Who is the greatest Portland Trail Blazers player ever? This topic is well-worn in Blazers circles, though unresolved. Normally we’d pass by it as we consider submissions for the Blazer’s Edge Mailbag. But today and tomorrow, we’re going to linger on the subject, not just because of its inherent value—it’s a good question—but because of who’s doing the asking.
Like you and Dia talk about on your podcast, you’ve been a Blazers fan for a long time.
ed note: Easy there, bucko.
Who do you think are the best Blazers from what you’ve seen yourself? I’m only 12 so I hope you can use my question.
Hi Liam! Sorry for calling you “bucko”. It means, “Friend that I respect a whole lot for sending in this question!” And thanks for listening to the podcast! I’m sure Dia thinks that’s cool too. I might even be able to get you her autograph.
So...the answer to your question about Best Blazers is pretty easy. Everyone agrees on them, though nobody puts them in the same order. They’re Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, and Damian Lillard. Who’s #1 depends on what you value. If it’s the only championship in team history, it’s Walton. If it’s sustained team excellence, it’s Drexler. If it’s skill, statistical production, and carrying the franchise off the court, it’s Lillard for sure.
To make things more interesting, I’m going to do two things. First, I’m going to ask all of us to join in your question, so you can read the discussion in the comments.
Here’s how we’re going to do that, folks.
If you had to restart the Trail Blazers from scratch, right now, but you could have one of these three players—Walton, Drexler, or Lillard—to build the franchise around, which would you take? Assume that player will have a relatively similar career to the one they actually had, give or take better foot diagnosis for Walton. Also assume you get that player at the start of his career, freshly-drafted, and will get him for at least as long as he originally played, maybe a bit longer for Dollar Bill.
Assume the NBA is as it is today, though. You don’t transport back in time to that player’s era.
Also remember we’re not asking the best player outright by talent, but the player you’d be most comfortable starting a brand new Trail Blazers roster with.
Everybody can answer below. Then tomorrow, Liam, I’m going to mention some good players from Trail Blazers history that you might not know about, players that we all tend to underrate.
Like Liam, you all can send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!