Trail Blazers ‘Would You Rather’: Wemby or Phil for Rip City?


In less than a week, the Trail Blazers chances to win an NBA championship could dramatically improve.

10.5 percent is all that separates Portland from the next generation-defining superstar, Victor Wembanyama.

Also in the franchise’s future – an eventual sale. Jody Allen will have to shepherd ownership to a successor, and Phil Knight is at the top of every Blazers fan’s wish list.

Which would be a better prize for Rip City? Wemby? Or Phil?

John Canzano kicked that debate around on 750 The Game, starting with his hunch that despite the 10.5 percent chance, Portland could be a big winner next Tuesday at the NBA Draft Lottery, with a caveat.

“You may believe those are slim odds,” Canzano said. “But I can tell you this. Something tells me, the Blazers are going to end up with the No. 1 pick. Am I crazy?

“Something also tells me that the franchise has no idea what to do with that pick if they do get it. They’ll pick Victor Wembanyama, don’t get me wrong. But they’ll have no idea how to maximize having a generational player.”

Such incompetence at the top, Canzano says, would keep the Blazers from winning big even if they were fortunate enough to land Wembanyama.

“They’ve got a franchise that is owned by a trust, run by Bert Kolde, who knows nothing about winning basketball or championship basketball,” Canzano stated. “And he’s got a general manager in Joe Cronin who is fighting with one arm tied behind his back. Good luck to ya!

“That’s kind of where this franchise is. It’s why it needs to be sold.”

Enter the debate. Would Trail Blazers fans rather strike gold with Victor Wembanyama in uniform? Or pass on Wemby, if it means that Jody Allen would announce she is selling the team to Phil Knight?

Canzano is clear with his answer.

“For me? You know where I stand. Because I think you could give Bert Kolde and Jody the map to a championship and they’d still be wandering around in the woods. I don’t think it matters if they get the number-one pick if they don’t have the ownership group and the vision to maximize it.

“I say Phil Knight.”

Listen to Canzano’s take on the Blazers hopes for the lottery and future ownership at the 45:50 mark of the podcast below. And catch John Canzano deliver the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.