Hours before the Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks square off in the American Airlines Arena, former Rip City favorite Wesley Matthews indulged a line of questioning from the Portland media. Since his relocation to Dallas in 2015 free agency, the Mavericks have struggled, finishing sixth in the West last year, enduring a first round exit from the NBA Playoffs at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and now beginning the 2016-17 season 0-4. Seeing the Trail Blazers’ unexpected, immediate success, Matthews keeps a level head.
– via CSN NW
What was it like watching the Blazers in the playoffs last year during that run?
I was pissed off because we weren’t playing. It didn’t really matter who it was. I’m not petty. It is what it is. It’s a business. I’m pretty sure they don’t really miss me and it’s cool. It is what it is. I’m happy here and we just need to get a win tonight.
There are elements of truth to Matthews’ supposition. Without him, shooting guard CJ McCollum took on a larger role and became half of the two-headed, firebreathing backcourt dragon that has kept the retooled Portland roster on the map. Matthews’ departure also opened up the Trail Blazers’ financial options as they compiled said roster.
However, the Trail Blazers certainly miss his smothering defense and unmatchable work ethic, as do the fans. The unfortunate circumstances that eventually led to his contract with the Mavericks have not soured his Portland supporters. Matthews’ years of service and heartful ‘thank you’ when they came to an end meant a lot to the people he inspired; many of whom will still be rooting for him to put on a show tonight.