Jody Allen, Ownership, Remains Trail Blazers Biggest Question


The Portland Trail Blazers are at a crossroads.

They have a decision to make with the third overall pick in next month’s NBA Draft. That decision will certainly be influenced by the state of their relationship with one of the greatest players in franchise history in Damian Lillard, and possibly a decision to trade him. They have a combination at head coach and general manager that remains unproven, at best.

The questions are many. The skepticism within the fanbase is high.

But the biggest question remains at the very top with ownership.

Ben Golliver, national NBA writer for the Washington Post, joined John Canzano on 750 The Game and contrasted the ownership style from Blazers chair Jody Allen compared to the unbridled enthusiasm that was palpably felt at last week’s NBA Draft Lottery from Peter J. Holt, managing partner of the San Antonio Spurs.

Holt’s reaction was an example of what engaged, motivated — and as Golliver points out, stable — ownership, looks like at the small-market level in today’s NBA.

“I think you look at this Portland Trail Blazers situation, are we sure someone like Jody Allen, is she going to be as excited, is she going to understand the implications of getting a pick like a Victor Wembanyama, sort of like Peter Holt – the younger – understood clearly… what a big deal it was going to be for the franchise,” Golliver said.

“This is an invested, small-market owner, trying to set his franchise up for another decade of success.”

Jody Allen inherited ownership of the Trail Blazers franchise from her older brother, Paul Allen, who passed away in October 2018. Things would be different, Golliver inferred, had Paul still been around.

We know Paul Allen, if he had gotten the Victor Wembanyama pick, would have been screaming out, ‘Let’s Go!’. It would have been the greatest day of his ownership tenure, probably. But what do we know about Jody Allen? I’m not sure.

“If you’re an organization trying to crack back into the mix of the Western Conference – which is so deep right now with good teams and even younger teams on the come up –  you’ve got to have a clear direction from ownership, you’ve got to have an invested ownership personality, someone who is able to chart that course. And I look at Portland, and they’re one of those teams, right there with the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference, where I really question the ownership more than anything else.”

Listen to Golliver’s full comments on Blazers ownership at the 2:01:00 mark of the podcast below. Catch John Canzano deliver the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.