When the Portland Trail Blazers selected Greg Oden with the first pick in the 2007 NBA draft, he was supposed to pair team with the duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy to form a trio that would help contend for titles for years to come.
In five years, Oden would only play in 82 games, dealing with a multitude of knee injuries and surgeries.
Brandon Roy would retire following the resolving of the NBA lockout last year as his knees had degenerated so much, he didnt think he could sustain the grind of a regular NBA season, let alone a condensed 66-game schedule.
LaMarcus Aldridge, diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome in 07, received heart surgery at the beginning of the season to evaluate the status of the electrical system of his heart.
While not as serious as one may think as Aldridge was relatively healthy this season before a slight labral tear in his hip forced season-ending hip surgery, the Trail Blazers -- going back to Sam Bowie and Bill Walton -- have had several players suffer serious lower body injuries and the thought that the franchise might be cursed isnt one that just floats around through the collective media and fan base.
As told to ESPNs Marc Stein, former Trail Blazer Marcus Camby says the curse is also discussed in the Portland locker room.
Q: You know those of us in the media throw around words like curse. But what about the players on that team? In the Blazers locker room, are guys asking: What next?
A: They might not want to admit it, but when I was there, my goodness, people were saying, Are we really snake-bit? Are we really cursed? Doubts and talks like that came about. Everybody just tried to brush it to one side and remain positive, but it was hard to escape because everybody was talking about it. Its hard to argue when it keeps happening year after year after year.
It took Portland some time to rid itself of the Jail Blazers tag, but it might take even longer to escape something serious enough to be labeled a curse.
Its a stigma that Cubs fans know all too well.