The Trail Blazers are cursed

All basketball related pieces now are posted at my basketball blog Buzzer Beater Banter

My team is cursed and it’s extremely hard to watch. It is a great time for me to be living in Korea. This might destroy me if I was at home, fully consumed with the drama that surrounds Trail Blazer coverage and analysis in Portland.

On Saturday, December 5th, Portland center and 2007 #1 draft pick Greg Oden went down with his second season ending knee injury of his young career. It killed me to watch it happen. I can’t help but feel so sorry for the guy, who endured so much criticism for the previous knee injury, only to come back and dominate this season and show everyone why he was worthy of that #1 pick. He has already had a successful surgery but is for sure out for the remainder of the season.

Before play began, Nicolas Batum went out for the season with a torn labrum. Anybody who follows the Trail Blazers knew this one was coming. He injured his shoulder a few times last season, and had to be flown from France to Portland during International play last summer so the team doctors could clear him to play after yet another aggravation. Everything checked out and he was given the go ahead, but it seemed inevitable that something really bad would be happening in due time.

Patrick Mills, pick #55 in the 2009 NBA draft, broke his right foot in training camp. There was a lot of buzz surrounding Mills after his excellent play with Australia in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but it looks like we’ll all be waiting a little bit longer to find out what he can do at the top level.

Knowing what we know now, with what seems like a questionable decision, the Trail Blazers signed Mills to the 15th and final roster spot before the season started, fully aware that he’d be missing most of the season. Ime Udoka, who grew up in Portland, dominated at Portland State University, and previously worked so hard for the Trail Blazers that he went from the last guy on the bench to a starter in the Association because of his lock down defense and three point shooting abilities… was not signed because of the Mills decision. Jarron Collins, big body and Utah veteran, was also passed up for Mills.

2009 1st round Jeff Pendergraph went down with a left hip impingement right as he was signed to the team. Pendergraph was a stud at Arizona State, and was supposed to bring the grit, hustle and toughness to the squad that was missing last season. The good thing is that he is expected to return in January.

Assistant coach and all time Trail Blazer legend Maurice Lucas is having another bout with cancer, this time of the bladder.

Travis Outlaw went out in game 8 of the young season with a stress fracture to his fifth metatarsal in the foot, the same injury that sidelined Martell Webster for the entire previous season. Widely recognized as one of the Association’s top 6th men, his ability to score and create his own shot at any time of the game, from anywhere on the court has been sorely missed. He may make you cringe, but the Blazers need him not only for the scoring, but for his ability to keep the rest of the team loose with his goofiness in the locker room. And he’s Brandon Roy’s #1 dude and friend.

Then Trail Blazer owner Paul Allen gets diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, more than 25 years after he was treated for Hodgkin’s disease. Most people in Portland seem to be fans and supporters of Mr. Alllen, and I love that he is still sitting court side at most of the home games.

LaMarcus Aldridge has been questionable lately with knee pain.

Dante Cunningham is playing with goggles and tape over the 10 stitches in his head.

Rudy Fernandez is missing games with sciatic pain and recently had an MRI to help further diagnose what has been bothering his back. It seem like this all started with the hard foul by Trevor Ariza at the end of a fast break at home against the Lakers last season.

Lastly, even head coach Nate McMillan has fallen victim to the curse. He tore his achilles tendon last week during practice. Only 8 Blazers were able to practice resulting in 4 on 4 drills so he and coach Monte Williams were filling in and mixing it up with their squad. He is staying home during the 4 game road trip that starts tonight with the game at New York, and having surgery.

Sigh.

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~ by ripcitytoseoul on December 7, 2009.

12 Responses to “The Trail Blazers are cursed”

  1. When you hit rock bottom, you’ve got no choice but to come up! So I say that the Blazers are in for a good rest of the season despite this awful curse.

  2. Gotta disagree with the sixth man comment on Outlaw. There’s a dude in San Antonio name Ginobili and a Odom in LA. ODOM!!!!

