Have the Blazers given up?

What’s up with the Blazers? Where’d the promise go? The heart? The desire? The talent? The drive?

What in the world has happened to the Portland Trail Blazers? Because, right now, this is the worst-case scenario.

This is a patient who doesn’t arrive with a pulse. DOA. A patient that a doctor and $85 million can’t fix. The heart has stopped beating, there are no signs of life and the zipper on the bag is about to be closed up.

And the lifeless body of the Blazers is starting to smell. Stink.

Having lost their last three games by at least 30 points, the 2005-06 Blazers have moved beyond a frustrating “work in progress” and are simply starting to look like trash that should be taken out to the can, dumped and instantly forgotten.

The worst part: it wouldn’t be so bad, so annoying, if the Blazers actually looked like they cared.

But, apparently, they don’t.

Why should we, the fans, the paying customers, even stick our heads in to check on the kids, when we know that all they’re going to be doing is sleeping? Why should we pay money? Why should we watch?

Why should we care? (And do our tax dollars, in any way, go to pay for the Blazers? Because, if so, I want mine back. Now.)

The Blazers aren’t playing NBA basketball. This isn’t even D-league.

This is a joke.

What’s more important, Zach Randolph? Having your house on “MTV Cribs” or winning a basketball game? Cashing in your millions or playing defense? Joking around and making the obligatory “they pay me a lot of money to play this game” comment or actually doing your job?

I feel for Nate McMillan. I feel for the people who work at the Rose Garden. I feel for the fans. I don’t feel for the Blazers. Not anymore.

And the worst part is that no one is taking responsibility.

So what if this team is going to “maybe” be good in three years? So will the Atlanta Hawks. So will the Houston Texans. That’s three years from now. And that’s a really big “maybe.”

NBA basketball is supposed to equal professional basketball. It’s supposed to equal legit basketball. It’s where you throw down 100-plus dollars for a ticket and get to watch some serious ballers scrap it out.

It’s not where you get to watch Z-Bo disappear every time the second half rolls around. It’s not where you have to watch a bunch of overpaid, selfish, unprofessional, heartless and un-driven kids slop it up on the court, waiting for nothing more than that drive home in their Bentley or Rolls or Mercedes.

How did it come to this? Rip City had Drexler and Kersey and Williams and Robinson one day, then Z-Bo and Ruben the next. Heart turns into heartless. Drive becomes apathy.

How come there’s no one outside the Garden, picketing? How come heads aren’t rolling? How come no one in the Blazers front office is saying anything?

Where’s the responsibility? Where’s the social contract? The owner and the front office, highly paid professionals, put a team on the floor that can a) play and b) care. The fans cheer. It’s that simple.

Apparently not in Portland.

Think of the Pistons’ mantra: coming to work, every night with the lunch pail and hardhat.

Now think of the Blazers’. You can’t. They don’t have one.

Get it together Portland. Be professional. Show some heart. Show that you care.

Because right now, you’re wasting our time.