By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
The Portland Trail Blazers will have a G League team starting next season.
The unnamed team will play their home games at the University of Portland’s Chiles Center.
University of Portland vice president Michael Lewellen joined John Canzano on Monday on 750 The Game. Lewellen served for seven years as Vice President of Corporate Communications for the Portland Trail Blazers and said there are going to be many benefits for the Trail Blazers having a G League team close by.
“I think it’s a plus on a variety of fronts,” Lewellen shared. “If you got some players who may be coming off of an injury, maybe, and they need to get some rehab minutes and really get some reps out on the court. Being able to take a short drive – rather than a short flight — there’s a lot of advantages to that.”
Lewellen went on to say there are other successful examples of G League-NBA relationships that share a market.
“The Chicago Bulls G League team, The Windy City Bulls, they play out in the Chicago suburbs. So you’ve got other examples that will be similar to ours.
“[It’s] just 10 miles from the Moda Center out to UP. It’s helpful when you need a player to suit up because someone is going to be sitting out a game.”
Not only will the G League team help out the organization, Lewellen says it will help grow the fan base as well.
“This is a chance for us to see future Blazers, future NBA’ers getting their development reps at a very competitive level,” he said. “I don’t think it could be a better situation.”
There doesn’t seem to be any downside to the G League team. Portland has done a great job of supporting “minor” league teams, including the Hillsboro Hops. Portland is a basketball-hungry city and this option to have a G League team seems like a slam dunk.
Listen to the segment at the 46:25 mark of the podcast below. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.