Bill Simmons Says Portland 'A Top 5 Basketball City'
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 04/26/2011 11:05 AM

    Via ESPN-
    That reminds me, I attended Game 3 of the Mavericks-Blazers series last Thursday. Since winning the 1977 title, Rip City suffered through Walton's feet, Bowie's shins, Roy's knees and Oden's everything. Their team famously passed on Jordan and Durant. They had quality contenders squashed by Isiah's Pistons, Magic's Lakers and Jordan's Bulls, eventually fumbling away the 2000 title to Shaq's Lakers with the cruelest collective choke in modern NBA history. When that roster slowly morphed into the hideous Jail Blazers, the most fan-unfriendly team ever assembled, the fans finally reached a breaking point and rebelled. Corporations stopped buying suites; fans stopped selling out the arena. Things looked bleak.
     During Game 3's satisfying victory, fans hollered for four quarters, worked the refs, heckled Cuban mercilessly, stood and cheered at the right times, brought their energy to another level when their team needed it, then skipped happily out of the arena when it was over. The way they were banging drums, honking horns and chanting "Let's go Blazers" on the street, you would have thought they had just won a Game 7. Some of them headed over to celebrate at Spirit of 77, a perfectly named sports bar because Walton's 1977 team legitimized Portland as a sports city, distinguished it from every other small market and set the tone for everything that followed. Portland might not be the best professional basketball city in America, but it's definitely in the top five.

    The more positive publicity we get the better. I know it rains a lot here which can put off some players but it seems like once players get here, they fall in love with the city (heck, Channing Frye makes his offseason home in the Rose City!). We have had a lot of heartbreak in this town but the fans are still as dedicated as ever. I know they had Broadway shut down when we won it all in 1977. I can only imagine what would happen if we won it all again.
    I am a fan of
  1. Anees
    Posts: 149

    Posted 04/26/2011 11:27 AM

    Thanks for sharing Dustin.

    Agreed on your comment - to quote Clyde the Glide "No doubt about it" :-D

    I was a senior in HS in 2000 and was thinking maybe the magic of graduating from HS and an NBA championship would have been the picture perfect combination, but alas, it didn't work out (talk about heartbreak!). No matter what happens with the current series, it's is great knowing that the condition and status of the team and franchise is heading in the right direction. 
    I am a fan of Lillard, Batum, Lopez, LA and T Rob taking it to other teams!
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 04/26/2011 3:57 PM

    I'm curious to think what other cities crack his Top 5 for hoops.  As for Simmons himself, I really take what he says with a grain of salt. He has bashed us in the past about Oden (sour grapes at the time for losing out on the chance to draft either him or KD in 07). But regardless, praise is praise, so I'll take it. Let's get loud on Thursday Rip City!
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. blazerdarren77
    Posts: 216

    Posted 04/26/2011 4:45 PM

    What does he mean we don't have a good arena? Compared to what? Has he been to all the arenas in the league? What qualities characterize one? Oh well, at least we all know that he's full of his initials.
    I am a fan of THE ROSE GARDEN FOREVER!!!
  1. David Harrison
    David Harrison
    Posts: 9

    Posted 04/26/2011 6:17 PM

    I think what he meant to say about the 2000 series was... the way the league decided Portland was not big enough for the NBA finals... they didnt choke!!  Still to this day feel like that was all decided by the powers that be. Portland has to be close to the loudest arena in the league and was the best inside and out until other teams decided to follow suit.
    I am a fan of Oden,Aldrige,Wallace,Roy and PG to be named soon as the starting 5!!
  1. BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 04/26/2011 7:46 PM

    With regard to arenas, I remember the old Arco Arena as a particularly nasty place to play.  Our fans?  Number one in my book.  One only has to ask themselves in what other NBA venue would the home crowd be breaking decibel levels with a "DE-FENSE" chant, down by 20+ with it all but a certainty their team was about to fall to 1-3 in a playoff series.  In most arenas, in late game situations, you could hear a pin drop if the home team was down by a seemingly insurmountable deficit.

    Blazer fans set the standard, all biases aside.  Proof was in the puddin' last Saturday afternoon.
    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
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