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#pounditSunday, January 29, 2023

Damian Lillard at odds with Blazers owner?

Damian Lillard in a Blazers jersey

Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Portland appears to be giving off the warm aroma of trouble right now.

The New York Post reported on Thursday that Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is not seeing eye-to-eye with franchise owner Jody Allen. Citing a team source, the report states that Allen has refused to speak with Lillard, who is allegedly having issues with the way the team is being run.

“Damian wanted to sit down and have a conversation with Jody about the team and she didn’t return his call,” the source was quoted as saying. “Then he tried to email her. Eventually she just never responded and put him in touch with [Trail Blazers executive] Bert [Kolde].”

The Blazers were purchased by billionaire Paul Allen in 1988. Since Paul died in 2018, the franchise has been owned by a trust in Paul’s name. Jody, Paul’s sister, is chairperson of that trust and has become the de facto owner of the Blazers.

The New York Post report also alleges further “toxic” behavior on the part of Jody that is affecting the management of the Blazers. Among the claims is that Jody has allegedly deferred all the decision-making for the team to Kolde, who serves as vice chair of the Blazers and was Paul’s college roommate and friend. You can read the report in full here.

There was some recent rumors that the Blazers might be for sale, and a notable name was even reported to have interest in purchasing the team. But Jody just released a statement saying that the Blazers (along with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, whom The Paul G. Allen Trust also owns) are not currently for sale (though they eventually will be according to Paul’s wishes).

As for Lillard, he is the undisputed face of the Blazers team and a persistent symbol of loyalty, having spent his entire ten-year NBA career in Portland. But he recently caused big concern among Blazers fans with a cryptic social media post, and now it turns out that frustration with Jody Allen may have something to do with it.


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