I continue to see posts in which those who criticize any aspect of the team are castigated, and deemed to be less of a fan, than those fans who praise the team. In fact, some go so far as to claim such discussion hurts the Blazers, and is not what a good fan does. I’d like to try to refute those perceptions after the jump...
I believe that to improve at anything in life, you must consistently assess where you are versus where you want to be, and then identify specific steps to close the gap. Are the Blazers coming off multiple championships? No? Then, don’t you think they have room for improvement? Should we ignore all criticisms of the team (likeemall’s apparent wish), put on the Rose Colored glasses and "hope" they magically improve? Or is it more productive to identify specific areas of improvement? I obviously believe there is room for improvement, and thus room for constructive criticism…
I’ve suffered through the 90-91 collapse. I’ve watched Pritch resurrect this franchise from the Jail Blazer days. And I love to see the resurrection of this franchise. I’ve loved to see the great talent being assembled. I mourn the loss of player’s seasons due to injury.
I love to see glimpses of a too infrequently used fast-paced attack. I’ve been frustrated by the iso. I haven’t liked the constantly switching D. I haven’t liked the words I’ve heard from our leader. Rudy increased stress with his words. I haven’t understood how Nate could preach running, and yet our young athletic team didn’t do it.
I have felt that we have been squandering our talent, and wasting a golden opportunity to bring a parade to Portland. As a fan, I’ve found an opportunity via this forum to express my ideas, and I hope that in some small way I can help change perceptions, and make people open to changes that are necessary to improve this organization to become championship caliber.
And yes, I do believe that fan sentiment may change Blazer corporate behavior (as we have recently witnessed in the transformation of the Jail Blazers to this current group of choir boys).
Please note that the things I have been criticized appear to have been improving recently:
1) I have long criticized the iso. I’ve heard comments that the Blazers are de-emphasizing the iso.
2) I’ve long criticized Nate’s defense. Nate hired Bob O, and let him implement a much better D.
3) I’ve long criticized our slow pace. When BRoy is not on the court, we appear to be running more.
So, despite two losses to OKC that shouldn’t have happened, I’ve been very pleased with the changes I’ve seen so far this year. I think you’ll also note that I have been criticizing far less frequently lately – because they’ve been making the changes I’ve been looking for, that will improve this club’s chances of winning a championship – which is all I want to see… I'm not in any way attempting to "take credit" for their transformation, but I do believe that those who criticize can help improve the team.
Thanks for your time, and I hope I’ve succeeding in pointing out that those who criticize are fans, too.