So I decided to write my first post here on Blazer's Edge after reading this post on Clips' Nation. It is one fan expressing a sense of loss after trading away what was seen as a part of the core of their team in Gordon and Kamen to get Chris Paul. However, my response went a little long, and more in-depth in Blazerness than I wanted to subject Clipper fans to in their time of celebration, so I post it here instead...
I can say that distrusting the idea of trading away young pillars of an exciting team sums up the feelings many of us Blazer fans had after we drafted Roy and Aldridge, then a year later won the Oden lottery. We were the up and coming team and rumors were always swirling about possible trades for superstars (the realism of the rumors is the real question). In the end, 4 knees went out and we just signed Kurt Thomas and Jamaal Crawford (and I'm still excited about the season, to be honest).
Would I trade all the excitement, hope and ultimate sorrow I felt over the years watching 'our guys' develop together, and ultimately only having Aldridge and Batum left on the roster and healthy, for Chris Paul? If, say, he was traded for Roy and Oden while Oden was sidelined his rookie year after his first micro-fracture surgery, when the consensus seemed to be that he would return to something above 80% of his old self (I don't know who would have said no to this deal faster at the time, Portland, or wherever the Hornets were playing at the time). Aldridge and Paul would have been an amazing combo; as many dunks, if not nearly the amount of style points, as can be expected out of Paul to Griffin. Would it have been worth giving up the chance of seeing something truly special develop between our home-grown, organic Big 3 (and how very Portland that whole concept is) for a legit, pre-packaged superstar? I honestly don't know if I would. Common sense seems to say that it's a no-brainer seeing how everything unfolded, but would Chris Paul to LaMarcus Aldridge be worth losing Roy's numerous end of game heroics in the regular season, his quick return in the Phoenix series, Game 4 v Dallas and his final realization that basketball, in fact, is only a game and other things in life are more important? Or watching Greg Oden, who has earned my admiration not only as a basketball player, but as a person (as has Roy) for how he has coped with set backs that seemed to have shaken his psyche while people all over the world question his worth, only to continue rehabilitating with a determination I have never shown to anything in my life. I honestly don't know if I would want to trade these memories, along with the innumerable other events from the latest epoch of Blazers history that I look back on fondly for... a chance.
From a purely basketball standpoint I can appreciate the 'championship or bust' mindset that some posters here on Blazers Edge exhibit, and from my limited experience rooting for championship-level teams (Oregon football last year, Oregon basketball's Elite 8 runs, Liverpool winning a Champions League Final, only to lose the rematch a few years later, losing an UofO Intramural Basketball Championship game at Mac Court in overtime) I can say that it is an exhilarating feeling. However, looking back on those teams, winning or losing the championship is a very small part of the memories I have. It is also the journey and the people who were around me and shared in the experience. So I guess I leave it to you, fellow Blazer fans. Assuming it could have been worked out at the time, would you have traded away Roy and Oden for Chris Paul during Oden's true rookie year? I can't say that I know my answer...
Roy/ Oden for Paul?
Yes (10 votes)
No (40 votes)
50 total votes