Tonight, as no doubt all of you know, our beloved Blazers are taking the home floor against the Dallas Mavericks. So far, the Mavericks have proved to be the tougher, deeper, and more competitive team of the series, sporting a 2 - 0 lead and looking to deliver a knockout blow. This is the unforgiving reality of the playoffs that Blazer fans know so well, this is the world of basketball. For these next few moments as you read over this, I am asking you to step away from that world, and into reality.
Now before you go blowing this off as another "give Brandon a standing ovation" or "chant his name" type post, please hear me out. For the last 4 years, we have been dazzled by the magnificent play of our all star guard, we've seen him win games at the buzzer, hit acrobatic lay ins, swish amazing shots, score 52 points in a game, and singlehandedly will our Blazers to victory. He has brought a smile to our faces hundreds of times from his accomplishments on the court, and made us proud.
Face it, he made us proud to be Blazer fans again.
But with all these accomplishments, with all these amazing feats, we seemed to have forgotten the most important fact about our 3 time all star. He is just a man. Yes, a man who we no doubt all placed at the top of our proverbial sports pedestal, but a man none the less. And right now, that man needs us.
As of late, all of us - including myself - have forgotten that he is a person 1st, and a basketball player 2nd. I am asking all of you to remember that again. Imagine yourself right now in his shoes, and I'm not saying pretend that you were once a great player and you have fallen from grace, but I am asking you to go deeper beyond just basketball to the very core of his problems. Imagine that you are facing such difficulties in your life that it is literally changing who you are as a person, making you say things you never would, alienating yourself from all your friends, losing enjoyment in the things you once loved, and trying your best to cope but there is seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel.
Now, would this be the time for you to be left alone? For people to turn their back on you? No. This is a time where you NEED all the support you can get. And who always has your back no matter what? Your family.
Family Blazer fans. Family.
I remember hearing a quote somewhere, that after 1977, the Blazers and the city of Portland began a "Love Affair" that still shines through today. Love affair? Maybe back then, but lets all face it, we're a FAMILY now. Call me crazy, but we as a fanbase and a team are, we love our players (aside from jailblazer era) and they really do love us back. Tell me why when we lost players like Travis, Joel, and when Greg got injured again, we all literally felt like we lost someone in our own personal lives? Its because the lines of basketball blur between this team and us as fans. The Blazers are a different team when they play at home, the look sharper, more energized, and more demerited. This is because they feed off our cheers, roars, and energy. They feed off our support.
Now back to Brandon. Like I said above, I'm not asking for a chant or a standing ovation, I'm asking for your support in any way you feel you can. And I'm not saying this is the magical solution that will "fix" Brandon - it may take much more than just this - but this is the first step, and honestly it cant hurt any.
Right now, Brandon Roy needs his family, he needs us.