Roughly five minutes from the Portland Trail Blazers' arena, the Moda Center, there now stands a new billboard meant to entice LeBron James to head West this summer.
The billboard went up at the intersection of NE Broadway and Martin Luther King Boulevard after Blazers fans exceeded the goal started on a Go Fund Me page by the satirical Trail Blazers social media campaign, 'Trillblazin.'
The billboard has an all black background with bold, white text that reads, "LeBron, Dame needs a third option." followed by a hashtag of #BRON2PDX2018. (The "Dame" referred to here is, of course, Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard.)
In mid-March, the minds behind 'Trilblazin' sought to raise $2,000 for the billboard, but thanks to donations from celebrities who hail from Portland, that number was soon surpassed. Tim Brown of The Oregonian has more on the new billboard and what may be next:
After the minds behind 'Trillblazin,' the satirical Trail Blazers social media presence and clothing line started a Go Fund Me campaign on March 15 to raise funds for a billboard, Blazers fans in Portland and across the country responded with a flood of donations. That included larger contributions from local businesses like Poler Stuff, Tender Loving Empire, The Athletic and Stumptown Coffee Roasters as well as celebrities who claim Rip City as their home, like comedian Ian Karmel and the rock band Portugal The Man.
Now, the Trillblazin guys may turn their attention to Cleveland.
Similar types of billboards have been launched by other fans, first by a remodeling company in Philadelphia (which put the billboards installed in Cleveland) and also by an attorney in Los Angeles (who had them put up in L.A.). James can become a free agent this summer and many fan bases around the NBA are hoping their team takes a shot at signing him.
The Oregonian reported in March that Trillblazin co-founders Ira Lafontaine and Keith Kunis were open the possibility of putting up transit ads in Portland or, perhaps, a sign in Cleveland near Quicken Loans Arena.
Personal injury attorney Jacob Emrani put up four billboards around Los Angeles to try and woo James, who can enter free agency this summer. ESPN.com reported the Philadelphia billboards were leased by Power Home Remodeling, a company based in Chester, Pennsylvania. The company's CEO says the goal is to bring James, a three-time NBA champion, to Philadelphia because "we think the best athletes should want to play here."
When the billboards in Philadelphia were erected, James couldn't help but be flattered by them.
"You can say it's a distraction, it's not. Not a distraction," James told reporters on Feb. 27. "It is actually very flattering that I'm sitting here at 33 and in my 15th year and teams or guys -- I don't want to say teams because that becomes tampering -- but people in their respective city want me to play for them. That's cool I think. That's dope."
The 33-year-old James can opt out of his contract this summer with the Cavaliers. He's said in the past that he would like to end his career with Cleveland, but because he hasn't given the team a long-term commitment, there is constant speculation that he may leave his home state a second time.
James famously announced he was taking his "talents to South Beach" and signed with the Miami Heat in 2010. He won two NBA titles in four years with the Heat before returning to Cleveland in 2014
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.