A Letter to CJ and the Blazers

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

I want to tell you CJ, it's not worth it, it's lonely at the top.

It'd be a lie, of course. We all know from experience that the top is pretty dang awesome. Animals at the top of the food chain don't sit around wishing bigger, hungrier predators would come eat them. Jet pilots don't join the Air Force in hopes of being the Bottom Gun.

This is not a recent fad. The same rules apply throughout history. They say when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer. That story is probably apocryphal, which is a fancy way of saying, once again, it's a lie. You and I both know Alexander did not weep. It's far more likely he and General Cladius "Swaggy" Ptolemy went shirtless in the streets, high-fiving random citizens as they splashed each other's mouths with wine.

Apologies to any historians out there, but based on a scientific Gallup Poll of me, myself, and I, I've also concluded Alexander spent the rest of the night at the bathhouse, yelling "BACK TO BACK" to celebrate his conquests of Asia and Persia, as well as King Darius' retreat to some place called Los Angeles. And to further the point, we know that the bottom was not a good place for the King, as he perished like most Angelinos do, in his chariot on the 405 thoroughfare in bumper to horse traffic.

The point being, the top isn't a lonely place. Quite the contrary. It's where 19,596 fans will scream at, where else, the top of their lungs because the leather ball went in the red ring. It's where your game needs to be to win, the top of. The top is the place where not only the cherry goes and the confetti drops, but where the banners hang. I guess what I'm saying is, this top joint, it's a pretty good place, and to tell you not to be concerned with what goes on there is kind of disingenuous, perhaps even a dick move. Especially now that you're here, in the Western Conference Finals, in the Hanging Gardens' VIP.

Look, I've enjoyed your rise to the top. This entire run for Portland has been nothing short of magical. Dame's long distance dagger, the Quadruple OT Game 3.5, and as much as it pains me to say, your mini-Bron block and clutch midrange. It's been fun. Not only that, your team is easy to root for, with solid redemption arcs for guys like Rodney Hood, Enes Kanter, Enes Kanter's toughness, and Enes' Kanter's pick and roll defense. As a franchise that has seen real pain and struggle, I like the Portland Trail Blazers - not in the way I like Houston - but in that deep, familial way known only to those of us who have crawled out of the NBA's lottery ball pit of death. From Bowie to Oden, we of all people know what it's like to live that lottery life first hand, back when the balls were engraved not with winning numbers but letters that spelled out Todd Fuller.

And if there were any other franchise that deserved to reach the top of the mountain, I certainly wouldn't mind if it was your team, your crew. That goes for the Raptors and Bucks as well. Good fans, good cities, good people. Same rules apply.

That being said, if someone has to get kicked to the bottom - to that dark, soulless trench where Lonzo jumpers go to die and Nick Wright fishes for his next tweet, I would prefer it not be the Warriors. It's a selfish thing, I don't deny it. As someone who tries his best to be empathetic, to pay his taxes and redistribute the wealth, it's a tough thing to swallow. It's even worse because the Warriors are an embarrassment of riches, the haves and the more haves and the sure, gimme some more.

But in sports fandom, wealth is not a permanent state where one spends their summers in an artisanal gingerbread mansion, drinking bottled asparagus and hunting the occasional human for sport. Here, the natural state is suffering, and it's just around the corner - whether it takes the form of liver disease or a sky-high luxury tax bill. So we have no choice but to climb faster, harder, and if need be, by Air Force jet, not because this is our first ascent to the top of the mountain, but because it may be our last.

So I apologize in advance for wanting this, and wanting it bad. At the end of the day, there's only room at the top for one of us.

That's entirely different than wanting the Blazers to lose. I love their team, their story, and their grit. And I have no doubt as competitors, the more the media and the naysayers loathe them, the more kisses of death Charles Barkley blows them, the harder they will play. As Alexander himself once said (maybe), "There is nothing impossible to him who will try."

Wise words from someone who's been there and done it. Although to be fair, he might've been drunk when he said it.

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!