. Kevin Pritchard won't trade him because he knows it's a terrible move.

Does he take bad shots sometimes? Sure does. Does he have trouble playing defense and rebounding at times? Yeah. Rusy Fernandez takes some ridiculous shots as well, and I definitely don't see any hating going on there.

Anonymous said...

I love Outlaw. He makes me miss the south, because everyone is nice like him, and the food is awesome.

He's in my favorite cluster of player because he's so much fun to watch when he's hitting his shots. I don't care about his flaws because I hope they'll get coached up.

mzoregun said...

Travis--WE LOVE YOU! I do not know where your cousin got his information but I am confident that he is incorrect in his assumptions. Keep up the good work! You are recognized for your big heart, on and off of the court. Great game tonight! Congrats!!

Cheryl said...

I LOVE Travis Outlaw and I told him he was my favorite player when I saw him at the Clippers/Blazers preseason game earlier in the season. (And 'H' yeah I was wearing my #25 Outlaw jersey!) Travis is awesome and I'm super proud of him and what he does for the team...especially tonight with his 33 against the Bulls! Yay Travis! Keep it up and I'll always be cheering for you!

Unknown said...

Travis the hated?.......... TRAVIS THE BELOVED!!!

DawnaB said...

Travis, I do hope you're reading these posts . . .(or at least your Cousin is). We LOVE you in Portland. Anyone who is a true Blazer fan knows that you are a key component of our team; you just proved that in the game tonight against the Chicago Bulls. Thanks for hanging in there despite some of the naysayers. . .it comes with the territory when you stand out. We go to as many home games as we can, and watch as many of the road games as possible. Thanks for helping deliver us from the evil "Jail Blazers" tag we had for a few years. . .we are proud of you and the whole team. DB in Tigard

millertime said...

No problems here with the catfish. we need him on this team. keep your head up trav we love you.

hg said...

The haters are in the blogs and that is for sure. One night it is Travis, The next night it's Steve, than Sergio. Oh!! But Travis they don't hate you it is always constructive criticism and they don't mean any harm. Do you by that Travis? I sure don't. The haters has to hate somebody all the time and their wicked two bladed sharp tongue can slice and dice you to where you don't know if you like yourself.

You are great Travis; all the Blazers are great in my book. I said as much on Oregon-live and got ridiculed out of the blog. Well almost.

If you go out and put all of yourself into the game and there ain't no more than that is all anybody could, should or would ask of you if they were human.


Unknown said...

Ok I guess I am the first. I am a Travis "hater". I am no way a bandwagon fan. Have been following the blazers die hard since '90.

Why do I dislike travis?
Well for a guy with his athleticism, he relies WAY TOO MUCH on the jump shot. YEA he hit the game winner against detroit, but what if he had drove more, got to the line more, grabbed more rebounds or played harder defense? Maybe the outcome wouldnt have been a game winner but a "blazers win by 6" type of ending? Ofcourse it could go the other way but just saying.

His shooting. I KNOW many of you say oh no when he shoots. Or when he just stands in the corner waiting for the ball. As a FAN of this team, it is frustrating to see long jump shot and long jump shot when he should be moving without the ball setting screens or boxing out which I hardly see. Travis you had a great game against the bulls and THANK YOU for helping this team win toinight (and against detroit). Im an out of shape fan who shouldnt be talking but you gotta understand, criticism is NOT a bad thing. Dont hate on the haters but shut em up by doing the little things and make us notice that we are all wrong. box out or set some screens for god sake's. Move without the ball, practice your free throws, TAKE YOUR GAME TO THE NEXT LEVEL so the "haters" can quiet down.


TheBeastBoy said...

I can honestly say that Portland DOES NOT HATE TRAVIS. No way. The ones that his cousin and family are reading, are the kinds of fans that are bandwagon ones. Or, they are the bi-polar ones that love the team when they win, bitch and moan and hate whom every one else dislikes at the time. No real fan of this team hates Travis.

Yeah, he does take some bad shots, doesn't always seem to understand to "bring it" each game, but for the most part, he has improved every year under Nate, has ice in his veins like Roy when it comes to the 4th, and really is a solid person that we want on this team. He is like "family" here. We saw him grow up, and still growing, before our eyes.

Please, pass this along to Travis. He isn't hated. Those that claim it, they are not fans that have been here for the long haul. Just a bunch of bi-polar bandwagon fans that have no clue about this team, the players or what is going on in Blazerland.

God bless Travis and he will always be a Blazer in ever TRUE fan's eyes.

Anonymous said...

Nothing but love you Trav.

