Blazers parted ways with long time athletic trainer Jay Jensen
The Trail Blazers on Friday parted ways with longtime, but controversial athletic trainer Jay Jensen, ending a 19-year relationship.
"Sometimes, it's just time,'' Jensen said Friday evening.
Blazers general manager Neil Olshey, who dismissed Jensen, thanked him and wished him well in his future endeavors.
Jensen came under the microscope in recent years after two prominent Blazers -- Greg Oden and Brandon Roy -- had their careers compromised because of knee injuries. In a three-season span from 2009-2012, the Blazers saw their players miss more games -- 667 -- than those of any other team in the league.
But former team president Larry Miller and then-acting general manager Chad Buchanan defended Jensen and his staff and Jensen has previously noted that the Blazers drafted players whom he flagged as potential problems.
“We had some good times and some bad times,’’ said Jensen, who joined the Blazers in 1994. “I feel bad for some of the things that happened to some of our players, but I don’t take responsibility for them. I feel everybody’s frustration. I was frustrated, too. But I know our evaluation process was correct, and I know we did right by the players. I cared about them and loved them, and I still do. I enjoyed my time, and I wish them success.’’
One current player and two former players have questioned whether Jensen adapted to cutting-edge technology, while countless others -- Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla among them -- consider Jensen a close friend. Jensen was also one of the closest confidants to the five coaches he served under, Nate McMillan and Maurice Cheeks especially.
Jensen was the fourth athletic trainer in team history, joining the team after spending five years with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Before that, he was the head basketball trainer for USC for two years and worked five years as an assistant trainer for the NFL's Los Angeles Rams.
Jensen was chosen the Western Conference trainer for the NBA All-Star Game in 1994 and 2012.
I hate to see people in my field be let go, it's not easy in the world of athletic training/ strength and conditioning and you only get so many opportunities but it might have been long overdue.
I think he was a good person and cared about the players, but there have just been way too many injuries in Portland.
Yeah you can't argue with results (or lack thereof) - there are plenty of guys who aren't doing anything wrong, that could be doing a whole lot better (if that makes sense).