Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A New Addition To The Practice Facility
The Trail Blazers had some business to tend to today at the practice facility before officially starting training camp. Before attention could be turned to the 2009-10 season, there was one remnant of the 2008-09 season that needed to be addressed: a Northwest Division Co-Champions banner.
Every banner you see in the rafters of the Rose Garden has a duplicate hanging up in the gym at the practice facility. The 1977 NBA Championship, three Western Conference Championships, four Pacific Division Championships, ten retired jersey numbers, a "1" for first owner Larry Weinberg, a "77" for Dr. Jack and a mic for Bill Schonely. And soon there will be the first of what we hope will be many more Northwest Division championship banners, though it would be preferable to win the next one outright.
Both the Trail Blazers and the Nuggets finished with a 54-28 regular season record in '08-'09, and hence, the two teams share the division championship. While it's true that Denver won the playoff seeding tiebreaker, that tiebreaker does not apply to division championships. If the Nuggets would have won the last game of the regular season at the Rose Garden they alone would have been Northwest Division champs. Instead they got beaten 104-76, so co-champions are we.
There was no pomp and circumstance. No boasting. No real announcement. Just the players, coaches and members of the front office staff pulling the banner to the ceiling, signaling the end of one campaign and the start of another. As far as anyone could tell, not one of the many members of the media who showed up noticed it. None of the players or coaches made mention of it in their interviews. It's a nice addition and a great reminder of a wonderful season, but as soon as it went up, everyone in attendance turned their thoughts to the new task at hand: getting another, better banner.