Updated: Mar 22, 2019
In 2011 a Portland Trail Blazer fan page was born, Blazergonian, Dre Miller began promoting as “Blazer Gang” gained momentum throughout the years the page has become not only an ambassador for the City of Portland, but also for all of Rip City. What was once a Trail Blazer fan page, has now become not just an ambassador for the City of Portland, but also for all of Rip City. After the Trail Blazers signed Enes Kanter on February 13th from the buyout Market. The day after he signed Blazer Gang quickly reached out to Enes to welcome him, they even took went another step further and welcomed his manager to the great city of Portland.. The greeting turned out to be a success as Blazer Gang associates quickly clicked with Enes and his manager Hank. What was thought of as only a quick greeting turned into an open dialogue.
Now weeks into Kanter’s tenure with the Blazers, last week, Blazer Gang sat down with the agent of backup center Enes Kanter, Hank Fetic. Blazer Gang was excited to Host Fetic for their weekly podcast, “BG Podcast”. There were a number of topics covered throughout this hour-long podcast. From a Blazer fan perspective, Fetic tells the Blazer Gang panel what it would take to have Kanter stay here after this season. He talks about the “fit” on the basketball court and also attributes the city of Portland’s culture of accepting somewhat of “weird” characters. Fetic goes as far as stating the possibility of Kanter coming back to Portland being ”pretty high” after this season and included things that Kanter would want in order to stay here in Portland.
Just one week later Dre Miller, Blazer Gang President of Operations and creator helped orchestrate Kanter’s first meet and greet community service event. His first full day in Portland, Kanter decided he would spend his time at Alder Creek Middle School of South East Portland. Miller said this about his constant work in the Portland metro area. “I'm the son of a man who ran the streets but I'm also the son of a woman that worked inside the jails so my first passion was criminal justice. It's important to me that if you believe in something you fully go for it. I have a passion and gift for fighting against injustices. I've done activism here locally and those connections have built great relationships that help me shine a light on certain situations.” This situation was one that Kanter was extremely excited to be a part of. During his visit to Alder Creek, he explained to the students the importance of school and doing well in school. This was a big point of emphasis for Kanter. Miller attempts to emphasize the importance of community involvement. This being just one of many events Miller and Blazer Gang have put together, “we have hosted a lot of Blazer-related events but I also have been able to use BGs platform to host non Blazer type of events, viewing parties, cheer mob of 400+ people at Lloyd Center Mall during playoffs, basketball tournaments, fundraising events, beer releases. We’ve partnered with restaurants, bars, and other venues. We’re really focused on giving back to the community.” Said Miller.
Blazer Gang has been building its online presence for years now. If you are online you’ve probably seen some of their content, with their presence growing so was the community of online followers. Miller sees Blazer Gang as something for any Rip City enthusiast. “Blazer Gang to me is a name and voice for the fans. Even though people have tried to ?coin our term we are the originators of “For the fans by the fans” Blazer Gang is a community of fans. Our merchandise and creative content are created by fans. (Blazer Gang) has gone further than I could have imagined when creating this and I’m saying that with a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears put into this,” Miller said. This week on the BG Podcast our panel of hosts reflected on the event at Alder Creek Middle School, they make their predictions for the Blazers current three-game road trip and include an exclusive interview with Kanter. The Podcast is available on any platform that Podcasts are available. Stay tuned for much more from Blazer Gang. “Come join the Gang by following us on one of our social media platforms or by subscribing to our mailing lists. Playoff viewing parties coming up.” Miller said. These are the kinds of events you want to be a part of, these are the kinds of people you hope to be involved w
ith and this is the kind of community that to me, Rip City is all about. -Brody Voge