The Blazers season opener against Seattle is tonight and it is the first time in several years that I am looking forward to the season, although it will probably end up as a losing season. The reason for this optimism? Well, it boils down to what I perceive as a change in direction of the franchise. It was hoped that this change had started several seasons ago but the front office seemed to bungle all the chances it had with poor draft choices and foolishly overpaying players like Darius Miles and Zach Randolph.
Although Miles and Randolph are still on the team, the rest of squad appears to be made of good character and a willingness to put the team before itself. Rookie Brandon Roy is also a light of hope because he appears to be a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate, a team player and a high character guy. LaMarcus Aldridge, another rookie, seems to be in the same mold. Second year players Jarrett Jack and Martell Webster also give me hope for a brighter future because they have improved their game in the offseason.
Finally, although I am loathe to admit it, Zach Randolph may actually be a bright spot for the team. Maybe with Miles out indefinitely with a knee injury and ZBo being the only real scoring threat Randolph can show that he can be a good character and that he is fully recovered from his microfracture surgery. His teammates seem to believe in him this year and have voted him co-captain with Pryzbilla.
So, here's to the future and hopefully an entertaining season by Portland.