Some people pile on because they have ridiculously high expectations of perfection (I've even seen people dog pile on Roy after a bad night!).

Trav takes some crazy shots at times, but he also nails some crazy shots, so the good definitely outweighs the bad, and how can anyone hate such a likable guy?

francisco said...

Outlaw is the best! He is the most humble and the most athletic player. I want to be his friend

Levi said...



Levi said...



cogley said...

Outlaws are gun slingers. our's is no different, he slings em. And when the boy's on, he's reliable as anyone in the league. No love, no hate, just an honest analysis of the man, and there's few people in the league who come off the bench who can have as much effect on a game as travis does, whether he's scoring, missing, or playing great help D (3 blocks tonight...) you always see his footprint in the game. i love rudy, but you can't always see his. or sergio's. or frye's. he's a great talent. i don't see any of these haters going out trying to take his place so they got no place sayin nothing.

travis, this town DOES love you. don't worry about the blogspot tho, let the nerds hate. w/o you, we don't have half the team we do now. he's responsible for roy and aldridge's good relationship. he's roy's best friend, he's good friends w/ LA, he's good for some of the most spectacular highlights of the season from game winners to dunks to huge blocks. (last years block of a 3 in denver to seal the win.) TO let the nerds hate. the rest of us love you. which is most of us.

PC Volleyball Coaches said...

I love Travis! I have enjoyed watching him grow as a player and know he will continue to improve. He brings a tremendous amount of energy to the court and hits critical shots, which is a crucial part of the teams dynamics.

You will always have a home in Portland Travis!

GO Blazers!

Unknown said...

met him right after he got his extension, and he was the most approachable, down to earth pro athlete I’ve ever encountered in person (and I’ve met Roy…no knock on Roy either) at a time when most people would be riding high and thinking they were all that

While his shot selection can be shaky at times when his shots aren’t falling, I think it would be foolish to get rid of a guy who’s our second best option when the offense stagnates. Honestly once Martell gets back I think we should just stop messing around switching his positions back and forth and confusing the guy, and keep him as our backup 4. I know he gets a lot of BBIQ knocks, but swinging between the 3 and the 4 is one of the hardest position swings because you’re going between wing and post and likely have as different of responsibilities defensively and in offensive set plays as possible in a switch between two positions on the court.

also, has anyone noticed that the ball doesn’t come flying out of his hands nearly as often when he goes up to dunk on someone anymore? That (along with his improved 3 point shot) points towards good things in the future IMO. He’s improved a part of his game every year, and I see no reason that won’t continue. I think he should end up going to the rack more as A. opponents have to rush to close out on his jumper and B. he realizes when he drives he gets to dunk on somebody instead of just lose the ball off the back iron

chrisinhawaii said...

thats the most retarded thing i have ever heard. why even waste time writing about that. everyone knows people just put that stuff to mess with people.

Unknown said...

DawnaB said it best, "Anyone who is a true Blazer fan knows that you are a key component of our team"

Born and raised in Ripcity, I can tell you that we enjoy Travis on the court. The team needs him here.

For the haters: Haven't you ever seen this man light it up on the floor? A cerebral assassin.

I've been living in Ohio for the last couple of years, so you can only imagine the kind of hype that goes on around here (*cough* LeBron.) But I never stray from my true Fandom.

Go Blazers! Keep ya head up Travis, you're an Outlaw.

DrSuse said...

The real T-O!!!!
Travis Outlaw is the first project this organization has not traded away. He has never been in trouble, even though he was drafted at the end of the Jailblazers era and has a last name OUTLAW. Travis jumps out of the gym. He takes what look like crazy shots but he makes those crazy shots.
Travis is a cornerstone on this team. To all the people talking smack...shut up and get a jump shot. Travis , I am a STH and I call for Mcmillan to get you in the game more than I call for anyone else. I LOVE your game, and especially your jumper....KEEP SHOOTING T-O!!!!

Anonymous said...

Travis, No Blazer fan hates you pal! You are Loved in Portland. Don't ever leave!!!

Don Layton said...

The only ones who hate Outlaw are Blazer opponents and a few turncoats. I'm one of the ones who gets crazy about Travis settling for outside jumpers all the time, but not because he can't hit them. It's because he is ALWAYS so much more effective when he goes strong to the rim. He's too long and athletic to settle for jumpers as much as he does. So, I'd encourage more aggressiveness and better shot selection, but Travis! Portland is behind you 100%! Don't listen to a few downers from cyberspace.

Billchristensen said...

