Apr 28

Silent Communication Shared By A Brotherhood

By sarahhecht
Writing right now isn’t easy. Frozen fingers and a numb mind.

I’m sure across Rip City there’s a shared sense of disappointment. Losing the hard-fought battle to the Dallas Mavericks isn’t easy for any of us, especially the 15 men that donned Trail Blazers uniforms tonight.

Quiet enough to hear a pin drop the locker room was unlike any other night. The usual shuffle of reporters from player to player and straight-forward interviews were absent. There were no smile and no laughs.

Instead heads were down and towels covered faces. Rudy Fernandez sat in a daze staring glossy-eyed into space. Patty Mills slouched down in his chair facing his locker and not moving an inch. Nicolas Batum shook his head silently in disbelief.  A low murmer could be heard from Wesley Matthews as he softly shared his hard to gather thoughts on the season-ending loss.

“It’s not a good feeling, it’s not a good feeling at all.”

Emotions are a tricky to quantify and even more difficult to express when much of what you’re feeling is emptiness.

With words hard to find and emotions difficult to express all the pain, heartache, frustration, sadness and disappointment of the evening were shared in the universal locker room language.

A closed fist meets that of your brother. All is said and done.

For now.


  1. Aw, beautiful little piece Sarah. For sure, it must be a tough feeling to go through as the guys' body postures reflected. When it's so hard for us watching, one can only imagine what it must feel like for the guys after all that hard work, sacrifice, and the ups and downs of an NBA season.

    Hopefully, the guys will get some time away, let the feeling fade with time (they've gone through this before, but with each passing year, maybe it hurts a bit more) and hopefully, we'll have GO back, a full year with GW and even more driven than before to reach new heights.

    Take care Sarah - hope see you around online here or on Twitter.

    by Anees on 4/28/2011 11:28 PM
  2. This is want I wanted to read, as opposed to Canzano's diatribe on the deserving of a victory by The Blazers or the Fans.

    Ultimately it is the players that feel the sting as this is their profession. It is our shared passion as player and fan alike. Yet in the end, fans continue to beleaguer the pressures without humanizing the play's frustrations.

    Well done to make everyone appreciate all that these men have done this season. They should reflect, and take heart in that deserving praise.

    by Patch on 4/28/2011 11:33 PM
  3. Miss Sarah. had to work after the game. It may have been good to work off the hurt. Will write more in the morning.

    by Hg on 4/29/2011 12:12 AM
  4. Miss sarah;
    I thank you for the feel of the Blazers players. The problem with reflecting the missed plays, the miss comunications, the miss shots, missed opportunity is you reflex with thought. When you are in real world mode, most of the action was reaction to trained reflex. Therefore all the what-ifs and only-ifs shows up.
    They played great all year.
    I ponered half the night on my reflextion of the year so I will copy and paste this from the MB Blog.

    "I am sad the season came to an end, although it wasn't surprising. We were the 6th seed and they were a strong 3rd seed and like us an injury took them from being number 1 or 2 seed.
    I am not unhappy, disappointed, or frustrated with this team. They played hard all season; they overcame many adversities, inter-squad adjustments--leaders and options; they heard all the fire Nate, dump BRoy, get rid of Rudy, Dre is too old, get CP3 at all cost because nobody else counts; They know they are streaky and doesn't have consistent shooting; they know they have to get better, to grow, and need much more time for gelling with the new roll of BRoy, what ever that is; the play of G-Man with the growth of the rest of the team with him.
    I ponder on the what-ifs also, but as BRoy often says, it is what it is. We look forward to a summer of tweaking, improving, getting injured players back (Greg and Williams) to see what they can bring. To see the growth of Babbitt, the Johnson boys, Patty, BRoy's new role, Matthews 3rd year growth and working on his weaknesses, LMA devotion to being even better. The questions on Rudy, getting Batum more aggressive and the over-all affect of G-man.
    I leave this season not in disappointments and sorrow or dwelling on what could have been, but with excitement, hope, and belief that the new year will be even more exciting, more adventurous then this year. I leave with the belief in the team, the front office, the fans, and all the wonderful blogs and post that has helped me grow.

    I am thankful for being a witness to a great year, record breaking events, history making events, and watching a team that was predicted to be a cellar dweller after the loss of Greg for the season, BRoy’s bad knees explosion, and the lack of production from what was left to becoming play-off contenders to even predicting getting out of the first round.
    I thank you Miss Sarah for sharing your thoughts, enthusiasm, and committment to the Blazer team."

