We all love talking Blazers. Heck, that’s why your on this site right now reading this. As fans, we love to talk about the highs and the lows, the famous moments, and obscure players. Through all of this we build up certain narratives about our team and the players that have passed through Portland.
But some narratives just need to be put to bed. Here are my top four:
The injury curse
First of all, there is no such thing as a curse. I understand that the team has had bad luck with some high-profile players. Bill Walton, Sam Bowie, Greg Oden, and Brandon Roy are all prime examples of players who were felled early. Has any other team had it this bad? Possibly not, but every team has had players with promising careers succumb to injuries. Derrick Rose, Grant Hill, Allan Houston, Laphonso Ellis, Jonathan Bender, Yao Ming, Jay WIlliams, Brad Daugherty, Ralph Sampson, and Andrew Bynum all come to mind with only a few minutes thought.
Injuries are unfortunately part of the game, and while the Blazers seem to have been struck particularly bad, a lot of it comes down to a few high-profile draft selections and who was taken directly after them. Which brings us to:
The draft misses
I’m so tired of this one.
Yes, the Blazers drafted Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan. Yes, they drafted Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant. Neither of those are really justifiable in hindsight but, and bear with me here, who cares? It happened.
Kevin Love returning to Oregon
This has nothing to do with the fan-base, but is a symptom of national writers needing to create content. “Hey the Blazers need a power forward. Kevin Love is from Oregon. Let me put together a hypothetical trade package!”
I understand that an exploratory call was reportedly made last summer, but this has been out in the ether for a couple seasons now with no real smoke until recently. With the offseason here, we’ll likely hear Love’s name somehow linked to the Blazers again this season, but I could go without it. I’m not saying I’m for or against Love playing in a Portland uniform, but if I never see another screenshot of Love’s name in the trade machine it will still be too soon. Call me if it actually goes down.
The summer of 2016
There’s no denying that this was a disaster, for a multitude of reasons that have been covered ad nauseam. But bear with me: The Portland Trail Blazers made the Western Conference Finals this season.
No trade flexibility? They made the Western Conference Finals. No room to sign a free agent? They made the Western Conference Finals. $37 million tied up in Evan Turner, Meyers Leonard, and Maurice Harkless? They made the Western Conference Finals.
That’s the ultimate scoreboard. The Blazers were one of the last four teams standing and therefore were a massive success this season. Nothing else matters to me. Are those bad contracts? Yeah, they range from probably more to definitely more than any of those players would have gotten from another team, but ultimately Turner, Leonard, and Harkless are 20 percent of a roster that won two playoff series.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to turn the page on these topics. What did I miss? Let us know what Blazers story line needs to be retired in the comments!