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Monday, April 7, 2008
Don't Bet Against Blazer Trainer Jay Jensen


Blazer fans have been aware of "the bet" for some time.

It's between center Joel Przybilla and trainer Jay Jensen. Jason Quick of the Oregonian described it in February:

Because of abdominal and knee injuries, Przybilla played in 43 games last season. The year before, a knee injury allowed him to play in just 56 games. He also had seasons in Milwaukee and Atlanta in which he played 33, 32 and 17 games because of injuries.

So when Blazers athletic trainer Jay Jensen -- who tends to the aches and pains of Przybilla -- heard Przybilla's goal of playing in 82 games, he snickered.

"He kind of laughed at me,'' Przybilla said of Jensen. "So I said, 'Do you want to make a bet?' ''

At that moment The Bet was established:

If Przybilla doesn't play in all 82 games, he has to buy Jensen dinner. But if he does play in every game, Jensen has to kiss Przybilla's behind at half court after the Blazers' final game.

So far, Przybilla has played in all 58 games, a string that is expected to reach 59 tonight when Przybilla is listed as the probable starting center against the Lakers.

"All I know is that Jay better start puckering up,'' Przybilla said. "Because I feel great, knock on wood. I'm a little banged up, but overall I feel great. I'm going to play in all 82.''

Last night, trying to block a shot by former teammate Ime Udoka, Przybilla broke his hand and will be out for the rest of season. The Blazers have just five games left.

Jay Jensen must be crestfallen to see one of his warriors go down, so close to the finish line.

But he also must be just a little relieved, don't you think?