Travis, you have been my favorite player since you started. You are one of the most fun players in the league to watch. You have made steady improvement through the years and I have never once doubted your heart and hustle. Thank you for helping to make this easily the coolest and most entertaining team on the planet. Not only do we need you on the team, we WANT you to be on the team. GO TRAVIS and the BLAZERS!!!!!!!

Edward Choi said...

Casey, please link Travis to this comment page. He should know that ppl in this town appreciate him as a great asset to our team.


LuciusVerinus said...

I remember a few years ago when a TO jump shot was like holding my breath. Now I can't wait for 'em. He has elevated his jump shot to the next level, has been attacking the rim more frequently and in my opinion has been the most improved all around. Have you guys seen this dude elevate? It's rediculous! He just hangs there until the opertune time, and then scores.

What an outstanding game last night. I'm sure that basket must have been huge. I was praying you'd take more shots, because you were lights out on fire!!! I could tell the moment the ball rolled off his fingertips, it was money.

Keep up the great work man! Love watching you "rise" to the occasion

Red22 said...

Travis is awesome- yes he is still getting better and yes he takes crazy shots but that when those crazy shots go in what a rush! And don't forget about the blocks !
You just have to look around the arena and you'll see lots of 25 jerseys. I love the whole team but Tlaw and Rudy are my Fav's because you just don't know what wild play they are going to make.

Jeff said...

Wow, the idea that Travis' cousin thinks we hate Travis and actually told him that is really sad to me.

I've had my issues with Travis not being consistent, and making mistakes, but that has nothing to do with him as a person.

I think the guy is an outstanding individual and if he just were to focus more in the game on a consistent basis all of the things I see as problems wouldn't be problems at all.

To Travis and his cousin, if there are people that hate you ignore them. Most of us are reasonable and love guys who put in the effort and who are classy. Travis is among my and my wife's favorites when it comes to class!

Unknown said...

I bought my sister a Travis Outlaw jersey for Christmas. She said it was the best present anyone could have possibly given her. Enough said.

Now if she gets Travis' face tattooed on her backside, I may have something to gripe about...

Unknown said...

Hey Travis, hope ypu're reading this,man. There is no one out there who calls them self a Blazer fan could never hate you. By the way, you did an awesome job verses the Bulls. Keep up the good work,man.


Joel Weakland said...


When your in the groove, your are the most versatile 4 in the league, without any doubt!! Unstoppable: droppin the 3, packing it over centers, floating in tear drops or fade away jumpers. I dont think there is a shot you cannot take (AND MAKE)!

At times there is ice pumping through you veins: CLUTCH. This is the reason why KP has never traded you and your always in during crunch-time. CLUCH cannot be taught; its natural. Between you and BROY, your gonna take us deep one day!!

Travis, much respect, don't allow the few haters out there to overshadow the majority who know how crucial you our the teams success in the past and into the future.

Thank you

Jon said...

Don't listen to the haters. We love you here! Portland is the best! There are arm chair critics everywhere, don't listen to them. Just do you! I love watching you play. Portland loves you and the Blazers! This team is so exciting!

skaternater said...

Outlaw!! You are the 6th man of this team! One of the best bench players in the entire NBA! How could anyone say that they hate you? Personaly you are one of my favorite players in the league. How many players get a monster block at one end and hustle down the court and finish at the rim like you? And you do it every night! You are a huge part of this teams success!!! Keep it up!!!

deannerhymes said...

I personally love Travis. He is a great player, who obviously loves playing the game. Forget the haters.

peregrinebrm said...

Hmmmmmm, maybe Travis' cousin John doesn't enjoy the Great Northwest quite as much as Travis does.....

Casey Holdahl said...

Thanks to everyone for all the fantastic comments. I'll be sure to pass along the feedback to Outlaw when the team gets back to Portland.

Unknown said...

I think nobody really hates Travis, the person. At worst I think some people hate the game, or are a little frustrated. At this point in his career, will Outlaw develop significantly more as an NBA player, or is this basically it? I think he's getting close to his ceiling, and that disappoints some folks who thought he'd do more "growing out of" things.

Without Martell, what's needed from TO has increased, to where he's more like the 5.5th man right now instead of the 6th.

All that said, it's awfully hard to hate a guy when he smiles like he does. Trav is Trav. Parents love their oddball children too!

Kettle said...

How can anyone hate Travis? He is so much fun to watch! I'm one of his biggest fans and have #25's jersey! He is my favorite blazer - which shouldn't be taken lightly 'cause there are a lot of guys that could be a person's favorite - oh, and my opinion is a big deal. :-) I heart T.O.!

genyeart said...

