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Trail Blazers Christmas Gifts: A Long Career for Skal Labissiere

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Happy wishes for one of the bright spots for Portland this season.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Christmas, Portland Trail Blazers fans! Today Blazer’s Edge is celebrating the holiday in the form of the worst Christmas Song ever written. The staff has compiled a list of gifts suitable for the team, and we’re running them down in 12 posts...with not a partridge or a leaping lord anywhere to be seen. We hope you enjoy the holiday and help us reflect on good wishes for the Blazers!

On the eighth day of Christmas, true fans give to the team...

Labissiere Tenure

Every season, without fail, Blazer’s Edge staffer and podcast guru TeamMom falls into true fandom with a Trail Blazers power forward. First it was Ed Davis. When he left, we thought she’d never be able to replace him. Then Al-Farouq Aminu blossomed, and she became president of his fan club. When he left last summer, we all thought we were finally done. Nobody could possibly replace Chief as the true power forward of her dreams.

Hel...lo Skal Labissiere!

Honestly, it’s just as hard to argue with her taste this time as it always is. She’s a visionary. Labissiere’s stats of 5.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game don’t stand out, but that amounts to a semi-reasonable 12 points, plus an incredible 10.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per 36 minutes. That’s not bad for a guy given his first major responsibilities after three years as an “also appearing” player.

More importantly, Labissiere brings the verve and passion that’s missing from the Blazers this year. The fluidity of his moves are matched by the grace of his smile. That’s actually a big deal for a team that seems on the verge of folding in under its own gravitas.

Labissiere has proven this year that he belongs on the floor somewhere, and that he can add to this league. At 23, there’s more to come. Whether he ends up as a star or a starter matters less than, hey, it’s fun to root for the guy. We wish him a long career and many more opportunities to beam.