Struggling Yet Again, The Trail Blazers Are Conditioning Their Fanbase To Lose


A habit is defined in the dictionary as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”

The Blazers have made tanking their habit the past three seasons. While there will always be fans of the team, is there a faction of the fanbase that will ultimately not be able to break the habit of losing?

John Canzano gave his thoughts on Wednesday’s radio show (Afternoons 3-6 p.m.).

“I remember my childhood spent with the San Francisco Giants watching them struggle,” Canzano said. “And they weren’t competitive on the field. In the 1985 season on the final day of the season the Giants lost their 100th game. They were 62-100. They were dead last in their division.”

Canzano added that with all of the losing it was hard to expect the Giants to win. As for the Blazers, a third straight tanking season that included a winless February makes him wonder if the franchise is taking its fanbase for granted.

“I was conditioned as a young Giants fan to endure the losing, and be OK with it, to a certain extent, as a fan,” Canzano said. “I’m kind of wondering from a Blazers perspective – how much more can you take as a fan? And can you enjoy this at all? By “enjoy” I mean can you get into the idea that you’re watching some young players who are getting minutes, who are ideally going to be a part of the future? Can you be OK with that?”

The losing takes a toll on the fanbase. As Canzano explains, it was tough for him as a Giants fan to adapt to a winning franchise after years and years of losing.

“I have to be honest,” continued Canzano. “As the Giants have found more success after that, in 1993 they won 103 games, I started to not know what to do with the success. I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t know what to do with it as a fan, because I had been conditioned that my team was going to win somewhere between 60-79 games. They were going to be below .500. They were going to be my team, though.”

As for the Blazers this season, Canzano doesn’t think there is anything left to watch for. While the games can be fun to go to, there’s nothing of substance on the court. Portland has lost nine games in a row after a 119-116 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Damian Lillard’s return to Portland on Jan. 31st.

“I don’t think there’s anything left to see when you’ve spent an entire month without winning a game, even if you’re a diehard fan,” Canzano said. “Bless you if you’re still engaged with this team. It’s not personal. I think the sports calendar is too full and crowded for people to sit around and watch another loss. The drama will pick up again when the ping pong balls start flying.”

The Trail Blazers are 15-42 overall, the fifth-worst record in the NBA, with 25 games remaining. They play back-to-back nights in Memphis on Friday and Saturday before visiting the West-leading Minnesota Timberwolves next Monday.

Listen to the full segment of this conversation at the start of the podcast below. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.