Adam Kaufman of NoRegard.net has put together an interesting series of 2012-13 NBA season previews, comparing each team to a United States president. The Portland Trail Blazers, he writes, compare to Herbert Hoover.
For those of us who don't believe in any sort of cosmic plan for humanity, when science fails to give us answers, luck is about as close as we can get to a religious doctrine. Some people just don't have the cards stacked in their favor, and often, their misfortune cannot be explained through any sort of reason.
Herbert Hoover was one of those people. After winning in a landslide in the 1928 election, Hoover faced the stock market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression less than eight months into his presidency. As we know from recent history, economic issues do not grow overnight; downturns, even when they seem to happen suddenly, are generally the result of a lengthy series of interconnected events, decisions and patterns. Therefore, the haste with which Hoover's tenure turned to total shite has to be seen as an enormous middle finger from old Father Luck. Of course, Double H didn't provide an ideal response to the situation, failing to improve matters with a strategy that included promoting volunteerism, raising tariffs and forcing the relocation of thousands of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who he claimed posed a threat to the domestic job market (sound familiar?). What we see in Hoover then, is a perfect storm of terrible luck and an inability to properly address problems as they arose.
The Portland Trail Blazers, over the past five years, have been cursed with the basketball equivalent of Hoover's luck, but they have also shown the same sort of failure in their responses. We are all familiar with that most tragic of NBA stories, the great Crash of Greg Oden before he could even get off the ground. The repeated knee injuries suffered by the number one pick of the 2007 Draft represent the kind of sustained misfortune that gives a team's fanbase nightmares for life. What might be more terrifying than the injuries themselves, though, is the apparent lack of competency the Blazers staff showed in dealing with them. In the past year, information has come out about just how negligent the team's medical staff was in properly handling Oden's rehabilitation. And we have to imagine that Brandon Roy-a figure not tragic to Odenian proportions, but still pretty damn sad-might have made a stronger recovery with a different medical team, as well. As an organization, the Blazers have proved unable to properly handle the twists of fate that send players and teams into the depths of unpredictability and struggle, just as Hoover was unable to get the country out of its financial hole quickly.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter