As a Portland Trail Blazers fan, this stinks. We witnessed our squad compete for 82 games (well, for a majority of 82 games). We stood by as it competed against maybe the greatest team ever assembled (well, mostly competed). And now we’re stuck watching the same NBA Finals we’ve seen the past two seasons.
Like I said: This stinks.
… Or does it?
For the most casual of casual fans, this finals is a bummer. But in reality, there’s a lot to be thankful for as a diehard basketball fan–and as a Trail Blazers fan.
For starters: The two best teams are about to compete in a seven-game series. Isn’t that what we all want? The two teams with the most combined stars are about to battle in the Association’s first true rubber match, and dudes and dudettes who appreciate good basketball should be stoked.
But for those of you Rip Citizens who are feeling left out as far as your fandom is concerned, we have you covered. Below are five reasons you as a Trail Blazers fan will enjoy the 2017 NBA Finals.
Thank us later.
Enjoy the finals, Stumptown:
This Is The Best Series Imaginable
What…did you really want to see the Memphis Grizzlies against the Indiana Pacers?
Come on, man.
The NBA has done what some sports are unable to do. It got the two best teams in the NBA FInals.
No, this isn’t analysis through the lense of a Trail Blazers fan (the rest will be), but it is through the lense of basketball fans everywhere.
The Association has the two best teams competing against one another with the most superstars (by a long shot) competing against one another.
Still don’t buy into this series? Watch:
If you’re currently a basketball fan who has ever been a WWE fan, yet you claim this series doesn’t interest you, you’re full of it. This series has the storylines. It has the rivalry. It has so much more to offer than any other series could have offered.
Stop fighting it: This is how it’s supposed to be.
This is better than Grizzlies vs. Pacers.
Kevin Durant Will Probably (Maybe) Be Outplayed By LeBron James
Remember 2007? Scratch that—how can we forget?
The Blazers did what probably 28 out of 30 teams would do, taking Greg Oden with the No. 1 pick in the draft that season.
We would dive into the stats here, but you know how this story ends. Durant becomes a superstar and Greg Oden fails to live up to his potential.
So I ask you: Would watching James—maybe the greatest player to ever grace an NBA court (another debate worth having)—take down that dude from Texas make you feel better?
Portland fans aren’t really bitter about Durant these days. But KD NOT winning a title would certainly give some sort of positive juju to Rip City.
The Blazers Can Be The Warriors
Maybe…kinda…probably not…but hear me out.
The Warriors went 40 years without a title. The Blazers are currently in their 40th straight season without a Larry O’Brien Trophy.
If fate doesn’t do it for you, the Dubs built their core through the draft and savvy trades. Portland has built its core via the same pursuit.
Are the Blazers going to get a Durant-worthy player in free agency this season? No. In fact: That’s never going to happen.
But this team found its two best players in the draft and managed to collect the final third of its Big Three in a trade with the Denver Nuggets this past season.
The Warriors built their original core organically, and so have the Blazers.
It’s a start, Rip City.
Whether you love or hate Kevin Love, there’s a local appeal here with his Lake Oswego roots. And whether or not you realize it, his childhood friend, Klay Thompson, falls into the same category.
Sorry, Blazers fans. There’s a reason to root for both sides, whether you realized it or not.
… But Love Will Probably Still Lose
With both Love and Thompson having Lake Oswego ties, one has to lose.
Unfortunately for the more prominent local celebrity, it’s likely going to be the Cavaliers.
Golden State is the odds on favorite to win this series, and while LeBron James is the greatest player on the planet, the Warriors might be the greatest team ever created. There’s little reason to believe Love comes away with a ring this season, which means another ghost of Portland’s past leaves with an empty finger…
Sorry, Channing Frye. We’d pull for you…if it didn’t mean Love got another ring of his own.
One Step Closer To Next Season
Don’t get me wrong. This NBA Finals is what we as basketball fans deserve. These playoffs have been trash, and now it’s time to see the two best teams do battle in what will hopefully be a long, fruitful series.
Here’s the catch.
It’s not going to be that…at all.
For Blazers fans, both of the diehard and casual variety, Game 1, which tips off Thursday night, represents the idea that Portland is one step closer to the NBA Draft…which is one step closer to free agency…which is one step closer to the 2017-18 season.
And quite frankly: The Warriors are going to make mincemeat out of the Cavaliers, which means we’re a step closer to this godforsaken season coming to its inevitable close (in 5 games).
Barring any significant trades (which could actually happen), this team will look a lot like it looks this season. But Blazers fans are already looking for a full year of Jusuf Nurkic, a healthy year for Evan Turner and an improved CJ McCollum if Instagram is accurate.
Summer is coming, Blazers fans. Summer is coming.