Opposing View: The Portland Trail Blazers
Feb. 07, 2010 - Portland, USA - PORTLAND, (USA) 07/02/2010.- French Portland Trail Blazers player Nicolas Batum (L) tries to stop Spanish pivot Pau Gasol (R) of Los Angeles Lakers during their NBA Basketball game played at Rose Garden stadium in Portland, USA on 7 February 2010.

Tonight in Los Angeles the Lakers will be taking on one of their Western Conference opponents from the Northwest Division, the Portland Trail Blazers. To get a different perspective on tonight’s game between the west coast rivals I sat down and had a chat with Kerry Eggers, a member of the Portland media. Eggers, who writes for the weekly newspaper the Portland Tribune, shared his thoughts on tonight’s rivalry game between the Lakers and Trail Blazers. With as much prestige and history as the Los Angeles Lakers have, it is no question that many if not all of the other Western Conference teams desire to be them. That plus a different brand of lifestyle that Hollywood provides helps create a large amount of hostility between the Lakers and their opponents.

“The Lakers are good. They have set the bar high for the Western Conference,” Eggers said. “Los Angeles is the city on the west coast. It’s not just Portland that aspires to be the Lakers. The Hollywood/Tinseltown lifestyle is very appealing.”

One of the most prominent facts in sports, however, is that players, coaches, and even owners eventually move on. This makes it tricky to maintain a rivalry that may have blossomed during a previous generation. But, for the fans this never matters. The sense of rivalry that was developed between the Lakers and Blazers in the early 1990’s, and then again during an unbelievable Western Conference Finals series in 2000, lives forever in the minds of the spectators.

“Fans never forget. The players on each squad are really a non-factor for the fans. While Portland and Los Angeles haven’t played in the post-season recently, there is still a budding rivalry that keeps it interesting. Especially between (Trail Blazers guard, Brandon) Roy and Kobe.”

Next: Expectations for Tonight and Beyond

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