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Blazers owner preaches patience to fans of team

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen
says fans need to be patient with the team's rebuilding process.
And he needs to be steadfast, too.

"We had extensive discussions during the summer about the
direction we wanted to take leading up to the draft, and we all
looked at each other and said, 'This is the direction we are going
to take.' It's a multiyear process, and the fans and I are going to
have to be patient with it," Allen told The Oregonian.

Portland missed the playoffs last season for the second straight
season after 21 straight postseasons. So far this season the team is
1-2.

The Blazers let many of their veteran players move on, instead going with a group with an average
age about 24.

While some players have called for roster moves to make the
young team more competitive, and there have been several trade
rumors swirling around the team, Allen told the Portland newspaper
the Blazers must stay on course, and keep payroll at a manageable
level.

"I think the payrolls of the league have gotten to a level now
-- depending on the arena deal and the revenues locally -- where it's
more challenging for smaller- and medium-sized markets to justify
higher payrolls," Allen said. "That's one of the reasons we and
other teams have had to have more modest payrolls."

Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft who also owns the NFL's
Seattle Seahawks, said he is prepared to accept losses.

"I think we are all just watching the development of the young
players, and how it will evolve," Allen said. "Which players will
exceed expectations, which will need more coaching. When you play
this many young players, the season is going to be full of ups and
downs."