Honor Terry Porter


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Trapped in between the end of the regular season and the start of NBA draft talk (41-41 means only passing interest in the NBA playoffs this year), I am feeling downright purgatorial.  Thankfully, I was awakened recently from my impatient malaise by a well-worn tape of the Blazers vs. Bulls NBA Finals. I was stopped dead in my tracks – no, not by MJ punking Uncle Cliffy with the sneaker commercial shoulder shrug—but by the realization that our point guard, the point guard, Mr. Terry Porter has yet to have his jersey retired by the Blazers franchise. 

 

Why are some players doomed to be overlooked while others are overhyped?  It is a cosmic mystery. 

If ever a player in Portland’s history has been overlooked, though, it is TP. 

 

He had every attribute you could want in a point guard:

 

-- Relentlessly hard-working.

-- Heady.

-- Demonstrative with the ball but always in control.

-- A polished jump-shot and the nerve to bang home a 3 pointer or the tough shot when the clock was running down.

-- Playoff experience.

-- A TV-friendly, fan-friendly smile and style.

-- Durability.

-- Resolve to stand up for his teammates. 

-- Above-average on-ball and team defense skills.

-- Big numbers.

-- Loyalty and longevity (he came all the way up through the Blazers organization).

-- Basketball IQ (no one was surprised when he became a coach).

 

If ever a Blazer deserved the honor of getting his jersey retired, it is TP. 

He was as instrumental as Clyde in getting us to our two Finals trips in the modern era; he was a role model for his teammates, fellow professional basketball players and the Portland community; he color-coordinated his outfits.

 

There’s been a lot of griping about the sheer volume of point guard related posts on this site (and other sites) lately.  Rather than trash Jack, rip Sergio or downplay Blake, I ask that you take a moment to think back to the golden age of Terry Porter.  What do you remember most about his game?  His career?  Did you have any personal encounters with him?  What did he mean to you?  To the city of Portland?  To your fanhood? 

 

I ask that you collect your thoughts and email them to me.  Once a week until we run out, I will post them under the title "Honor Terry Porter."  The series will, hopefully, serve as a living record of what TP did for the Blazers franchise and its fans. 

 

In the post below, Dave talks about how blogs like Blazers Edge help foster an online community. play a powerful role in 21st century fandom and how they deepen the connection between fans and the teams for which they cheer.  For these reasons, I see "Honor Terry Porter" as blog nirvana.  Next season, I would love to see #30 up in the rafters.  It would surely mean a lot to us as fans, to Mr. Porter himself and to the future Blazers who have the promise to achieve the same greatness as TP.  At the end of the day, it's the right thing to do (and, in case you hadn't noticed, the Blazers have almost faultlessly done the right thing since Mr. Pritchard took over).  If you feel the same way, email me and add your voice to the chorus.

 

Our own PhilthyAnimal was kind enough to help kick this series off right by making the banner you see at the top and the following variations.  Please take one and add it to your profile page, Facebook, MySpace, or car bumper (maybe?) to show your support for TP.

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 -- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)

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