A huge love of Clyde was the reason my love affair for the Blazers begun, I am sure like many young kids around the world. The difference is I have stuck solid and am completely addicted to my beloved Blazers.
I lived in Park City Utah and went up in 2002 to Salt lake city to watch the blazers get beat by one point.
This is the only time I have seen our boys play live but getting to see that team play live was huge for me as I was infatuated with Sheed & Zach (and still follow him closely) at the time. To look back and see who actually played in that game is rather crazy - Stockton, Malone, Kirilenko, Ostertag and then our boys in Kerr, Kemp, Pippen, Wallace, Stoudamire and Wells is awesome.
No doubt I am proud to say that my love of this team is huge and although I wont bore you, my one eyed support and belief in this team is off the charts. I read blazers edge nearly every day but have never commented for over 5 years but the fact I am on the verge of making my first visit to Portland, have decided it is the perfect catalyst to get involved and get your thoughts on the visit.
A best mate is having his bucks party (I think you call it a bachelor party) in Vegas on the 30th of Sept - 3rd of October and I am looking to fly in for our first pre-season game as it is one of the only chances I will get to see the boys live and actually visit the ROSE GARDEN in person. That is of course unless we make the WCF or NBA finals this year - as I will be on the first flight over - I will get to this in a minute.
Of all teams, we are playing the Jazz and therefore will hopefully also get to see two boomers play in Exum & Ingles.
My first questions is - Do you think our main boys will play?
Even though I will get just as much satisfaction from watching Mo (god i love what this dude brings) & Layman (this guy if he can tighten his handle a little could be a seriously solid addition in my opinion) it would be great to see our dynamic duo in Dame & CJ hit the floor as well.
Only this year I was in New York and as I walk through the foyer of the lobby of my hotel (Dream Downtown) CJ is walking straight past me. I am 32 and don't really get start struck any more but to see a real life blazer honestly took my breathe away and I came up with the lames comment ever ...
"Hey, is that you CJ"... to which all credit goes to him and he turned and faced me (not knowing I had his jersey in my bag to wear around the streets of New York the next day to show whom my US allegiance was with on trade night) and said "Yes".
I went over and said "I have been a life long fan of the Blazers and just want to say thank you for the great ride you and the boys gave us this year... oh and I am from Australia" ... can it get any lamer than that? I guess not but his long time girl Elise and him sort of giggled and acknowledged me, had a slight giggle out of respect to my lameness and proceeded into the restaurant within the hotel. I then continued to go to the ATM in order to get money out for the cab that didn't take card and got back 5 minutes later to which my wife looked at me and said "Where have you been?"
I responded, "I'll tell you later but I ran into one of the players I have a jersey of for the Blazers"
Credit to my wife she saw how happy was and let me enjoy the moment rather than getting angry that I left her with a cabbie for 5 minutes.
Now, just a quick run down on my thoughts of this team. Plain and simply it comes down to the fact that one theme continues to annoy me every time I read it, which is "We can't win with a CJ & Dame back court!".
This is absolute madness. Firstly, the world changes and evolves each day, while the NBA does so each year.
We improve as people each day (well some of us do) and there is no doubt that those two Men are doing the same and with their work ethic this will undoubtedly continue.
Even if you don't believe in personal development as much as I do, lets turn to history and facts.
Dame (26) is considered around 4th - 6th best PG in the NBA, with only Chris Paul (31), Russell (27), Steph (28) & possibly kyle lowry (30) on his level or slightly above. As you can see I have put their ages in brackets.
All of these guys have had major players along their side in recent years, while Dame & CJ (hold on, this guy is only 24 with ONE FULL YEAR AS A LEADING PLAYER TO WHICH HE ABSOLUTELY KILLED IT) have had one year and are the youngest of their kind in the most critical position on the court! How can we even consider knocking them! they are the absolute answer and WILL bring home the bacon (that is what they believe and rightly so, and I am going to be well and truly in the front seat of that wagon till it happens).
I hate comparing but Golden state came second in their division (51-31) in 2013/14 (when Steph was 26). They lost 4-3 in the first round against the clips. They went on the following year to win it all.
Now we may not do this but only 1 team will (the greatest regular season team in GSW last year didn't even bring home the title) and I genuinely think we are as good a chance as any. No doubt we will have to beat a star studded but not insurmountable Warriors side and LBJ to do it - but we have to believe.
Most importantly these boys have EARNED the right for us to believe in them!
We lost 4 of the starting 5 a year ago and all of a sudden through growth anything less than a top 4 finish would be seen as a failure in PDX. Why is that, well quite simply because a 23 & 25 year old last year wouldn't take no for an answer and led an NBA team... LED a team. That alone is a huge stride forward and experience that can't be bought or taught and we get to see these boys develop together as they are both locked in long term. That gives me goosebumps and I am absolutely pumped!
May this year be full of excitement and may the blazers continue to do what they have always done! Make me proud, make me smile and provide me with Love, which all of my band wagon mates that follow the celtics, lakers and bulls, admire!
I could go on all day but thought this was a decent introduction to the blazers edge community.
If any of you would like to catch up for a beer before or after the game let me know as I would love to get a big Blazers Edge crew together for a beer in a tradition Blazers Fan pub!
Sorry for any grammatical errors etc. I didn't proof read but simply wrote as it came to me.
Hopefully my trip to Rip City will lead to another fortunate encounter with one or more of our boys, although I can't assure you that I wont be start struck again!
Paul (haven't thought of a sign off name as yet, so I will stick with Paul until something not so lame comes to mind).