In an act that has caused an outpouring of emotion in Salt Lake City, second-year guard Wesley Mathews has signed with the Portland Trailblazers. Mathews (9 ppg) has reportedly jumped ship citing the departure of Carlos Boozer as motivation. Mathews also stands to receive a massive pay increase from his annual less than half a million dollars, his previous years salary. He will make almost five million per year with the Blazers.
Having seen the Jazz lose Boozer, Mathews stated, ” I just want to win. The Blazers have a starting power forward, and that’s really important in basketball. I want to thank the people of Salt Lake for the wonderful 11 months I’ve spent here. I know everyone will miss me. But hopefully we can move along amicably.”
Die hard Jazz fans took offense not only with Mathews leaving, but the manner in which he left. A nondescript press release by ESPN’s Ric Bucher on a Saturday evening cut right to the quick of the Utah faithful. In order to show their disapproval of the guard, a local Utah sports bar has announced that they will be organizing a Mathews jersey burning.
“We’re just waiting to see if we can find somewhere to buy a Wesley Mathews jersey. We don’t think they made a whole lot of them. Probably his family has all the ones they made,” said the clearly irate owner of the sports bar.
Portland, for their part pulled out all the stops in recruiting Mathews. It is reported that at a meeting with the team, Mathews was allowed to meet with the assistant GM and was even offered, “some donuts, and coffee, and stuff.” Portland also made it clear how excited they are to have Mathews, adding, “you’re probably not gonna play, Kid.”