Poor decisions, bad luck or a combination of both?
In 2006 Portland drafted Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. Roy emerged right away and appeared destined for great things. Aldridge was a very good number 2 and continued to improve. Then they drafted a center from Ohio state named Greg Oden, who most thought could take Portland to the next level. The Trail Blazers were set up for a run at success; dare I say greatness? Who knows how much this big 3 could've won? Only problem was it all came crashing down even before anything resembling success could take place.
Oden developed knee injuries that would sideline him season after season. Roy did all he could to keep the Blazers competitive until he suffered a similar fate as Oden. Roy has since announced his retirement, while Oden continues to undergo knee operations, and has recently admitted to becoming an alcoholic during these last few years of disappointment. Only Aldridge remains and the Blazers' future isn't very promising anymore.
It just makes you wonder if the Trail Blazers are cursed. And if so,
why? How about if we go all the way back to the 1984 draft. Portland had the overall #2 pick. They drafted a center from Kentucky by the name of Sam Bowie. The Chicago Bulls had the 3rd pick and drafted a guard from North Carolina by the name of Michael Jordan. Bowie could not have been a bigger disappointment, while Jordan went on to become arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time.
And this wasn't even a Eli Manning or Kobe Bryant situation where Jordan or his father said he would never play for Portland. It was their front office who selected Bowie. It was said based on Portland drafting Clyde Drexler the year before they decided to go in the direction of a big man. While their decision makes sense in theory, did it create a curse? How about the Blazers drafting Oden over Kevin Durant? Durant is already an all-star and appears to be headed to being another all-time great.
After not drafting Jordan, the Trail Blazers led by Drexler went to the NBA finals twice in a 3-year span. They lost to the Pistons and then ironically enough lost to Jordan's Bulls. They were so close but couldn't win the big game. They even led game 6 in Chicago by 17 points entering the 4th quarter. Somehow we never saw a game 7.
Now let's go to the 2000 Western Conference finals game 7--Blazers at Lakers. Portland led by Jordan's former teammate and 6-time champion Scottie Pippen, entered the 4th quarter with guess how big a lead? 17 points. The Lakers led by Shaq and a young Kobe brought the Lakers all the way back to win that game. Portland was lost in that quarter and nobody came to the rescue. I remember Michael Jordan commenting on that game. He said 'Portland lost that game, the Lakers didn't win it.'
Portland has since had 6 first round playoff exits and missed the postseason this year. When you put all that together, how do you not consider that Portland will be forever haunted by the basketball gods for not drafting Jordan or Durant? Or is it just the worst luck a franchise could encounter?