BlockParty aka Teamship's Blog

BlockParty aka Teamship

May 01

Open letter to all Portland Trailblazers Fans

By BlockParty aka Teamship Posted in: Blazers, Bobcats, BrandonRoy, geraldwallace, LaMarcusAldridge, livechat, MarcusCamby, NicolasBatum, teamship, WesleyMatthews

“Ugh, that trade is going to kill our playoff chances this season…but I know GW will be fully appreciated by those knowledgeable fans in the Rose Garden”.  The “our” in that quote was the Charlotte Bobcats.  I found out about the trade as I was 2 hours into a 7 hour roadtrip from Charlotte, NC to a suburb of Nashville, TN to help coach my son’s Junior Charlotte Rollin’ Bobcats wheelchair basketball team. 

My cell phone started buzzing more than a bumblebee’s wings in the spring time.  I literally pulled off the highway to check a combination of voice mail messages, texts and emails from friends, I was worried at first, thinking my wife or daughter must have been in an accident, or worse; what other reason would there be for so many messages so quickly.  “GW is gone”….”they traded away our heart and soul for salary relief”….”we just cut a bunch of players”….”GW and Nazr are gone and 3 other players have been cut”….”we are getting 2 first round picks, no we are getting 2 second round picks”…I was disappointed.   I’ve been a season ticket holder for the last 5 years and the trade seemed to be a significant obstacle towards getting back to the playoffs in 2011.

In hindsight, the trades that occurred a few minutes prior to the trade deadline involved a 1 player for 3 players + 2 draft picks trade involving GW and a 1 player for 2 players trade involving Nazr Mohammed (headed to Oklahoma City).  The Bobcats planned on waiving at least one of the incoming players in each trade, but NBA trade guidelines dictate the trade must stand alone by itself, so the Bobcats also had to waive 3 additional players (Derrick Brown, Dominic McGuire and Sherron Collins).  After the dust settled, the Cats had 2 1st round draft picks, the TVG, an upstart utility Forward in Dante’ Cunningham and DJ White from OKC, and they were able to resign Dom McGuire (but the Knicks signed Derrick Brown to foil the Cats plan of bringing him back).

Over the coming weeks, I was out of town and unavailable to go to every home game, which allowed me to be on the “Bobcats Live Chat” more frequently then the norm (which was every away game).  What I noticed in the ‘wake’ of the drafts were these die-hard Blazer fans (Kass, TG, Madam O and Kylie to name a few) that were so torn by the trade from the Blazers perspective, that they wanted to make sure the Charlotte fans appreciated “THEIR” players.  Ironically, that’s exactly how I’ve always felt about Gerald Wallace.  Even in the last game of the Blazers' season, RipCitySarah inquired of the Charlotte fans on the Blazers Chat “will Gerald come back from this injury”..lol..uhm, YES!

What had evolved from that February trade date, through the late March/early April playoff run for both teams, was a combined energy towards a common goal…supporting both Charlotte and Portland in their respective run towards the playoffs.  For the Cats, there were too many injuries and too few games to get the newest players acclimated to their new roles (of getting significant minutes).  Portland was a different story, the team seemed to be jelling at exactly the right time, dominating the top Western Conference opponents after March 1st. 

I don’t remember which Portland game was the first one I joined the Live Chat, but it didn’t take long for me to become a regular attendee.  And then I started watching Up and Adam, Sportslandia and Just Casey.  I had seen the team play enough to see the pro’s and con’s of various lineups, 3 goggles are contagious (ask Camby) and each of the top 7 players had great games while I was watching:  Nico beating San Antonio, Roy’s Game 4 comeback, Camby’s father-time rebounding performance vs Dallas, Miller Time just isn't something to do with beers anymore, Wesley’s 3goggle display in the 1st quarter vs Dallas, GW’s last game (WOW) and I’d have to use my hands and feet to the L-Train to count them up since the trade deadline.

#UpRise #RipCity.  I’m not sure how many times I used those two items in twitter posts over the last month, but it was a definite sign that I had evolved into a fan of the Portland Trailblazers.  As Kasey (Kass for all you Blazers fans) and I banter back and forth that we’ve agreed to pull for both team 80 games a year, with the exceptions the 2 times each season when Charlotte plays Portland.  Maybe Casey will let me be a guest on his show the morning of the game in Charlotte next season.

