This week’s Trail Blazers Fan of the Week goes to Dan, aka petro4three. If Dan’s not taking us back in time with blogs about the Top 7 Gems in Trail Blazers draft history
, he’s breaking down the latest trade rumors
. To get to know a little bit more about the user behind the handle, here's the Rip City Rundown with petro4three
How long have you been a fan?
My earliest Blazers experience was when my mom took me to a preseason game against the Lakers in 1982. I was only five years old so I don't remember much, but she says I loved it. After that I would watch games on local television. Also, Franz bread cards changed my life in the 80's.
Why did you become a fan?
I grew up in SE Portland and at that time Blazers used to come to schools and basketball camps all the time. I remember meeting Michael Holton, Kevin Duckworth, Terry Porter, and Clyde Drexler. And back in the day of the Coliseum, player access was incredible, especially before games. People could literally sit outside the locker room door without ropes or ushers keeping you back. And the players were great, not just signing my Franz bread cards, but talking to me, too. That's how you form a fan base.
Your favorite moment as a Trail Blazers fan?
I would say the time my friend won the "playoff ticket lottery" the team used to have and we went to Game 2 of the 1990 Western Conference finals, and sat on the wooden boards they called "seats" in the corner of the Coliseum. The Blazers came back from 21 points down to win by 1 point. Jerome Kersey had 29 points and Terry Porter had 28 points, going 4-7 from three-point land. Clyde had 20.
Your favorite current player, and why?
There aren't that many to chose from at the moment! Since I don't think Joel is technically on the roster right now, I will say that I have really liked watching LaMarcus take his game to another level the last few years. He used to be skinnier and inconsistent, but now he's a 21 and 8 guy with the capacity to do even more with an improved supporting cast.
Your all-time favorite player, and why?
This is the most difficult question on this list! I would give a slight edge to Buck Williams over Maurice Lucas, Joel Pryzbilla, and Brian Grant, all of whom were hard workers. He influenced me on the court and off the court.
Pinwheel: Keep it tilted or go retro?
Retro, no question.
Favorite Trail Blazers jersey (red, black, white, rip city)?
Rip City. It just oozes Portland Trail Blazer basketball and reflects our history and in-house lingo. I don't think they should wear them every home game, though, just on certain occasions to keep them special.
Most hated rival?
Individually, it's Michael Jordan. I take great delight in his every administrative failure for the Bobcats. That said, there is nothing like when the Lakers come to Portland to play. It doesn't matter if the Blazers are rebuilding or contending, the Lakers always get our best. I love when Kobe said a few years ago, "They always kick our butts when we go up there."
Greatest Trail Blazer (strictly based on talent): Drexler or Walton?
Strictly based on talent I would say Bill Walton. He not only had great big-man skills, but his passing was unbelievable. When Sabas came to town, people rightly marveled at his passing, but I think Walton's was even better. I love Clyde, but I actually don't think he did a lot of things great, but what he did do, he did as well as anyone in the league.
Best Trail Blazers draft was in the year....?
I think the Blazers best draft day was 2006, although technically the team drafted Tyrus Thomas. But characteristically KP was on fire that day. He traded Thomas, Viktor Khrypa, and a 2nd round pick for LaMarcus. And then he dealt Randy Foye for B-Roy. I still remember Steven Angry Smith on ESPN criticizing the moves saying something like "what in the world are the Portland Trail Blazers doing?" Being awesome is what we were doing. Paul Allen also bought Sergio Rodriguez that day.
Best Trail Blazers team to NOT win a championship?
While I think the 1991 team that lost in the Conference finals to the Lakers was just as good, if not better than, the '90 and '92 finals teams, I would have to say the 1977-78 Blazers who were 50-8 when Walton broke his foot was the best Blazers team not to win a championship. That team lost to the Sonics in six games in the playoffs with a hobbling Walton playing limited minutes. The Sonics eventually lost to the Bullets in the NBA finals. I think with a healthy Walton that year there is no question that the Blazers would have been repeat champions. Honorable mention: the 2000 Blazers would have crushed the Pacers in the finals.
Who would you like to see become the next head coach?
In a dream world, we buy Monty Williams out of his contract with the Hornets. In the real world, I would favor someone young like Kaleb Canales or Mike Malone from the Warriors. I have issues with the possibility of Brian Shaw becoming the Blazers head coach from when he hit that bank-shot three-pointer against the Blazers in game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals. I'm still in counseling because of that shot.