The journey through the wastelands of Offseason have been unusually difficult this year. Any scrap of sustenance is so treasured and yet so quickly gone, leaving us feeling our hunger even more.
Please, where are my manners? Sit. Rest yourself, for though your journey has been hard, a great ordeal is yet before you. Relax and drink your fill before you depart once again, and I will regale you with a tale.
It was only a year ago that we shared this time together, basking in the glow of Greg Oden’s future with our young team. The storm that brought his season to a halt was initially devastating to the morale of the people, but from that heartache arose a true player. A young captain assumed the mantle of leadership and carried the band of warriors on a march to glory that exceeded all expectations.
For a shinning month our players were a force to rival the elite teams in the league, going undefeated in thirteen straight contests, and tasting victory in seventeen of eighteen battles. That stretch of success set the tone for the young core throughout the rest of the long season. Although wins were harder to find near the end, the battles were always hard-fought, and the confidence that victory was possible sustained them.
Our young captain’s leadership and abilities garnered the attention of commanders throughout the league, and he was named to a select group of men called All-Stars. Although being selected as an All-Star carries great honor, the manner in which he was selected carried the greater weight. For it was the commanders of the opposing teams that selected him as worthy, and not the often absurd popularity contest some other selections were.
With success comes greater expectations, and in this we are no different. With the imminent return of Oden and the arrival of the great foreigner from across the sea, our expectations of this band of men have increased. And with those increased expectations, our patience to wait for the season to begin has left us. Although the draft and summer league provided a temporary outlet for our passion, it was a pale shadow compared with what we see on the horizon.
As the day of training camp approaches we try to harness our emotions and bring back to reality our hopes and aspiration, but that is difficult with all the promise and potential we see before us.
As you build your strength before facing these long days of Blazer starvation ahead, take solace in the fact that the results will be far more sweeter having persevered. Though the road will seem longer this year, there will be points along the way that will give you succor. The Olympics will feature many basketball games, and our great foreign player will be among them. It may not be much, but it should provide more food for thought than the you-tube highlights. Once the Olympics end, the first of our players will begin arriving for pre-training camp. With that, the drought should end and a regular stream of information will be available. Beware the two-edged sword, however. The added knowledge may drive you insane with anticipation.
Sleep now Traveler, for tomorrow your journey continues.