    Harold Gene Mangum

    by Hg on 4/29/2011 8:05 AM
  5. Thank you Sarah I enjoy reading your posts have a good summer. Here in Bend Oregon we dont see summer till after the 4th of July .........

    by jyp on 4/29/2011 10:59 AM
  6. Hey jyp: fellow bowler. I am a Prineville bowler. used to bowl at Lava lanes quite often We probably know some of the same bowlers since many Bend bowlers bowl at the Rimrock Lanes. Sometimes we don't see summer until Augest LOL.

    by Hg on 4/29/2011 11:26 AM
  7. Has the locker room ever been that down before in your experience?

    by DHawes22 on 4/29/2011 12:27 PM
  8. Great Season and with all the adversities we faced I won't complain about the outcome. I attended 8 games and spent more than I maybe should have this year, but I was well entertained (only had to sit through 2 losses including the last - and 6:2 is the best W:L ratio for games I've attended any year). I was there for the wins over DAL, SAS, NOH, MEM, & ORL.
    Even with the same round 1 exit again, I still love my Blazers as if they were my own brothers and will root for them even if we are down by 100 pts in the 4th! Thanks guys! :)
    Looking ahead...
    Unless there are MAJOR off-season moves, I'm looking forward to seeing a stating lineup of Oden, LA, Crash, Wesley and Dre next fall...and it would be nice to see Nic in the running for the 6th man award, he has room to improve and will do so if he stays healthy LA will be an ALL STAR if he stays healthy. I'd love to see Camby still here backing Oden and if we don't resign Joel then CJ is a a nice 3rd option with lots of potential. Brandon and Rudy need to be more consistent but I love these guys too much to even consider trading them and know what they are capable of, I say give them another shot! All in all, I think our guys just need more confidence, they have so much talent and chemistry that the only thing beating them is their own fears.....and then a hot hand from an opponent and some bad calls from the refs doesnt help, but even with that stuff, a focused confident hard-working gritty determined mentality can allow the Blazers to prevail. After what I've seen this season (BRoy Game 4, and Nic vs SAS just to name a few), I know they can overcome anything if they set their minds to it!

    by DPR Rip City on 4/29/2011 1:39 PM
  9. Sarah, i can't even fathom how these guys felt. i know i was upset at the outcome, but obviously the've got to be feeling it much more intensly. in time, they will be able to put this in perspective. my heart goes out to these guys.

    by Kassandra on 4/29/2011 2:02 PM
  10. I can't help but think the players and coaches almost feel a little "relieved" that the season is over. Don't get me wrong. I truly believe they wanted to win it all. But, with what this team has gone through in the past 4 years, you can't blame them for wanting a little respite from all the hardships. Some had to play a lot more minutes than they were used to. Some had to play out of position. All of them had to endure loss. Whether it be by trade, or death. New coaches. New GM. Same expectations. It's got to wear on everyone involved. I'm not trying to make excuses. They all get paid very well to deal with these "problems".
    So...Onward and Upward.
    A healthy Oden will fix a good majority of these issues. A healthy team would be nice, huh? I know. What's that? They also need to address the giant gorilla in the room, which is finding a point guard who will eventually (or immediately) take over for Dre.
    Can't wait till next year. GO BLAZERS!

    by jamm43 on 4/29/2011 2:10 PM
  11. Nice writing Sarah. I hope all of you will be able to lift your heads and reflect on what an incredible season this was. I'm new at following the Trail Blazers and actually new at following a Professional Team. I was skeptical at first thinking that professionals might be a bit arrogant and perhaps only in it for the dollars. That may be true in some places, but not here. The Blazers are incredible young men who played through injuries, with heart, with uncertainty, in unfamiliar roles, and with ever changing players. Change is anything but easy, and the Blazer organization has had a rash of it this year. We all can learn from how they dealt with this change, showed leadership, and strived for a complete winning season. They may temporarily have deflated spirits; I hope not for long. They need to continue to show leadership in the off season! And I'll be ready for the CAPS UPRISE come Fall. Looking forward to more tweets! Jean

    by JMB on 4/29/2011 2:46 PM
  12. Thanks Sarah. After Game 3, I saw this coming. I was shocked when they pulled off the Game 4 win, and thought and hoped that maybe they might pull off an upset. But it just wasn't meant to be. I know that the Players probably aren't feeling too great about what happened in Game 6, but they will get over it and take time to relax and rejuvenate and then come back ready to get back to work. But in the meantime, have a great summer and I will hopefully see everyone back here in the fall.

    by BrainLL1 on 4/29/2011 7:00 PM
  13. Nice blog Sarah. I worked with my college basketball team, got to travel with them and see all the emotions high and low. As a rule of thumb with competitive college or higher level sports, there aren't too many teams that are happy with how the last game of the season ends (usually it involves a loss in a playoff or tournament or a disappointing season that doesn't qualify them for the playoffs or a tournament). But, the things that don't kill you, make you stronger. PDX has a great core coming back next year and that is a huge benefit with the pending CBA/lockout. Same coach, same team, similar offense, similar defense, etc.

    With Roy, I think the key is him figuring out what his body will allow. Just like Magic, Bird, Malone, MJ and tons of other players in the Basketball Hall of Fame, they had to adapt their game as they lost the explosion (ok, I agree Bird had no explosion) in their natural abilities. They all became more cerebral towards the end of their careers, Brandon will do the same, he'll make that adjustment and continue to be a threat against any team in the league. That & possibly a healthy Oden returning on a lower contract will push Portland into the top 4 seeds in the Western Conference.

    by BlockParty aka Teamship on 5/1/2011 5:52 PM
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