By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
The Trail Blazers will not be competing for the NBA Championship this season. They won’t be competing for a playoff spot this season. So who should Blazers fans root for to make a championship run?
The NBA seems to be wide open this season with only a few teams considered true contenders and a number of teams a move or two away. The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the teams considered to be a contender after they went all in and traded for former Blazer Damian Lillard. It makes all the sense to root for Lillard and the Bucks this season.
But John Canzano (weekdays 3-6 p.m.) doesn’t even think that the Bucks will make the NBA Finals, and says it reminds him of another former Blazer that was loved by fans.
“I look at Milwaukee and I don’t see it,” Canzano said on 750 The Game. “And maybe part of it is my bias — like we have seen Rasheed Wallace leave the Blazers and go on and win a world championship with the Pistons. I think that hurt some Blazers fans. Hurt their hearts because the Blazers came up short in the Western Conference Finals.”
Lillard played with the Blazers for 11 seasons, longevity that is very rare in professional sports these days. It wasn’t all flowers, though. The end of the Lillard era got ugly, and as Canzano says Lillard had the choice if he really didn’t want to be in Portland.
“There are some Blazers fans rooting for Dame,” he said. “Saying if he couldn’t have it here, we want him to have it (somewhere else). He didn’t pull a James Harden. He was loyal. As loyal as you can be by NBA standards. But as I went back and was reading some of his comments about wanting to go to Miami, wanting to get out of Portland. I just kept thinking it’s great that you wanted to get out now and dictate where you wanted to go, but he could have left without signing a contract and he could have picked his destination.”
Canzano points out that if you’re rooting for Lillard, you’re rooting for a player that said he didn’t want to play in Portland.
“He did say, not here (in Portland),” Canzano said. “So I’m kind of left going – You know what. I don’t know if you should be behind that as a Blazers fan in the end.”
Listen to the full segment in the podcast below starting at the 2:05:30 mark.
Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.