Portland Trail Blazers: 4 thoughts from the “Rip City Revival” documentary

Terry Porter, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Terry Porter, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Buck Williams, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Mike Powell/Getty Images) /

The Blazers played in some truly documentary-worthy games

It turns out us Generation Z babies don’t know it all; obviously, as the case usually is with teams who consistently make deep Playoff runs, the Portland Trail Blazers played in tons of must-watch games. But who really knew it was to this extent?

The first worth absolutely mentioning comes in the form of the 1992 First Round, when the Blazers traveled to California to play the Lakers in a scene that looks oddly, painfully similar to that of 2020.

On the day of Game 4, the city of Los Angeles found itself in a state of disarray, rioting over the acquittal of four officers who used excessive force on Rodney King. Terry Porter even described it like this:

"“The world was erupting around us. It was just the whole surreal thing, driving around (Los Angeles) while we were there before they told us we were going to move the game. You heard the gunfire. You heard the noise. You saw the smoke in different parts of the city.”"

So, the NBA had to relocate to … you guessed it: Las Vegas.

It’s one of those bigger-than-ball moments, for sure. The Blazers grappled with how they would respond mentally, given the amount of African-American talent on the team, and how to wrap their heads around the idea of playing basketball. They won the game, and I would assume, built additional camaraderie having undergone that. My hunch is that you could make a documentary out of that altogether.

In the meantime, there’s this gem of a game during the 1992 Western Conference Finals, in which the Blazers outlived the Suns — quite literally — in a five-overtime thrill-ride to win 153-151, and wrestle control of the series. That’s a lot of bucket-making, especially for a game that only featured nine 3-pointers made game-wide.

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To this day, it remains the highest-scoring game in NBA Playoff history. From there, you can take your pick of the litter. The Bulls-Blazers series that seem to put a question mark to Clyde Drexler’s exclamation point of a career, the year-to-year duels against Magic Johnson or Karl Malone, whomever. The prevailing thought, though: this team went through quite the battle, both on-and-off the floor.