If you live in Portland and have a love for basketball, the Portland Trail Blazers have undoubtedly offered you an escape at some point in your life. Whether for .9 seconds, for the better part of your day, or for 48 minutes in between, the team has been there for you, and today is no different.
With the NBA on hold as part of the global effort to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Trail Blazers are doing their part to feed your basketball jones. Every day that the Blazers were supposed to suit up, the team is helping you turn off the news and refocus your mind with highlights from past games against their would-be opponents.
On Thursday, Portland was supposed to play the Dallas Mavericks at home, so Rip City hit fans with a look back at an instant classic.
It's game day ?— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 19, 2020
Stay inside & watch LaMarcus Aldridge's game-tying 3 & game-winner vs Dallas in 2013. pic.twitter.com/lDhJQgb3Az
The world may look different today, but since the dawn of time, the Trail Blazers have been a social media force, and that hardly embellished fact isn’t changing. And while sports fandom is maybe the least important thing we’re sacrificing in these trying times, these are also the times of quarantines and social distancing that make your mental health just as vital as—and often far more fragile than—the physical.
Having an outlet, trivial as it may seem, is critical.
More important than any of this is what the Trail Blazers organization is doing for the non-basketball community. On Thursday, the team made its efforts in that regard official:
None of that should be taken lightly or for granted. A day will come when the pandemic is in our past, and Jody Allen and her team have made it clear that when it is, they want to see the community—us—rise and thrive together. It’s a move that needed to be made, and a move that deserves praise.
But while we wait for a return to normalcy, staying indoors every second we’re able, we also need familiarity. We crave it in times of uncertainty, and the team that’s always been there is now lending a crucial, virtual, socially distant hand.
Coming up next on the schedule is the postponed Sunday contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Maybe we’ll see Thomas Robinson make the play of his life. Perhaps the team will hit the wayback button a bit harder and find a 28-point, nine-rebound playoff performance from Scottie Pippen. Just maybe we get a career-high 41 points from Clifford Robinson.
No matter what’s in the pipeline, the Blazers, like teams all around the league, are helping fans cope in the most fitting way they know how—giving the world hoops.
It’s a simple, effective play, and one that makes a difference.
Because sometimes, even when nothing else makes sense, ball don’t lie.