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Portland Trail Blazers Refuse to Cash in With “Fool’s Gold”

Saturday, April 02, 2016


As we head into the final stretch of the '15-'16 season, the playoff whispers are only getting louder. With only a few weeks left, it's all anyone wants to talk about. Conversations and debate of who the top contenders are, which players need to rest, and which teams will fill the 16 slots are the most popular topics these days. But with just a handful of games left, one man and his squad have their sights set on other things.

On April 1, 2016, April Fool's Day, Damian Lillard will launch another theme of his new shoes, the "Fool's Gold" colorway. When he first announced the concept on Instagram, he noted

"Short term success without digging in and continuing to put in real work is FOOL’S GOLD. This colorway reminds me to work as hard as I can."

The timing is no coincidence, and the message is loud and clear: The Portland Trail Blazers still have unfinished business to attend to. This is no longer about the team's original goal of simply "making the playoffs.” This is about picking their spot in it. This is about proving a point.

While other teams gear down for the postseason, resting their starters and giving their bench more developmental minutes, the Blazers are decidedly moving full speed ahead. For these 15 men, slowing down now would be, as Lillard says, "fool's gold.”

You see, for them, they've simply come too far to get complacent now. From a team that was originally projected to finish with no more than 31 wins, to a team that has become a dangerous surprise in the NBA, they have developed a collective chip on their shoulders. That being said, they're also smart enough to know who they are; but most importantly, who they are not.

What they are not is a given winner. They are not the Golden State Warriors, they are not the San Antonio Spurs, and they are not the Cleveland Cavaliers. They're work horses. There is no assumed success with this team. They grind hard for every point and every win. So why stop now? Why try to be something they're not? To think they have the luxury of rest is, again, "fools gold.”

Having the sixth seed virtually locked in, it seems trivial to continue playing like you're fighting for that last playoff spot. But if you've been paying attention to the Trail Blazers' story, it really isn't. The theme of this season is about removing doubt. They may not be as talented as last year's team, but they're certainly harder working, and this year, they're out to prove it.

Anything less is "fool's gold.”


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