What's the vision of this franchise? If you've followed this team much, you probably could come up with a lot of "Pritchardisms" that would define how this team operates.
- Building a book.
- Having "the right people."
I'd like to submit three other "Pritchardisms" that serve as good reminders of what our vision should be, both as Blazer fans and more specifically as part of BE.
The Big 3: Community, Culture, and Character
Around Blazers Edge, we're about community--interacting with each other! Fanposts, fanshots, discussions, debates, analysis, over-analysis, off-topicness, gameday cheering/crying, trade proposals, draft talk, and more! We are a community of people here specifically because of the Blazers, but we certainly are not limited in what we talk about--we've developed an atmosphere where we're comfortable branching out and talking about more than just basketball--something very different from many blogs and forums out there.
What is culture? KP always talks about it, but what does it really mean? How is it different than community or character?
Where does one find the answer to such a question? Wikipedia of course:
[Culture is] the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group.
Culture is what you share in common with the rest of the group. The "JailBlazers," for instance, had a poor culture because the things shared in common were primarily selfish motives and egotism. There were some, like Derek Anderson (and others), who were "counter-cultural," but in general the culture was one of negativity.
So what is good culture? Good culture, interestingly, is not just the opposite, as one might think. Good culture isn't simply developed by sharing "good" interests/values/goals. That's part of it. But another part is the process. When you have milk and you're looking to make yogurt, you take live cultures and put them in milk that is heated to a very high temperature, and then the good cultures go about turning the milk into yogurt (then you add yummy flavoring and granola, if you're like me).
It's a silly, somewhat over-simplified example, but I think it's so true to what this organization has done. They've taken players like Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, built a team around them, and the team has been heated time and time again to very high temperatures. It is here that the good culture shines.
So what does this have to do with Blazers Edge? I think that's the same process that gives us the opportunity to have such a great culture. We've gone through the fire. If you don't like the milk-to-yogurt example, think of gold/silver/etc. being refined in fire. We went through the fire, through the dark days of tinfoil and guns. We know what the bottom looks like.
That's one thing KP talked about today on the Jim Rome show. When you hit rock bottom, you are that much more ready to turn it around. Now that we're in that ascension process, don't forget where we came from. Don't forget the values, goals, and dreams that we thought were dead that are now slowly waking up...slowly becoming a reality. That is culture.
Lastly, let's do everything with character. It's certainly ok to critique players, coaches, and all that, but let's remember our community and culture. We're a team united for one goal. We're all running the same race. We're in the same army.
You don't kill your sniper because he missed a shot, and you shouldn't stab your scout in the back if he accidently tips off your location to the enemy. You re-adjust and continue pressing on.
So critique, but do it in a way that's intelligent. Question Nate's coaching decisions, but realize that he's only human. He's going to miss a few. Weigh the merits of trading (insert player here), but consider ALL he has done, the good and the bad.
Or even to fellow Bedgers, to people of this community--it's ok to disagree with each other. I disagree with quite a few of the fanposts/fanshots/comments I read! But disagreement doesn't have to = agrument. We can, with character and class, discuss our views and maybe even agree to disagree.
In the words of another...
KP summed it up best on NPR
We just decided that being in the community and being unselfish and being team first was the start.... We didn’t have the right culture; we had to get it. You have to figure out what you wanna’ be. Then work backwards. Start with a goal in mind and then figure out the steps to get there. We chose this path.
In short, just an encouragement to remember what we're about. I love this community--the reaction to Deke going down was outstanding. I felt honored to be a part of it. At the same time, there's certainly room for growth here. I'm sure most of us could name multiple examples of ways we could learn to grow--both individually and as a whole. Let's show what community, culture, and class look like.