Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Portland "Fail" Blazers?

The great Yogi Berra once said, "It's deja vu all over again!"

Getty Images
As the Portland Trail Blazers (7-3) battle the Oklahoma City Thunder (10-2) for the best record in the Western Conference, it's interesting to note how historically linked these two teams are right now and how their current teams have the potential to mirror a ghost of blunders past.

So will it be deja vu all over again for the Trail Blazers? Will their 2007 blunder prove as costly as their 1984 blunder? Quite possibly.

In 1984, the Trail Blazers overlooked a kid from North Carolina named Michael Jordan and took Sam Bowie from Kentucky with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. The Chicago Bulls took Jordan with the No. 3 pick and as we all know by now the rest is history. Jordan and the Bulls went on to win 6 NBA Championships and Jordan solidified himself as the greatest player who ever lived, hands down.

Sam Bowie never quite made it in Portland.

The 2007 draft may have potentially produced the same results for the Trail Blazers. They selected the oft-injured Greg Oden with the No. 1 overall pick and overlooked a kid from Texas named Kevin Durant. Durant was snatch by the then-Seattle Super Sonics with the No. 2 pick and has since developed into one of the premier players in the NBA. Durant has the now-Oklahoma City Thunder at the cusp of greatness and there's no telling how good this kid and this team could be.

Oden, on the other hand, has been an injury nightmare for Portland.

AP Photos
But in defense of the Trail Blazers, maybe deja vu won't be all that bad after all? Back in the late 1980's they did reach the NBA Finals before Jordan and the Bulls ever did. In 1989-90 they reached the finals losing to the Detroit Pistons, 4-1. Jordan and the Bulls made their first finals' appearance the following year (1990-91). Portland again reached the finals in 1991-92, losing to-- guess who?-- Michael Jordan and the Bulls. So if deja vu happens all over again, then maybe they'll reach the finals before Durant and the Thunder ever do. And this time around maybe they'll get better results.

But to their credit, they did edge out Jordan to the finals by one year, although Sam Bowie was not a factor in their success. Maybe now they can do the same to Durant and the Thunder without Oden being a factor. We never know......

FOR THE RECORD: The Houston Rockets took a kid by the name of Hakeem Olajuwon from Houston with the No. 1 pick in 1984. I'd say that move worked out quite nicely for them.

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