This has to be the least-anticipated opening night in the last decade for the Portland Trail Blazers. Even the interesting questions—is Damian Lillard the point guard of the future? Is Lamarcus Aldridge worth max money? Will Nicolas Batum cock-punch anybody?—are overshadowed by the malaise lingering from the suddenly vanished Oden/Roy era.
You know what would get everybody in a basketball mood? A comparison of franchise worth!
Call us wonks, but we could spend hours poring over this Forbes list of NBA franchises ranked from most valuable (Lakers, boo) to least (Bucks, ironically). The Blazers, valued at $370 million, finish in the middle of the pack. Something fans are probably used to.
But here's an interesting wrinkle: Take a look at the column for annual operating income. The Blazers are losing $8.1 million a year. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder, while two spots below the Blazers in franchise value, are pulling in $24 million a year in pure profit. That's what happens when you can sell out season tickets a year in advance because people want to see Kevin Durant.
Which brings us back to the Oden ghosts. Happy Halloween?
UPDATE, 10:55 pm: What do I know from basketball? This young Blazers squad has some moxie.