Portland Trail Blazers 2023 Holiday Wish List

Oregon Sports News Staff| Oregon Sports News

Dear Santa,

It’s us again—OSN’s Bryant Knox and Casey Mabbott writing to you from Oregon Sports News Headquarters on behalf of the Portland Trail Blazers, who’ve been very, very good this year!

Well…honestly…they’ve been largely mediocre.

Actually, they’re pretty bad for most stretches.

But the Blazers are trying real hard. They’re getting better at taking care of their health, and with a .500 record against the spreadthey’ve become a group of scrappy underdogs, learning new tricks along the way.

Without a doubt, these Trail Blazers are on the nice list. They’re so nice, in fact, you should tune in and see how much they’re improving. Unless, of course, Xfinity ripped your Root Sports subscription away from…never mind.

If it’s not too much to ask, Santa, we think Portland deserves a few nice things, especially after such a tough start to the season. A Shaedon poster would be great. Some real-life good health would be cool, too.

Thanks so much for all you do, Mr. Claus. We know that soaring the Christmas skies, giving gifts to all the good little NBA teams isn’t easy after a full year of load management.

We also know there are a few teams and players you have to skip this season. But we won’t talk about the naughty list.

Signed, with all the season’s greetings,

— Rip City

P.S. Enjoy the milk and cookies. It’s soy milk. I know you’re lactose intolerant.

Shaedon Sharpe Poster (ft. Victor Wembanyama)

Let the record show up front that I like Victor Wembanyama. I wish nothing but the best for the latest No. 1 pick, even though he joined the prestigious Spurs franchise instead of Portland.

Who even remembers that the Blazers were one ping-pong ball away from adding a generational talent and saving the Damian Lillard era?

Let’s move on.

Despite my love for all things Wembanyama, I want to see Shaedon Sharpe do his best T-Mac impression on Thursday, Dec. 28 (or Friday, Dec. 29) making Wemby look like Shawn Bradley on the wrong end of a GOAT tomahawk. Is that really so wrong?

Truth is, we don’t need Sharpe doing his best McGrady impression during Portland’s first matchup with the Spurs this season; a self-impersonation will do just fine. Sharpe has been a human highlight reel with sky-scraping abilities and a resume that includes “can float as long as necessary” in the skill section.

If Sharpe plays within the flow of the game against San Antonio, landing a finish over a rookie who’s definitely chasing blocks is a dream that could become a reality.

Is that really too much to ask for? Make this one happen, Santa.

— Knox

Bring A Blazers Legend Back To the Blazers Community

Maurice Lucas, Buck Williams, Jerome Kersey, Terry Porter: What do they all have in common?

They were all players who later worked on the coaching staff or team staff in some capacity.

Where are the Blazers players who retired and have since moved on to other roles in basketball? Can we get Brandon Roy or Steve Blake working with our new players? This is a really young team, and there have been plenty of questions about where this team is headed and if they have the right leadership. Honestly, I don’t know the answer to those questions.

What I do know is that when I look at the current staff, I have no idea who most of them are or if they are aware of what it takes to capture the attention of the players and the public. Where is the Blazers’ community without the players of yesteryear?

Bring back the fan favorites, even if they can’t suit up anymore. It’s still fun to see them working with the team and the community.

— Mabbott

Good Health…Please, Good Health

What’s the one thing we all universally ask for every holiday season ahead of the new year? Is it courtside tickets? Sure, that’s a close second. But largely, we all want good health.

Whether maintaining it or establishing it, we set goals and routines, and we want nothing but the best physically and mentally for ourselves and those around us.

These Trail Blazers are no exception.

Simply put: It’s been a rough start to the 2023-24 season health-wise. I’d ask if the Blazers can catch a break, but I’d fear that’d speak a broken leg into existence. So instead, Santa, can we please just get some better luck in 2024?

Portland is probably beyond play-in tournament contention 26 games into the year, so there’s no need to keep the core sidelined. Let Scoot, Ant and Shaedon dive into the deep end. And as long as Brogdon’s on the roster, let him lead on the court.

Please? Pretty please? Let’s buck this trend entering not just the New Year, but the new era of Trail Blazers basketball.

That’s all anyone in Rip City asks.

— Knox

Win One For the Other Milwaukie

Portland has a home-and-away, two-game series with the Milwaukee Bucks this season, and the first round went well but left a bad taste after an awful fourth quarter where Portland was outscored by 13 points. They went into the final frame up 88-75 but lost 108-102, and a big win turned out to be a mean trick.

Scoot had a decent game against the man he was brought in to replace, and a great game from Jerami Grant wasn’t enough to overcome Giannis Antetokounmpo’s brilliant performance. Five Portland players finished as a minus in the plus/minus department, while just three Bucks players turned in negative performances.

There is a rematch coming up in Portland on January 31st, and it’s time for Portland to win one for the other Milwaukie.

This may not be Lillard’s team any more, but this is still his city. It’s going to stay that way until the newlook Blazers reclaim it. And what better way to do that than against the man that gave this city so much.

He was practically our sports Santa for a decade—the gifts just kept on coming. I have nothing against Lillard and wish him the very best, but I would love to see Scoot lead a win against him as the calendar turns to February and the season really gets under way for many contenders.


A Surprise Visit From A Blazers Players In The Community

There are plenty of people in need this time of year, and the team does a great job with their outreach programs and working with local groups to make sure they are seen and heard and cared for. And all of that is great. But let’s see someone like Jerami Grant surprise shoppers with free groceries, or Shaedon Sharpe randomly surprising a group of middle schoolers with shoes and balls or game day apparel. This doesn’t need to come out of players’ pockets, but why not? Why not give back to your local community in the coolest way? You hear about players in other sports doing this but it’s not as common in basketball, even though there is plenty of money. There are plenty of kids and families needing a little extra hope this holiday season. Let’s hope this young team really delivers off the court before it’s too late.

The players on this team are part of this community now, and while it may not be a great business decision from a personal bank account perspective, just think of the public approval they would earn.

I would say head coach Chauncey Billups should do this also, but I’m not sure what kind of reception he would get. He may get as many pointed questions as he does words of thanks.