While I would've loved to have seen the Sky Father's rookie season, I wasn't that disappointed. I love the Blazers, and they promised to have a solid core of young and likable players who would be fun to watch. No one in Portland was predicting a championship season, but we could get behind the Blazers' new motto: "Rise With Us".
Well, we're now seven games into the season, and something special is happening. If you're outside the city, it might've been easy to miss.
The Blazers dropped their first three games, but it was a difficult stretch. All were on the road, and all were against excellent teams (San Antonio, Houston and New Orleans), granted, but Portland was still 0-3 to start the season.
But then our boys came home. They beat New Orleans in the home opener, then Memphis. Memphis wasn't a big deal...they're one of the few teams predicted to be worse than the Blazers...but then we beat Dallas. I was there for that game, and the Rose Garden was hopping since I don't know when. Then we beat Detroit, a day after former Blazer and current Piston Rasheed Wallace guaranteed we wouldn't make the playoffs this season.
The Blazers are 4-3.
I'm not saying they're going to keep this up, but something is going on. Everyone's playing well. The fans are enjoying the show. And these players are the most likable since the early 90's. They do work in the community. They have fun on the court. They seem to enjoy being here. They don't get arrested.
I read a game recap at ESPN, and this bit hit me:
Clyde Drexler and Jerome Kersey were among those who offered the young Blazers a bit of inspiration before they went out and beat the Pistons 102-94 Tuesday night.I got chills.
"I want that. I want to be Rip City again," said guard Brandon Roy, recalling a phrase from the Blazers' storied past.
Anyway, I'm excited. Rip City refers to those days in the early 90's when the Blazers were great. I remember it because I was a kid, and there were times where you'd go out on the front porch after a big game was won, and you could hear the cheers and cries across the neighborhood. Phrases like "Bingo Bango Bongo" and other Bill Schonely-isms (the Blazers' radio announcer) were common Portland lexicon.
Whatever professional sports does, it builds a community in a place like Portland.
Now, we're content with the rise.