WE’RE NUMBER 20!
…out of 30. But seriously, hear me out: this is a good thing for the Blazers.

Forbes’ annual rankings of the value of the NBA teams is out and, as I said above, Portland is number 20. But the important thing is this: Just as the Blazers are one of the league’s fastest rising teams ON the court, they’re just as rocket-powered OFF it. According to the magazine, "the biggest change in value belongs to the Portland Trail Blazers, who increased by 21 percent to $307 million."

Not bad for a team that finished with a losing record last season. For the record, tops again in the NBA are the New York Please Lebron Sign With Us in 2010’s (aka, the Knicks) who despite sucking are still worth $613 million. Apparently Isiah’s goal to leave the team in shambles remains unfinished. Oh, and the Milwaukee Bucks are last with a reported value of $278 million.

Here’s a link to the rankings:
sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3743084

And here’s a link to neat little story about team owner Paul Allen and the journey his franchise has taken from near-champs to chumps and back again. It’s a good read even if, like me, numbers make your head hurt:
www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/1222/083.html

Since we’re talking Blazers. Friday night Portland travels to Boston to take on the defending champion Celtics. How awesome is it to actually be geeked for a game against an elite opponent? Even as late as this year I eyed games against New Orleans and Phoenix with a lump in my gut. Now? We win those games. Or at least, we can.

As Brandon Roy told the Oregonian’s Jason Quick last night, ‘This is where we want to be. I want it not only for this team, but for me personally. To see where I’m at, you know? To see where this team is at, to see where I can get this team to.’

What is this strange sensation of, how-do-you-say, confidence in my chest?

Oh yeah…winning. Bring it, Shamrocks.