But the part of this blog that I want to hit home is how welcoming the UpRise movement has been to me and other Charlotte fans.  We even get ‘bold’ on chat, which really helped the exchange of ideas and comments.  Other friendships have been created (Patch, Albert, Herr, Anees, Jules, Sarah, SarahX, Greg, Dan, Dustin, Casey, Justin, Insert more names here______, etc.) and I’m very envious of how spoiled the media/web/tv departments have made the Blazer fans.  Seems like during the season, on a game day there are 4-5 shows, and at least that many blogs..that is truly FANtastic.

So I’m over the disappointment of the season, I’m…disinterested in the remainder of the playoffs, and hopeful the PDX and CLT have productive drafts and Free Agency dealings this summer.  AND if there is a lockout, it is critical that the Bobcats/Blazers games are not cancelled.  They need to be played so the Bobcats can win both and I can retain some bragging rights, because I KNOW RipCity will be a top 4 seed next season, and I will be front and center as much as the time difference allows supporting the team I have truly grown to Love (just like I love the Bobcats).

UpRise

~BlockParty

Coming soon…blogs about the evolution of Teamship in PDX(and an explanation of what it is), attending the 2010 NBA all-star game, and how I’ve been a fan of the Charlotte Bobcats for nine years even though they’ve only been playing for 7 years.

Next Story: Teamship-Defined

6 Comments

  1. hey BP, i really appreciate how you put that. the feeling is very mutual. i actually see a parallel between fans of these two teams (for one, each of us are polite!). i've grown to love the Bobcats as much as you've grown to love the Blazers. it's wonderful to have that kinship between us (so much so, i blogged about it!).

    we miss Joel, Dante and even Sean, but the bottom line is that after meeting you and the other bobcats fans, we knew they were in good hands. to confirm what you said, Crash is in good hands here. like you, we know how to treat our players and teams.

    thank you for sharing the sentiments.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 5/1/2011 4:57 PM
  2. ty for the blog. i have grown to love the bobcats too and mainly in part because of fans like you. i do see a lot of commonality between these two teams. i hope charlotte will do better next season that you will be able to get dante and maybe joel....i am hoping there is no lockout. that would be bad for this league..lockouts are never a good thing. i have enjoyed our banter and ty for sharing this with us. great blog and hope to hear more from you as im curious about those things you want to blog about. anyhow without this trade i would have never met such wonderful fans from nc....
    tg

    by oregongal47 view (TG) on 5/1/2011 5:04 PM
  3. Beautifully put, Mike/BlockParty/Teamship. ;-) It has been a great and unexpected pleasure getting to know the Bobcats' community. I see those parallels too! My feeling is (and I hope it's right) that Charlotte is just a couple-three years behind POR in the rebuilding process.

    More even than that, it seems to me that fans of small-market teams have far more in common --exempting those two games per season-- than they have reasons for rivalry. Deprived Seattle fans and endangered Sacramento fans have discovered that this year. And believe me, both have received plenty of support from Portland fans, who miss the original I-5 rivalry, and would be truly bereft if the Kings moved away as well.

    It behooves all of us to pay close attention to the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement and the consequent negotiations. Whatever happens, small-market teams and their fans need to lobby for their own survival.

    by occassia on 5/1/2011 5:48 PM
  4. You are my 3 senoritas, and you each posting responses is exactly what I've come to appreciate. You get it, you care, you are passionate about your team, and the friends that have crossed your path. I'm just lucky enough to have been in the right place at the right time. Thanks for being You.

    by BlockParty aka Teamship on 5/2/2011 2:16 PM
  5. Nothing but Bro love for you, my man!

    RIP CITY SOLID! CAT'S AIN'T BAD, THEY RAD!

    My voice is back and I'm glad to see you still writing as strongly as ever. ;)

    by Patch on 5/2/2011 8:37 PM
  6. We will spank you guys next year, But I am glad Dante went to a team with good fans....... Uprise to fans and ROLL ON BLAZERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by mbmurr1 on 5/3/2011 9:31 AM
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