Preparing to climb what pundits have deemed an impossible mountain—regaining ground, down 0-2, in an NBA playoff series with the Golden State Warriors—Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum reflects on the support of Blazer fans and the trials of the 2016-17 season and in his latest Players’ Tribune feature, “No Place Like Home.”
Portland basketball fans are the best basketball fans in the world. Period.
Other fans arrive a quarter late for games. Blazers fans regularly show up an hour before tip.
Other fans get antsy when their team’s offense struggles to score for a few possessions. Blazers fans give us standing ovations, like they’re trying to will their energy into us.
Other fans might stop coming to games when their teams fall in the standings. Blazers fans just pack the house even more.
Like — we don’t have those bandwagon hoops fans in Portland. We don’t have those bougie, not-into-it, wouldn’t-be-caught-dead-in-the-free-t-shirt hoops fans in Portland. We’ve got those pinwheel-tattooed, bleeding-red-and-black, still-rocking-that-Walton-jersey, ride-or-die, realer-than-real hoops fans in Portland. The love is real. The support is real.
And the impact is real.
You can read the full article by following the link above. McCollum vividly paints his appreciation for the fans during what was, at times, a trying season. You can also check out an archive of McCollum’s work by following this link.