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An Ode to LaMarcus Aldridge

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As the season comes to a close, it's time to give LaMarcus Aldridge some love.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Writers block.

Unlike the Blazers, I've managed to stay clear of any serious affliction this season. Part of it is being new to the gig. Part of it is the tumultuous season the Blazers have had. Part of it is that Portland is unsettled just enough to have things to talk about but solid enough for all those things to really matter. But whatever inspiration I was drawing from ran out this week. I guess you might say I was falling prey to the pre-playoffs doldrums.

To try and find a remedy, I flipped through all of the articles I had written this year. Immediately, something jumped out at me. Not a single one focused on LaMarcus Aldridge. Not even half of one really. Of course, he's come up from time to time but never have I sat down and wrote something focused on Portland's best player.

I thought about doing my usual thing, pulling some clips together, combing through some advanced stats and trying to find a few nuggets I could add to the conversation. After doing some digging, I realized why I hadn't written anything about him yet. I would essentially be telling people things they already knew. Aldridge is really, really, really good. Aldridge is the Blazers' most important player. He's the keystone in everything the Blazers do. The team would struggle to make the playoffs without him. Yadda yadda yadda.

However, it seems a shame that I would go a whole season without spending some time appreciating the Blazers' workhorse. This is especially true considering how little love he gets from us fans relative to his influence. So, not wanting to rehash the obvious but hoping to show my appreciation for Aldridge and his incredible season, I wrote a poem.

I hope you enjoy it and please chime in with your own words of appreciation.

An Ode to Aldridge

Pivot on the right, plant with the left

Fall away, body straight, movement deft

Form picture perfect, helpless defenders left bereft

Your murderous intent

Clear as crystal, like the ball's descent

Splash!

A turnaround so reliable

A jump hook so undeniable

Post game draws the double, makes the defense pliable

Open three from the corner, whoops, defense is gullible

These crimes on the court, in court you'd be held liable

Your dominance borders on madness, unjustifiable


But not long ago, before you seemed so masterful

Just another rookie, dwarfed by the promise of The Natural

Labeled skinny and soft, Buck's disciples wanted an animal

Cultural legacy a fickle thing, criticisms flirted with "irrational"

Overlooked once again

A boy picked last, a man picked second

Yet playing second fiddle, caught in the middle

Biggest draft since '84

Didn't matter you could score, fans drooled on the floor

For the second coming of Russell, finally forget Bowie and the Jor'

Cultural legacy once again

Your fickle friend


That dream fell apart around you, collapsing Blazers

Buckled knees, all subjected to the edges of razors

Suits donned the shoulders of the presupposed saviors

Basketball Gods and Lady Luck nothing but a pair of merciless traitors

How tragedy afflicts

Abandoning the man overlooked with a task impossible to fix

But someone who has beat death once knows a few tricks

And a heart that beats too fast can spare a few ticks

We all learned quick


From lanky to strong

From supporter to quiet captain

Now, our fearless leader

You grew up in front of our eyes

Those few doubters that remained, silenced in "Clutch City"

Ha! What a misnomer! What a pity

That your first victim was Terrence Jones, Portland born and bred

Looked like a boy amongst men in over his head

Too big, too strong, too good

The Turkish Goon, McHale said "Sic ‘em"

James Bond villain, you shook and stirred him

Too quick, too skilled, too good

A foundation built, a lead secured

Fourteen years of futility endured

You set-up the shot heard round the world

It can be easy to forget that

I am one of the guilty ones


Often taken for granted, only truly valued when lost

A simple swipe down, potential strip not worth the cost

You surprised us yet again, who still thinks he's soft?

Silence

Impending disaster on the horizon, you became a giant

Overcoming when average men would falter, straight defiance

The legend grows, now deserves a name that's true and timeless

L-Train? Already taken

LA? You play in Oregon

LaMarvelous? Please don't encourage ‘em

A man who's defeated death with such decisiveness

Brought his team out of the depths of darkness

Resurrected a city so ravenous

Can have but one name in my eyes — Lazarus

Rip City's Miracle


I know we'll get to the promised land one of these days

But no matter how this story ends we'll be able to say

"It's a great day to be a Blazer!" for as long as you play