Sean Highkin of USA Today Sports offers detailed advice to fans of all 30 NBA teams that want to purchase jerseys. Here are his thoughts regarding the Portland Trail Blazers.
Current Player: The Blazers' best player is still LaMarcus Aldridge, but rumblings have started that he may want out soon. Nicolas Batum is fun, lengthy wing who's the second-longest tenured Blazer at this point and just on the brink of finally fulfilling his wild potential. Wesley Matthews is the working-class hero. But the unquestioned face of the franchise going forward is 2013 Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, who in addition to being one of the brightest stars of the current class of up-and-coming point guards, wears the number 0, which is always recommended.
Style: Grantland's Zach Lowe recently proclaimed that the Blazers have the best nickname in the NBA, and they're near the top of the heap in the uniform rankings as well. They've never deviated from their red/white/black color scheme, never fallen prey to the cartoon boom of the late '90s and always favored elegant simplicity. It's why you can look through their entire history and not find one bad-looking jersey. The current ones are no exception, but if you really want to show local pride, the "RIP CITY" alternates are the way to go.
Retro Player: You can get away with basically anything in Portland. Unless you're Raymond Felton or Darius Miles, being an ex-Blazer guarantees you a lifetime of adoration. Still, be careful. It's way too soon to go with Brandon Roy or Greg Oden. Avoid anybody from the Jail Blazers except Rasheed Wallace, but the 1999-2000 team that featured Steve Smith and Arvydas Sabonis is a goldmine of choices. Anybody from the '77 title team (Bill Walton, Maurice Lucas) is a good call. Ditto the late-'80s/early-'90s teams that featured Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter. Those jerseys, which featured all-lowercase lettering and introduced the diagonal stripes that have become a staple ever since, are probably their sharpest.
This topic is clearly worthy of some serious community-wide exploration.
Your favorite retro jersey? Your most underrated jersey to wear? The weirdest jersey you've ever seen someone where in public? Your go-to jersey for a big game?
One of my regrets in covering the team is not thoroughly cataloging all of the unusual/rare/awesome jerseys that have shown up in the stands over the years.
Photo via IAmATrailBlazersFan.com
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