The Trail Blazers celebrate their 50th season this year. The team has already started unveiling some of the festivities they have planned, but there’s still more details to come. Just in case someone in the office is reading, here’s my 50th anniversary wishlist:
The Blazers have already begun their temporary rebranding. They showed off the new court last week:
And it is forking awesome.
The faux-retro design harkens back most notably to the early-’90s court with the white keys and to the championship era/’80s court with all red sidelines and baselines (Twitter thread with pics for reference). Retaining the Art Deco font for the baseline/sideline wordmarks links back to the earliest days of the franchise. Overall, it’s a simple approach that won’t look awful in 20 years while still managing to celebrate the team’s history this season.
The logo is possibly a little too plain but fits well with the overall aesthetic. Management is presumably trying to avoid another logo as hilariously kitschy as the 25th anniversary design.
I wrote about this a year ago, but now is the perfect time to dig into the archives and show us some of the lost games in franchise history. In light of the quadruple overtime game against the Nuggets, I’ll continue begging for footage from Bill Walton’s debut — another quadruple overtime victory. Except the 1974 game against the Cavaliers ended with a big shot from Geoff Petrie instead of Rodney Hood. Portland’s other No. 1 overall draft pick, LaRue Martin, even gets namechecked by coach Lenny Wilkens as a key contributor down the stretch.
The game aired on TV in some markets in Ohio, according to the Akron Daily News, so there is a tiny sliver of hope that footage from Walton’s debut still exists.
Any other rare archival footage would also be enjoyed. For example, a short clip from a post-championship locker room interview with Larry Steele appeared in this tweet. Where’s the rest of the interview?!
If other Blazer’s Edge writers ever ask my for story ideas during the dreaded late July/early August dead zone I always jokingly suggest an excessively sappy Brandon Roy story (guilty, as charged). The Natural still resonates with Rip City. Many of us remember how he literally saved the franchise and would love to see Brandon formerly honored. Assuming he is interested, now is a perfect time to bring Roy back to the Rose Garden to retire #7.
An overly wrought thinkpiece about the role of the Blazers in Portland history
I’m admittedly probably the only one who wants this, but it’d be great to see a well-researched, comprehensive look back at the impact the team has had on Portland. Both positive and negative. The Blazers likely wouldn’t want to release this type of article on their own, but an independent author with connections to the league could tackle it.
The Blazers had the best uniforms in league history from 1977-91 (I dare you to fight me on this), but haven’t, to my knowledge, revisited those unis for a throwback night.
Refresher on the jerseys I’m talking about:
I already know Nike will wipe away the black waistband on the home unis (or the red waistband on the road unis) in the interest of making sure the lines flow properly or whatever. But I’m still excited to see the greatest NBA uniforms ever on the court again this year.
Oh, but ditch the ad for fake BioFreeze. Thanks.
Integrate lesser known players
For basketball nerds, NBA TV’s Open Court series provides an invaluable behind the curtain look at NBA life. It’s way too much fun for a show that’s ostensibly a room full of middle-aged dudes laughing way too hard at their own jokes.
Rather than trotting out the team’s veterans for a one-night-only attraction, I’d love to see Blazers Broadcasting take advantage of these guys being in town and ask them to do a studio show similar to Open Court or provide alternate comment on a classic game. It’d be an additional chance for past Blazers to entertain and connect with the fans beyond the usual awkward halftime presentation and ovation.