Friday, February 23, 2007
I Can't Believe It!
When I was little, I used to listen to Bill Schonely call Blazer games on the radio as I went to sleep. When the games were exciting, I would play along in the dark in my room -- draining jump shots and acrobatic lay-ups using rolled up socks and an imaginary hoop above my door. The late-80s and early 90s team built around Clyde "the Glide" Drexler, Terry Porter, Jerome Kersey, Buck Williams, and Kevin Duckworth dominated most sports conversation among my friends.
In June of 2000, I was bouncing around my house in Somerville. The Blazers were dominating the Lakers at the end of the third quarter in game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. 15 minutes and a mediocre Indiana team were all that stood in the way of their NBA championship since I was 1. During the fourth quarter the Blazers missed like every shot they took and lost to the hated Kobe-Shaq Lakers.
The loss alone was awful (I think only game 7 of the 2003 ALCS was worse for me personally); however, the 6+ years since absolutely devastated Blazer fans. The Blazers missed the playoffs for the first time since I was like 7, become an embarrassment to the community and a laughing-stock of the sports world known as the Jail Blazers, and finally finished with the worst record in the NBA last season.
This year, though, the Blazers are actually interesting again. They are still not a great team, but they have almost completely rid themselves of the Jail Blazer head cases -- replacing them with several interesting young players (like future rookie of the year Brandon Roy) and several players with ties to the local area (Portland native, the surprising Ime Udoka, Vancouver (WA) native Dan Dickau, Washingtonians Roy and Martell Webster, and, now, Gresham-native, UO alum, and 2004 Slam-Dunk Champion Freddie Jones). Most importantly, with Roy, they actually play something that resembles basketball.
So, even though they playing Memphis, I am bummed that the game isn't on (leading me to watch a lame Wizards-Bulls game while I revise an article I am writing).
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