Nike wanted to showcase the epic journey the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat traveled to reach the 2011 NBA Finals. Contributed copy for voice-over script delivered by sportscaster Gus Johnson.
The Portland Trail Blazers’ 2010-2011 NBA season was loaded with changes.
Rich Cho took the helm as Portland’s new general manager, following the Kevin Pritchard era, in what turned out to be a short one-year stint. The three-time All Star Brandon Roy struggled throughout the season to reclaim his elite stature after enduring arthroscopic surgery on both knees. His troubled knees crippled his starting role as his new position came from contributing off the bench. Former Utah Jazz wingman Wesley Matthews competed for Roy’s starting spot with his 3-point daggers that sparked a 3-googles craze across the country.
Roy’s setback also opened the door for a breakout season from LaMarcus Aldridge, who ended the season averaging a career best 21.8 points and 8.7 rebounds. Aldridge became the first Trail Blazer since Clyde Drexler in 1989 to post back to back 40-point games at home after dropping 40 on the Spurs, then scoring a career high 42 over the Bulls.
Portland welcomed rookies Elliot Williams, Armon Johnson and Luke Babbitt. It said goodbye to Jeff Pendergraph and bunched the beloved Joel Pryzbilla, Dante Cunningham and Sean Marks in a deadline trade for the hustle and defensive toughness of the Charlotte Bobcats’ Gerald Wallace.
With a starting lineup of Andre Miller, Matthews, Wallace, LA and Marcus Camby, the Trail Blazers entered the playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks looking to avoid their third straight first-round elimination. Dallas went up 2-0 at home in a best of seven. However, Portland would answer returning to Rip City. Roy electrified a home crowd in an emotional Game 4 thriller to tie the series. But the Mavs would claim the series on their path to winning the NBA Championship.