Once upon a time, the Trail Blazers drafted a player who became a star and made the franchise one of the most successful in all of pro sports.
That player was Clyde Drexler. The Glide was one of the best players of his generation. His dynamic game was a big reason the Blazers reached the NBA Finals twice in the early 90s.
We revisit Drexler’s career today because he is no longer one of the 25 top scorers in NBA history. Tim Duncan of the Spurs took over the 25th spot this week. Duncan now has scored 22,207 points. Drexler finished with 22,195. We congratulate Duncan on his accomplishment.
But falling out of the top-25 NBA scorers does not diminish Drexler’s stature in the game, and certainly not in Trail Blazers lore.
As expected, the Timbers Army was in fine form on Monday as Portland opened its second season in Major League Soccer. Led by the supporters group, Jeld-Wen Field provided the great stage for soccer that MLS fans and media members have come to expect.
But the big story on Monday wasn’t the energy provided by 20,438 fans.
The big story was on the field.
Now, we’re not suggesting the Timbers are ready to challenge for the league title. But the way the team came from behind to win -- something it didn’t do last season -- certainly was encouraging. So was the contribution of Kalif Alhassan. The midfielder contributed to all three goals and on Tuesday was voted the player of the week in MLS.
And consider this: The Timbers on Monday were without several key players, an indication that this year’s team is better prepared for the eight-month Odyssey that is the MLS season.