As the season has unfolded for the Cleveland Cavaliers, many have taken to speculating where LeBron James might end up this summer. Several fanbases have put up billboards to entice The King, including Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and most embarrassingly, Cleveland itself. It’s too much, to be honest.
But this? This I like.
There are destinations for LeBron, like the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets, that seem more realistic than the Portland Trail Blazers. But a few fans have taken it upon themselves — likely after pouring themselves a glass Antikythera Pinot Noir — to dream big, and try to attract James to the Willamette Valley.
In a mostly tongue-in-cheek effort, some Blazers fans have started a Go Fund Me page to try to get a billboard put up with a message for LeBron.
Ira LaFontaine, Keith Kunis, Nick Nanpei, and Spencer Groshong are four Portland fans who also run a popular local culture brand called Trillblazin. Their gear and voice is known well enough around the region that they might actually succeed in getting their billboard put up. As of publication, the Go Fund Me page was trending on that platform.
“There’s a been a couple other cities that have used billboards to attract LeBron, but we didn’t feel they were serious contenders,” LaFontaine told NBC Sports. “Portland gives him a win-now, wine-loving look and that’s hard to ignore.”
LeBron has said recently that he has a love of Oregon pinot noir. Meanwhile, The King and Damian Lillard were publicly sharing a high level of mutual respect before the Blazers and the Cavaliers squared off on Thursday night.
The joke is meant as a rib against other cities that have done the same, but has already raised $265 of the $2,000 it needs in just a few hours. While LeBron isn’t likely to choose the Blazers, it’s yet another testament to the power of NBA Twitter that something like this actually might come to fruition, all in the name of facetiousness.
“There’s a lot to be said about being the third option,” said LaFontaine. “By being the third option it’ll help [LeBron] keep his legs young.”
It certainly would be a story if Portland, a team that never attracts big free agents, somehow nabbed the biggest free agent of them all. They’d need to shed a bunch of salary and dismantle the roster that currently holds the third seed in the Western Conference, but it’s doable.
They’ll need to get that billboard up first, though.