June 27, 2010 by David Gillaspie
Geoff Petrie from Princeton? Who starts a team with a guy from Princeton not named Bill Bradley? Portland. And he turns out to be a true basketball guy through and through.
Sidney Wicks from UCLA? He and Curtis Rowe bridged the gap between Alcindor and Walton and didn’t lose a step. He goes to Portland.
Then Bill Walton, another UCLA case. The greatest Bruins of all time were the result of something from John Wooden. He coached, they played. There was something going on there that made them all great. Portland was lucky to have any of them.
The seasons after that run from the Mychael Thompson-era to the Clyde Drexler-era to the Jailblazer-era to now.
The players and coaches and administrators with a Blazer stop in their resume fan out through the league. How many are employed by the Blazers now?
Danny Ainge is GM for the Celtics. Terry Porter has been a head coach. Geoff Petrie is still moving and shaking. Rick Adleman coaches the Rockets.
Maybe it’s the case for all former team associates, but most of the Blazer alumni seem to be doing better for their teams than the Blazers are doing. Danny Ainge won it all as a player and a front office guy, the one who was fined for heckling with a white towel. Bring him home.
Terry Porter knows how to work with the big picture. He’s already been home to Milwaukie and knows what that feels like. Bring him back.
Get Rick on the staff instead of Seattle Bernie Bickerstaff. Stick Petrie in the big chair. He knows the job. Turn Portland into the team that wins and looks after its own, like San Antonio with their titles.
Get Mychael Thompson to call the games. If he’s good enough for the Lakers, he’s good enough here, besides he still owes Portland some good years. Bring Sam Bowie in as a guest of the team and let him and Thompson pump up GO. They know the drill.
The greatest moments in Blazer history are yet to come. If karma is any indicator, Portland will have first chance at the next Michael Jordan, and his name won’t be Kevin Durant.
If the world is neither fair nor kind, Portland will prove the exception to the rule. They will win a championship and the world networks will show the games as usual. During commercials they will show the wonderland that is Portland. Expect shots of the Columbia Gorge, the only mountain range in the world sliced through by a massive river.
Look for images of Mt. Hood and Timberline one moment and Cannon Beach the next. You’ll see St. Helens’ crater and Crater Lake.
Most of all, the world will see a team guided by the city and region they represent playing no holds barred, kick-ass ball with all the stops pulled out.
I know it’s a dream, but it’s a good dream.
Some look back at the last twenty years and say, “I wasn’t born yet.” Other’s look back and say “Oh my goodness, what might have been.” While still others say, “So close. So close. Yet so far away.”
Which one you are doesn’t matter. What does matter is what comes from Paul Allen and his Vulcans’ next.
I’m not the only who needs to sign this:
‘Let us in Portland know we, and the Blazer fans, are more than a rich man’s plaything. Tell us our feelings matter in the course of your Blazer decision process. Prove that you like us by making fun of the Blazer’s to Seattle story. Quash the rumors about people being fired for interfering in your love life. Okay, I made the last one up.
“Most of all, Paul, please make the Blazer fans know we are worth your time. We want some of that mutual admiration; it’s Oregon, we need a boost now and then to know we’re on the right trail. Find the perfect guy to take Portland to the Promise Land. He’s tan and rested; maybe not tanned. Let him get his hands on Portland. He would have taken Boston to the top if they hadn’t chosen Rick Spitino instead. He needs Portland; Portland needs him.”