Surprising few in Rip City but perhaps raising eyebrows elsewhere, Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers tweeted out his support of bringing a WNBA franchise back to the City of Roses after WSLAM asked where people would like to see the league expand.
Portland had a WNBA team once upon a time: the Fire. The team, established in 2000, was one of four expansion teams for the league that season, alongside the extant Seattle Storm and Indiana Fever. The Fire played for three seasons with Trail Blazers’ then-owner Paul Allen as the team chairman. While the team did not make the playoffs in any of its three seasons, rookie guard Jackie Stiles won the WNBA Rookie of the Year award in 2001.
There is no doubt that the city would likely support the return of a women’s professional basketball franchise, given the high level of support for other women’s sports in the area, such as the much-loved Portland Thorns.
So, we join with the Bosnian Beast to say: Bring back the Fire!