I think Travis is one of the best sixth men in the NBA, if not the best. Most teams go back to the starters when the game is on the line, but not us. We have Travis.

It takes a lot of courage to have the team (and the fans) put their fate in one person's hands when the game is on the line, but I'm glad when it's Travis.

It has been a pleasure to watch him grow and develop into the player that he is today. And he just keeps getting better. I'm proud to have him on my team!

Unknown said...

Just rebound and drive to the hole when the lane is open and you'll be fine. Take the open jump shoot when its there.

If you can do this consistently, you will fill a role our team needs!

However, if you settle for the jump shot, dont play defense and dont rebound...then you should hang out with Darius

MLA said...

Reading these comments, I think I threw up in my mouth a little. People who criticize Travis' game aren't true fans??? What kind of crap is that? Since when is the litmus test of a true fan one who loves a player unconditionally and glosses over his every flaw?

Look, Travis--I love ya, man. Your interviews are the absolute best, and you play the game with a lot of joy that makes you fun to watch. But, and this is a big but, it is all well and good to remember game winning shots but it is not good to forget the turnovers, forced shots that didn't come anywhere close, the missed passes for easier looks, etc., that you bring to the table a lot of the time. This isn't hate, this is simply pointing out that you present both risks and rewards out there.

Here is the bottom line--Travis is a great guy and I'm sure a great teammate, but if you are an opposing coach in a tight playoff game, you have a pretty simply job guarding Travis--you force him left and because he gets big time tunnel vision he'll chuck up an ill-advised shot. We can accept that in a regular season game where half the members of the other team are more worried about their reservations at McCormick and Schmick's than the rest of the game, but in the playoffs those mistakes are amplified and I have seen no indication that Travis has the ability to grow out of those mistakes. It isn't like he is a rookie--Travis is, by any definition, a veteran player in this league, but he still makes mistakes that would have high school coaches pulling their hair out.

I argued with folks that we should have traded him last year while his value was the highest, and I see nothing to change that. As for being a "true fan," a true fan should never root for an individual player over the good of the team.

sweetcrystal84 said...

I LOVE YOU TRAVIS OUTLAW!! please dont think portland dont enjoy your hard work,.I always look for you to play when the game comes on..4realz.I think you're the best player & dont get enough credit for it (that's my opinion.). If they hatin on's cause your doing something RIGHT and they can't do what you do and that's part ofd their problem..not yours! brush dem haters off..YOUR HATERS ARE YOUR BIGGEST FANS..haha..*hugz & kisses*

sweetcrystal84 said...

I LOVE YOU TRAVIS OUTLAW!! please dont think portland dont enjoy your hard work,.I always look for you to play when the game comes on..4realz.I think you're the best player & dont get enough credit for it (that's my opinion.). If they hatin on's cause your doing something RIGHT and they can't do what you do and that's part ofd their problem..not yours! brush dem haters off..YOUR HATERS ARE YOUR BIGGEST FANS..haha..*hugz & kisses*

bribis said...

Travis is totally my favorite off the bench player!

and you know you can find blogs saying to trade everyone on this team... the fact is if travis is traded i might have to go find myself another team to love... or split my nba love in two and root for two teams! the guy is amazing!

i don't know if anyone has read the hate blogs about mike and mike... but they are out there. just goes to show that no matter who you are you will always have people who dislike you. move on.

i love travis! so take that jerks.these bloggers are most likely some fat old men wishing that they could do more then move the donut from the box to their mouth.

Unknown said...

Thats a whole lot of BS. Travis Outlaw is the man. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't watch enough blazer games. everyone struggles with inconsistancy, i've watched lebron james airball freethrows. Travis, you're the man and definately not all the fans hate you. I'm a season ticket holder and rock an outlaw jersey to many games.

blazer believer said...

that is a terrible thing to say. and yes i have heard it as well. to all those who dont like outlaw, then take a hike, and leave my portland trailblazers alone. we dont want you, nor do we like you, or care about your opinion. travis is an awesome athlete, an awesome player, and a wonderful person. he adds a lot to our team, and his character, is well received. i hope u read this travis, and if not that someone does and relays this to him. we in portland who are true blazers fans, not tag a longs, nor front runners, or bandwagon, or implants from california or the east coast, we love outlaw. in fact i would like to see him in the dunk contest, the man has inhuman hops, and a flair for style. to all the haters out there, leave my team alone, and better yet, why dont you leave my state, and good riddance to your bad rubbish.
travis you rule, and you hatters, i cant express my true feelings here in this public site. but they are bitter and nasty.
go OUTLAW you rule and we in portland love you.