    Also, to defend the play of a Laker, hopefully it teaches Rudy to go strong and not flail, wouldn’t of happened if he hadn’t.

    But, on Oden, that’s too bad. I like the guy, he’s a good kid and has had a rough time. If he can come back from that, and remain healthy (unfortunately, looking like a big if), he will be a force for years to come battling with Bynum for best in the west at center.

    But, on that note…Go Lakers!

  3. Spoken like a true Laker fan K Dog, and I’m truly shocked at your response… kidding of course.

  4. And in today’s news, to add insult to injury…Rudy Fernandez underwent a successful microdiscectomy Tuesday to alleviate pain in his right leg. He is expected to return after 3 months. I hate Trevor Ariza.

    Awesome.

  5. Yeah, couldn’t expect anything else. But, I’ve heard a lot of Blazer fans say the same thing that I said about that play. It was a foul, but should not have been called a flagrant. That same thing has happened to a lot of other players in the NBA but they haven’t landed like that, he tried to sell it, when it wasn’t necessary, and it bit him in the ass. The definition of a flagrant foul is If contact committed against a player, with or without the ball, is interpreted to be unnecessary then it’s a flagrant. He was clearly going for the ball in a normal fashion, but it was called on the landing, not on the foul (something that happens a lot in the NBA).

    But, I never wish injury on someone, so it’s too bad that he’s banged up. Hopefully he recovers fine from it, back injuries robbed Larry Johnson’s athletic ability. So, in the meantime Rudy, lift some weights and don’t do the Euro flop when in the air!

  6. Again, shocked at the response from a Laker fan that grew up in Portland. Pretty ridiculous to suggest Rudy brought that injury on himself, considering it was a break away fast break at full speed. Flagrant foul or not, it’s OK for a Blazer fan to hate on Ariza.

    But you make the call for yourself.

  7. I’m not saying it wasn’t a foul, but it wasn’t a flagrant, it was a hard play on the ball. And, I’m just saying Rudy didn’t help matters any trying to sell it. There’s another angle from head on that shows it better. But, it was called a flagrant when it shouldn’t have been (par for the course with the NBA, they call flagrants based on the landing/results, not whether it is a true flagrant by definition of the rule).

    That’s fine hating on Ariza, I hate McHale for the clothesline of Rambis (which, was without a doubt a flagrant had they been around then), so I understand. I will say this, who’s the only player who checked on him right after the foul? Farmar! A Laker!

    I may have grown up in Portland, but I’m originally from LA and all my family is from there also, and my basketball loyalties were formed at a very early age.

  8. Another angle? There’s no excuse for a Laker fan in Portland. I appreciated the comments, as ridiculous as it may seem.

  9. LOL, blame my parents, actually my dad, on living in Portland. But, I did read this morning that the Blazers had the highest increase by percentage in team value according to Forbes. And, most of those fluctuations are based on the perceived talent on the team and potential. I hope the Blazers continue their upward trend and the Lakers and Blazers have some playoff battles. The Lakers need a west coast rival and Portland is the only team I can see stepping into that role, plus there is a history of big playoff moments between the teams (unfortunately for Blazer fans, not many they’d like to remember). But, the NBA is better with rivalries and despite the battles with San Antonio this decade, there isn’t the overall history that makes it special. I’m still disappointed that the NBA moved the Blazers and Lakers to separate divisions, especially with the number of former Californians in Oregon. That’s my olive branch.

  10. […] the pinnacle, in a blog entry that was linked as a feature on Blaze of Love, I wrote about the curse of the Trail Blazers. Things had gotten out of control and it was far from over. In addition, Przybilla went down for […]

  11. […] me through the ups and downs of this outrageous NBA season. We’ve watched our team endure the worst curse of injury voodoo I’ve ever seen, naked pictures on the internet, shouting matches gone public, 52 point […]

  12. […] early December 2009, before it was even close to being over, in an article linked on Blaze of Love, I wrote about the injuries the team has experienced this season. Now I’m going to focus on the bad luck that surrounds the center position for the Blazers over […]

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