Ready yet, Portland?
In anticipation of the Portland Trail Blazers' season opener on Wednesday, the team has unveiled several 'Rip City Legacy' videos through their YouTube channel highlighting the underdog mentality of the lone NBA franchise representing the Pacific Northwest.
Combining memorable moments of the team's history and narrated by current and past players, the videos explain the tradition of Rip City and a fanbase proud of its history and glory years from the early 1990s to winning the NBA title in 1977.
The first was published last Thursday, featuring two-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, who talked about carrying on the tradition of the lone professional sports team in Oregon that competes in the major American sports.
The second featured last year's Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, who discussed his rise as a little-known guard out of Weber State to one of the league's top point guards of the future. In the backdrop were highlights of Blazers legend Terry Porter, who also came out of a small school—Wisconsin-Stevens Point—and became a two-time All-Star and led Portland to two NBA Finals appearances.
The Blazers unveiled two more today, narrated by ex-players Brian Grant and Bill Walton.
Grant's video featured the message of "never giving up," using highlights from the famous 2003 playoff incident when 13-year-old Natalie Gilbert forgot the words to the national anthem and was quickly helped by then-coach Maurice Cheeks as the crowd sung in unison thereafter.
Also included were Grant's battles with Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone, and Kevin Duckworth nursing a broken hand during the 1990 NBA Playoffs before his eventual return.
Walton's video discussed how the title of being "the most passionate fanbase in professional sports" is earned, mixing in clips of the Blazers fans from the '70s to today.
With expectations on the rise in Portland, the Blazers did a phenomenal job trying to pump up the excitement in Rip City.