Jun 09

Trail Blazers Fans Support NBA Finals In Force

By sarahhecht
During the first four games of the NBA Finals I’ve noticed a phenomenon that has taken me some time to figure out.

It started during game one. I was watching my Twitter feed and was SHOCKED at how many Trail Blazers fans were not only watching the NBA Finals, but were fully invested in the game. It was exactly like during a Trail Blazers game, but with names like Kidd and Dirk instead of LA and Crash. It felt a little like the twilight zone.

So this got me to thinking, are fans all over Portland watching the finals? And if so, who are they rooting for? Dallas seems like a logical choice because they’re the Western Conference team. But on the other hand, we all know they eliminated us and that makes it a bit harder to swallow. Miami has its fans too, and with a Portland connection in Juwan Howard, I can see Trail Blazers fans leaning that direction.

After my pondering I decided to do a little undercover research. I went to a couple sports hangouts around town to watch the games. Grand Central Bowl and On Deck Sports Bar and Grill were the spots.

I was even more impressed by the turnouts for the games than by my Twitter feed. Portland fans came out en masse, rocking their Trail Blazers gear, to cheer for the team they decided to back (most were rooting for the Mavs.)

I spoke with a few people about why they were watching the Finals and got some inspiring answers. Trail Blazers fans appreciate the game in general. A few people told me they’re better fans when they watch more basketball, they learn with every pass and shot. Most of all, fans love the excitement of the Finals, even if they don’t include the Trail Blazers.

Talk about excitement, this NBA Finals series between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat has been incredible so far. It’s indisputable. Three of four decided at the buzzer. It’s unreal. Sure, the games haven’t been the greatest, but the endings have made them worth it.

There’s something about a game coming down to the last shot that twists the stomach and makes four quarters of semi-entertaining basketball seem like the pre-game warm up. These Finals have been a great return on a year of investment in basketball.

There’s no doubt in my mind that tonight’s game five will bring a good crowd. I’ll be watching from Spirit of 77, so if you’re there, bring your A-game. Your enthusiasm increases mine.

Thanks for the NBA Finals ride!


  1. Miss Sarah;

    I too am watching the finals with enthusiasm; at first it was that finally two new teams, the lakers and or Boston was no longer going to be ringing in my ears from the bias media. I am not sure the media realize just how sick most fans are of watching the same old stacked teams over and over again.

    It was also, that playing against Miami is almost like playing against another stacked deck, and I would have rooted for anybody playing against them. Plus justified or not, my dislike for the things that King James did and stand for.

    Of course the last is the Western Conference fandom.

    I have no animosity at all towards the Mavs for beating us, in fact, I think they deserve a little praise for playing so tough against a great team; even if we were the underdogs, we were the team that no one wanted to meet in the play-offs.

    I am not a big fan of the Mavericks, in fact I dislike Jason Kidd because of countless escapades of domestic violence. Just a little bias setting in, much like my dislike for Kobe for his public display of unfaithfulness. Ya, I know that has nothing to do with BB.

    I was a fan of the Mavs against the Lakers and the Thunders, so it seems natural to keep rooting for them. Like you said, the games has been thrilling and close and I would lots rather be rooting for the Mavs then rooting for the teams I dislike less.

    Go Mavs.

    by Hg on 6/9/2011 4:06 PM
  2. I'm enjoying watching these finals knowing that the Blazers played these two teams pretty tough through the season. The fact that Dallas made it to the finals takes the sting of the playoff loss to them less painful. If Miami wins, I can say that I saw the champs play up close at the RG in January. I have no rooting interest in either team, but I am enjoying these finals as a basketball fan.

    by blazerdarren77 on 6/9/2011 8:09 PM
  3. Last night sure didn't disappoint! The crowd at Spirit of 77 was fantastic, as was that huge 12-foot projection screen.

    It was surprisingly lopsided in fandom though, only two Miami fans in the whole place...

    by sarahhecht on 6/10/2011 8:32 AM
  4. Miss Sarah: It was an exciting game. We were watching from our local Bowling center doing summer league and it got pretty intense at times. Most were for the Mavs, but few was for Miami, and being a minority they chose not to yell to much.

    by Hg on 6/10/2011 8:55 AM
  5. I'd be genuinely happy for the Mavs if they won. They have been so close, so many times. As a Blazers fan, I know how it feels to nearly get to the top of that hill but just not able to reach it. But they have paid their dues and i think there is no better time for them to win it than now. Dirk is leading them like a superstar plus they are fun to watch.

    by DHawes22 on 6/10/2011 11:18 AM
  6. Blazer fans love basketball as well as the Blazers.

    by mbmurr1 on 6/10/2011 3:48 PM
  7. Miss Sarah

    As I am waiting for tomorrow's night game, I realized that another reason for rooting for the Mavs are they are on their way out and this could be their last shot of getting the RING. Whereas the Miami Heat is just starting out and are likely here for a decade or so. Therefore rooting for Mavs whether you like or dislike them has great memories and history making implications.

    by Hg on 6/11/2011 8:30 AM
  8. I am rooting for the Mavs for sure. I feel like when a team knocks off Portland they kinda absorb all our ambitions and hopes to win a championship, and anything less than a total win would also in some small way be letting us down (this rule does not apply to the lakers, if they beat us i hope they get swept next round).

    Second a lot of young teams are knocking on the championship door and i feel like the Mavs may only have this or maybe 1 other chance to win the whole thing so they gotta capitalize now and reward guys like Dirk and Kidd who have strived for one their whole career.

    Last off all, and maybe most of all, I really don't want the heat to win the championship because I feel like it just validates the decisions that led up to making that team. I want to see a balanced cohesive team win out over a team thrown together last summer.
    I know that its unlikely another team in the near future will be able to pull off what Miami did last summer but I want them to lose so all the GM's thinking about it in the future will say "hey look a balanced team still prevailed" and regard the notion of a superstar team as a bad idea.

    Listen if the heat win this year then fine, I won't feel bad about it. But I would feel happy for them if it had taken them 5 hard years of ups and downs before developing into a great team instead of a 1 year project. Its just not fair, especially for such an undeserving fan base.

    by Lapinnoir on 6/11/2011 9:26 PM
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