Minutos antes de serem eliminados dos playoffs, ao retornarem de um pedido de tempo, os jogadores dos Blazers aguardaram a permissão de voltar à quadra sentados na mesa ao lado da quadra. Um jornalista que cobre o time para um jornal local tirou a foto acima com seu celular e em seguida mostrou a imagem a cada um dos fotografados para saber qual seria a reação de cada um.
I was hoping someone got that; I love that picture. The important thing is, we were down 18 or 20 and we were still there, together. Instead of splintering, instead of bickering, we were still there together and we were going to go out with pride.
It was like, man, this is elimination. This is the end of it. I looked at L.A. and he looked at me and said ‘Great season. We have to grow from it, but we have to keep playing, not lay down.’ And I thought we did a great job of that.
It was like we all just gravitated over there. There wasn’t any coming back at that point, but we didn’t splinter off, we sat together. That’s us: We fought together, we went through training camp together and even in bad times, we sat together. And that’s how we went out: together.
That shows the growth we had. We came a long way and progressed together. Right there, I was telling Dame that we had to keep playing. We had to keep that culture we had established this year, because that’s our identity: playing hard and playing together.
We win together, we lose together — I feel like we were saying that. We always kept fighting, always kept playing and always stuck together. That’s why I love this team and that’s why I’m sad right now. I don’t want to stop playing. I’ve never had that much fun in my six years. Now, I won’t see all those guys next week, won’t see them for five or six months. I hate that because I love those guys.