Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A gift that means something

Holiday gifts can be tricky. After all, how many cheese wheels, pairs of dress socks, and picture frames does a person need? Stuff like that, while nice, isn't particularly thoughtful or personal.

The gifts Blazers coach Nate McMillan's found for his players this year are just the opposite.

According to a story in the Portland paper, "each player, and many of the team's supporting staff, were given plaques with the genealogy of their first name. The plaques gave the origin of the name (i.e.. Greek or Hebrew), what the name means, and traits that define people with that name."

Coach McMillan, who has a plaque of his own, was "struck by how closely they described their personalities."

And, unlike socks or a bottle of wine, it's something the players will cherish.

"It was a very special gift," Blazers forward Martell Webster said. "Guys were reading them in the locker room, and everyone was saying, 'This is on point.' And when we all looked at each other's, they were. It was actually kind of crazy."

"I had to read mine twice because it was weird how it fit me," [Steve] Blake said. "Mine said Steve meant 'Crowned' and that I'm big into family and respect the truth. I just thought it was a really nice gift. It was really personal, and I respected and appreciated that a lot."