To Whom it May Concern

Dear Blazer fans,

The NBA season is officially upon us, and that means everyone gets to hear about the Miami Heat’s quest for a threepeat. But we, as Blazers fans, get an added component to the media’s obsession with South Beach—Greg Oden.

Oden signed with Miami this offseason, and his only action in uniform so far has been during the preseason. The former Blazers center had a dunk and two fouls in his preseason debut. So Portland, will you be upset if the 2007 number one draft choice wins an NBA title before the Blazers do?

I’m not going to lie; it is going to sting a little. Greg Oden, the man who was once the supposed key to a Blazers title, now on another team that is likely to get a ring. But you know what, I could not care less if Oden wins a title.

I wish the guy the best. I felt for him while he was here, all he wanted to do was play basketball, and he could not do that because of bad luck. The guy got screwed on multiple levels, and to make it worse, everyone in Portland compared him to fellow 2007 draft pick Kevin Durant, who enjoyed success in Seattle Oklahoma City.

When they finally let Oden go, the Blazers made the best decision. They cut ties with the anchor of Oden that was weighing down the organization. They turned a new leaf and this season they will be back in the playoff picture. The Greg Oden saga is over, and that’s it. There is no carryover now that he is back in the NBA, because frankly Blazers fans, it’s not worth the trouble.

There is enough remorse in this fan base about injury stricken players a la Brandon Roy. Why do we need any more? Let Oden do his thing, if he is successful, great. Good for him. If not, I wish him the best. Miami is the favorite to win the championship, and a lot of people will be surprised if they don’t. The number one goal for Portland should be to put themselves in a position in which they can win another championship. It’s been a long while since the Blazers have been in that position, and whether or not Oden and the Heat win one first, it will not change the Blazer’s roster.

Let’s forget about Oden. Let’s forget about the bad luck this franchise has had with injuries. It’s time to move past it. Expectations for this franchise should have to do with wins, getting into the playoffs and then advancing. The Blazers are headed in the right direction, and it started with the removal of Oden from this franchise. Portland knew that there would be a chance he would play again somewhere else, similar to the way that Brandon Roy found a new team.

There are strong opinions on Oden and what kind of turning point that was in the history of the Portland Trail Blazers. I get that. That is why it will be somewhat awkward to watch Oden out on the floor. To possibly watch him in the playoffs, and maybe even the finals. But let’s take those emotions and put them towards the Blazers now. We have a team that can win and challenge playoff teams in the Western Conference. Let the Heat do their own thing, in Portland, we can win one without any talents from South Beach.


Alex Moore