Portland Trail Blazers fans try to raise funds for LeBron James billboard
From NBA Instagram and media reports
Portland fans, come on down. You’re next up, apparently, on the list of cities and fan bases trying to lure LeBron James in free agency this summer with billboards.
A group of Portland fans have started a Go Fund Me account to raise funds to pay for a billboard inviting James to sign with the Blazers. Similar sets 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.).
Tim Brown of The Oregonian has more on the push to get a billboard in Portland:
James will likely be the most coveted free agent this summer if he decides to opt out of his current deal. But that scenario hinges on the Cavaliers performance in the postseason and whether or not he feels he has a better chance to contend with another organization. Several of the latest rumors swirling around the league have indicated James could bolt Cleveland and join the Los Angeles Lakers.
But what if the Blazers could get into that mix? Does LeBron respect Lillard enough to join him in Rip City?
The short answer: No.
With their roster and salary cap situation, it would be virtually impossible to sign James without Portland clearing out a host of their current players to make room for what would have to be a max contract for James.
Despite the long odds, some Portland residents are doing their part to try and bring LeBron to Rip City. The guys behind ‘Trillblazin,’ the popular Trail Blazers fan account and clothing line, have started a Go Fund Me account and are attempting to raise funds in order to pay for a billboard inviting James to sign with the Trail Blazers.
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.