Warning: This article contains harsh information regarding the Portland Trail Blazers. May touch on sensitive and/or emotional topics. If angered easily, please look away.
“With the first pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select Greg Oden, from Ohio State University.”
What a wonderful time to be a Blazer fan.
Last year at the Draft, your General Manager Kevin Pritchard, pulled off a heist that resembled something drawn up by George Clooney, Brad Pitt and the rest of the “Oceans” gang. First, he convinced Minnesota to trade Brandon Roy to Portland for Randy Foye. Don’t ask me how. Then, with a wave of his magic wand, Pritchard trades Tyrus Thomas, Portland’s No. 4 pick to Chicago for LaMarcus Aldridge, Chicago’s No. 2 pick.
Now it’s June 28, 2007, and your team just added yet another promising young piece. With Roy, Aldridge and the 7-1 man child from Ohio State — who may or may not already be 37 years old — your future is set. Three young players, all with a unique set of skills, poised to become the cornerstones of the franchise for years to come.
Top that off with Jerryd Bayless and Nicolas Batum in the ’08 Draft, and you have five young, talented prospects all under the age of 22.
Few teams looked more promising than the Portland Trail Blazers.
Let’s just say things haven’t gone exactly as planned.
Quick summary of the last three years: Oden misses entire rookie season with micro-fracture knee surgery. Blazers go 41-41, miss playoffs. 2008-09 offseason: Roy has cartilage removed from left knee. Roy misses pre-season, returns for opening night. 2008-09 season: Oden shows up 40 pounds overweight, plays 13 minutes in NBA debut, leaves game with foot injury after being held scoreless. Returns two weeks later, has career game against Milwaukee with 24 and 15. One month later, goes knee to knee with Corey Maggette, out three weeks with chipped knee cap. Blazers finish 54-28, lose to Houston in first round of the playoffs. 2009-10 season: Oden injures left knee three weeks into the season, taken off the floor in a stretcher, misses entire year with fractured left patella. Joel Przybilla ruptures patella tendon against Dallas. Has surgery two days later. Begins rehabilitation. Three months later, reportedly falls in shower, re-injuring right knee, misses remainder of season. Roy injuries right knee weeks before playoffs. MRI shows bone contusion and slight meniscus tear. Blazers finish 50-32. Roy undergoes surgery but returns for Game 4 of playoffs. Blazers lose in the first round to Phoenix. 2010-11 offseason: President Paul Allen fires Pritchard days before the 2010 NBA Draft. Blazers trade Bayless to New Orleans for future first round pick. Blazers announce Oden has micro-fracture knee surgery on left knee, ending entire season.
And here we are.
It got pretty ugly back there, so I’ll give everyone a second to catch their breath.
Currently, the Blazers are 12-13 and fourth in the Northwest Division. Roy has continued to experience trouble in his knee and the Blazers as a whole simply look out of sync. They have lost two in a row, and are 5-10 on the road.
Now, the point of this article was not to bash the Blazers and make fun of their players for falling in showers. The point of this article was for fans to realize how quickly things can change. For fans to appreciate the team they have now, not the team they could “potentially” have in 2013. The Blazers are the perfect example. Three years ago, they were the team of the future. The Thunder before the Thunder. The team with unlimited potential. And what are they now? To put it nicely: a banged-up superstar, an old point guard and nine above-average small forwards. Oh, and Sean Marks.
It’s the Holidays, so be thankful for what you have. Be thankful for your team, and be thankful for your players.
Just think, you could be Seattle…
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