In his well-written, finely illustrated, and enthusiastic diary entry titled "Can We Dream?" (link in right column of this page) Devyn brought up the possibility of us making the playoffs this year. If you've read for the last few months you'll already know that I don't think that's a realistic goal (though of course I'd love to be wrong about that). But the question got me thinking about the milestones we'll need to pass as we make the journey back to that point, and then even further beyond to reach what is really the ultimate goal: being in championship contention again. Thus the theme of this post.
You'll know we've made it when...
- When you don't read one, single article prior to training camp about how one of our guys has turned over a new leaf, gotten in shape, found Jesus, made up with the coach, discovered a new commitment to defense, or decided to just keep his mouth shut and play this year.
- When you can read people's opinions on the team without every second sentence being about the media or any other local institution and how unfair they are in their conspiracies against the organization. That also goes for official team statements.
- When the front office is unified, organized, free of confusion, and basically quiet in the background...like the foundation that you know holds your house together but otherwise you take for granted and don't notice.
- When the team and the arena are owned by the same person.
- When you can stop talking about team leadership because on the one hand it's so obvious that there's no question and on the other hand it's so effortless that it doesn't look like you need any.
- When all the trade speculation switches from who we want to get to who people are trying to pry away from us.
- When the draft is more of a curiosity than a necessity, summer league is a mild diversion, and everything before the All-Star break is just a warm-up for the real season.
- When blogs like this one become semi-redundant (hopefully not ever fully) because you can have this kind of enthusiastic conversation about the team with your family, your friends, and even strangers on the street. In this way I'd love it if the Blazers and the Portland community put me out of a job (so to speak).