It's almost Thanksgiving, a time when we especially remember what we have to be thankful for. And even with all that's happened in the past few days, we as Blazer fans have a lot to be thankful for.
I'm thankful that the discussion is "will we miss the playoffs this year", not "will we make it up to .500 this season". How long ago was it that this was a goal?
I'm thankful that the Jailblazer era is gone. We don't need worry about players getting in trouble with the law.
I'm thankful for the memories from last season. Yes, each new injury felt like a slap in the face, but the ups and the downs made it worth the journey. Who can forget Andre Miller's 52 points against Dallas, the win in L.A. (you know which team), or the chants of Mar-cus Cam-by? Would we have those memories without the injuries? Almost certainly not.
I'm thankful for Blazersedge. I live far from Portland. This is really my only place to talk about the Blazers. Even the annoying posters are Blazer fans too.
I am thankful for Brandon Roy. The miracle shot against Houston, 52 points against Phoenix, torching that team from L.A. in the Rose Garden... Roy has been a great player for Portland, deservedly the face of the franchise. Even if his knees stop him playing to that level again, it's been a great few years. Thank you, Brandon.
I am thankful for Lamarcus Aldridge. He's been a rock for many years. Rarely does he blow up to where you look back and say "Adridge won us that game", but his quiet contributions have made the difference so many times. He may not outright win the game, but he puts you in a position where somebody else can do it. He must be one of the most criticized Blazers in this forum, but I'm still thankful for him.
Nicolas Batum... well, most of you probably know what I think of Nico. My favorite player, and it's not even close. I'm thankful for his lockdown defense, for his silky smooth shot, for his effortless dunks, and for him being Nicolas Batum. Long may you remain a Blazer, Nico.
How can anyone not be thankful for Marcus Camby? There was one thread not long ago where I compared his arrival in Portland to the battle before Minas Tirith. That comment went green, and I never figured out quite why. Anyway, I was talking about Camby. Just when hope seemed to be lost, Marcus Camby came, swatting shots, flinging up his trebuchet jumper, and tipping in missed shots. Like Aldridge, rarely will you look back and point to him as the game winner, but you might well have never been in a position to win that game if it hadn't been for him. I hope red and black is your last uniform, Marcus. Many thanks to you, too.
Dante has always been a spark off the bench. Even when everyone else seems to be flat and disinterested, Mr. Cunningham always goes out and hustles. There's never a loose ball without Dante trying his level best to track it down. Dante is one of those players who can turn a game in a few minutes just by going out and playing hard. He loves to play, and sees every minute of floor time as a chance to earn more. Keep it up, Dante.
Rudy Fernandez took a lot of heat around here over the summer. Some of it was deserved. Much of it I personally believe was undeserved. Despite the media circus, I'm still thankful that Rudy Fernandez is on this team. Rudy can win you games. So thank you Rudy, but please do fire your agent. And then give us more of this.
I've only seen Wesley Matthews play a few games. Much of the time he seemed to be trying to force things, and struggling as a result. In the last couple of games, though (which I have been sadly unable to watch), it sounds like he's been the reason for one in the "W" column (and that W stands for both Win and Wesley). So thanks, Wesley. You've not had that much time yet, but you're doing pretty well so far. You're going to be worth all that money Paul Allen is paying you. Glad to have you (thanks for the video, Ben).
Andre Miller is one of the reasons this team didn't quit last season. He's another who is usually a quiet contributor, but he can sure take over a game! The ironman of the NBA, he is one of the players you can count on being there and contributing just about every night. He rolls an ankle? No problem, give him a couple minutes of rest and he'll be right back out there for you. He rolls the other one too? "Just let me rest it for a minute coach, I'll be fine." Thank you Andre. Just stay on the ground most of the time, we can't have you getting hurt. But a little more of this would be acceptable.
Joel Przybilla is another of those guys that you can't help but be glad he's on your team. So many times he has stepped up when needed. He loves Portland. He chose to stay in Portland, even at a low point. He believes in this team. And he's coming back very soon. Somebody get more of this guy's highlights on youtube. See you soon, Joel.
I'm thankful for the rookies too. Babbitt, Johnson, and Williams. Armon is the only one who's getting much playing time at the moment, and it was fun to watch for the few games that I got to see. Elliot, thanks for a few impressive dunks. Get well soon, and I hope you get your chance next year. Babbitt? Thanks for turning Tom into your fan. There's not really much to say about you yet, but come next year I'm sure there will be.
Patty, thanks for the fun videos. Thanks for that hilarious out-of-bounds "give me the ball!" moment. I hope you never need to play much, but you're sure a lot of fun to have around.
Sean Marks, thanks for filling in. I hope we don't need you anymore after Przy gets back, but thanks for being there if we do.
I'm thankful for the former Blazers too. Jeff, Sergio, Jerryd, Blake, Trout, Howard... I miss Jerryd. He was the only one who gave Nico a run for his money, but Frenchy beat him out. Thanks for the fun memories guys. Good luck wherever your careers take you, unless you're playing Portland. And Jeff, I hope we see you back next season.
No, I've not forgotten him. I am thankful for Greg Oden. While I never called myself a Blazer fan while he was playing, it was still a lot of fun to watch. Now that "fun to watch" has become special memories. Thank you for making me into a Blazer fan Greg. Thanks for all the special moments, for all the huge dunks, for all the amazing blocks. I firmly believe that you have a long career ahead of you, and that it will be in Portland. Even if I am wrong, you're always going to have a special place in my heart. #52.
I am thankful that I am a Blazer fan. It's a great day to be one.