This week the Sporting News cover features a picture of Michael Jordan in a Trail Blazers uniform as part of a story that imagines if several key moments in sports had turned out differently. It's been 20 years since the 1984 draft that saw Portland pick Sam Bowie over Jordan, and it seems like this imfamous move will just never go away. That said, I still don't fault the Blazers' reasoning. We already had at shooting guard Clyde Drexler, a future Hall-of-Famer in his own right. We needed a center, and Bowie had been an All-American at Kentucky. While it's clear Jordan was destined to become an all-star caliber of player, nobody knew he'd do what he'd do with Chicago.
As Blazer tragedies go, I spend more time fretting about certain other episodes. On the court, you have to start with the 4th quarter meltdown in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals against those dreaded fucking Lakers. The other one that will always haunt me is losing the 1991 Western Conference Finals to that same team from Los Angeles, after having the NBA's best record at 63-19. In both those years, I believe we would have won the championship--even against Jordan's Bulls in 1991, which would have erased this whole tired "What If?" garbage.