Take it from Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard. The New York Post, believe it or not, maybe isn’t the most accurate publication in news media.
Just 24 hours after the NYPost reported that Blazers owner Jody Allen had recently ignored his calls and emails, Portland’s franchise player forcefully denied that account, insisting he has a “great relationship” with team management and that Allen has “always taken time to speak” with him.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 8, 2022
Lillard has positioned himself as one of the most honest and forthright interviews in all of professional sports. He always means what he says when speaking publicly, as evidenced last summer when Lillard directly pushed back on reports that his trade request from the Blazers was imminent. Over a full year and tank-filled 2021-22 season later, he’s as committed to the Blazers as ever, poised to sign a massive two-year extension that will keep him in Rip City through his mid-thirties.
It’s safe to say the NY Post didn’t talk to Lillard before taking Thursday’s story to print.
Even assuming his denials are true, though, that doesn’t change the fact that Portland would be better off with an owner other than Allen. Allegations that she smuggled ivory and other animal bones into the United States from Africa and Antarctica that were included in the NY Post’s story have been public knowledge in Rip City for years. The same goes for multiple accusations of sexual harassment against Allen levied at her by security personnel.
Despite reports of the Blazers’ imminent sale, though, Allen doesn’t seem compelled to give up the team anytime soon. She refuted reports of Portland and the Seattle Seahawks being available to buy earlier this week, insisting the sale of both franchises could take “10 to 20 years.” ESPN previously reported that Nike founder Phil Knight and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Alan Smolinisky have made a $2 billion offer to purchase the Blazers.
Kudos to Lillard for setting the record straight. If only it changed the bigger picture about Allen’s problematic ownership of his team.