Stoudamire To Remain A Blazer?

Jonathan Rhys-Meyers in "Match Point"
DREAMWORKS

Though his NBA career on hold because of the league's ongoing lockout, Damon Stoudamire said he hopes to be able to stay with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Stoudamire's future with Portland hinges on whatever labor agreement the NBA and its players eventually sign. If the "Larry Bird exception" that allows teams to exceed their salary cap to sign their own free agents is terminated, Stoudamire's chances of re-signing with the team would drop dramatically.

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Stoudamire told The Arizona Daily Star on Wednesday that he hopes to remain in his hometown of Portland because of the strong nucleus of players there.

"You can't beat it," he said. "You give me two years, and we are going to do some things. We're stacked. Now we've just got to get it all together."

He said that as soon as the labor dispute is over, he expects to sign with someone quickly.

"It's no problem because I'm not one of those bubble players," he said. "As soon as it breaks, it's going to be bam-bam-bam."

Stoudamire said the dispute will be settled, but he has no idea when.

"It's crazy," he said. "There's still a lot of ego involved on both sides. We've got to get it settled, but everything on the table now is pro-owners, not pro-players. We can't just take what's there now."

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