Patterson: More time or 'I ain't going to play'

Ruben Patterson's time on the Portland Trail Blazers' inactive list might not be ending any time soon.

The disgruntled Blazers forward, who was placed on the inactive list on Nov. 21 for cursing at coach Nate McMillan during a loss against the Knicks on Nov. 19, told The (Portland) Oregonian that unless the coach commits to playing him at least 25 minutes a game, he doesn't want to return.

The Blazers lost to the Knicks 103-92, committing 23 turnovers, allowing 18 points off offensive rebounds and virtually not bothering to show up on defense against a New York team that was without several key players.

Patterson's tirade over playing time came during the team's huddle between the third and fourth quarters.

"I don't think my role of playing 13 or 15 minutes a game is acceptable," Patterson told the newspaper this week. "I deserve to play 25-plus minutes, but if they want me to play 12 minutes [like he did in his last game against New York], then they can just put me on the inactive list. I mean, those are rookie minutes."

Patterson will meet with general manager John Nash and McMillan in Portland later this week, the newspaper reported.

However, McMillan told the newspaper that he has no plans to play Patterson more minutes if he returns.

"I think those are starter minutes," McMillan told The Oregonian. "I don't know how you can give someone off the bench 25 minutes. I mean, he's at a position that [Darius] Miles [38.5 minutes a game] and Zach [Randolph, 37.8 minutes] are playing."

When the newspaper told Patterson about McMillan's comments, the forward's message was clear: "Well, I ain't going to play then."

Patterson would like to be traded if the team won't play him more minutes.

"That's the thing that is holding me up -- John Nash won't trade me unless he gets someone good," Patterson told The Oregonian. "But if they are only going to play me 12 or 13 minutes, they're going to have to pay me and put me on the inactive list until they find someone [to trade with]."

Patterson, who declared last year he had given up alcohol, has become known for off-court incidents.

In 2001, Patterson pleaded guilty in the state of Washington to an attempted rape charge for allegedly forcing his children's 24-year-old nanny to perform a sex act. Patterson had to register as a sex offender in Oregon and was suspended for the first five games of the following season by the NBA.

In February 2001, he was convicted of misdemeanor assault for attacking a man who scratched his car outside a Cleveland night club.

In November 2002, he was arrested on felony domestic abuse charges. His wife, Shannon Patterson, later dropped the charges, but the couple divorced.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.