It's time for the Monday Mailbag! If you have Portland Trail Blazers questions, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
I'm fascinated by your dual life of faith and sports. Can you talk more about it? How do they intersect and how do you manage?
I actually get this question a fair bit. I never quite think this is the format for an answer...at least not a sufficient one. The subject seems more appropriate to a memoir (like I'd ever write one) or a book (will probably write another one of those). Maybe a discussion over a pint of beer would work. But to ease your mind, I'll answer this far at least.
On or around the desk where I work, I have the following:
--Bill Walton and Maurice Lucas RC drinking glasses, to remind me that dreams do come true.
--A poster of the '90-'91 Blazers to remind me that good things can happen even when the ultimate dream doesn't quite come true.
--A Rasheed Wallace jersey to remind me that even when dreams do come true, it doesn't always turn out as pleasantly as you'd think.
--A Greg Oden bobblehead to remind me that whatever you dream, sometimes life falls waaayyyy short of your expectations.
--One of my son's Damian Lillard posters to remind me that despite all this, hope always flourishes anew.
So yeah, faith lessons are where you find them. Sports can teach you as much as anything if you let it.
And speaking of faith and the Blazers...Drake's question loosely brought up a matter that's been bouncing around in my mind for a while. Theoretically we're witnessing the beginning of a new era for the team, the Lillard-McCollum Era for lack of a better label. We're a year into the experiment now, still trading on promise more than results. This is the exact time for faith to flourish.
Below I've listed representative names from eight different historical Blazers eras. The links will send you to specific years on Basketball-Reference.com; the list of names for each era is representative of a few consecutive years, not just the year linked.
Look at these eras and answer two questions for me:
1. Where would you rank the 2016-17 Blazers right now? (That's in terms of performance and talent, not chronology.)
2. Where you do think their eventual ceiling will rank? How much faith do you really have in them?
Feel free to list the eras by letter or by time frame.
Have at it, and don't forget to send your questions to the e-mail address just below!