Sunday, February 25

Rip City On They… A New Sporting Powerhouse On the Rise In the West

A new sports powerhouse has been revitalized in the West: Rip City.

Portland is the largest city in Oregon and has been known for its beautiful parks, 132 playgrounds, eco-friendliness, and the, let’s say — individualistic style — reflected in the hit TV show Portlandia. But when the average sports fan thinks of big time sport cities, Portland has rarely come up.

When people think of sporting cities, they think about New York City, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, and a few other major metros. Portland, with its population of 639,863 hasn’t been amongst the top of the sport cities — until now.

Thanks to the Portland Trail Blazers, who are getting ready to take on the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the city’s sports fans have been buzzing.

Though C.J. McCollum, Evan, Turner, Shabazz Napier, and other Trail Blazers have played great over the last few months, one player has stood out as the new king of Portland: Damian Lillard. Lillard, the 27-year-old from Oakland, California has surpassed all-star status and moved right into the upper echelon of sports stardom.

Lillard averaged 26.9 points per game this season, which is fourth best across the entire National Basketball Association. He was one of the best 3-point shooters over a record-setting 3-point shooting season. And he made more free throws than every player in the league not named Anthony Davis or James Harden. His biggest accomplishments this year, though, earned him a reputation as one of the NBA’s best closers. “Dame Time” became a common phrase in the sports lexicon since Lillard lead the league in second-half scoring.

Portland’s 49 and 33 record earned them the third seed in the Western Concurrence (Pelicans are the eighth) and will have to get through the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets to reach the NBA Finals. But according to The Ringer’s Haley O’Shaughnessy, the best way for Rip City to win big games during the postseason is to “find Portland down 12 with five minutes to go.”

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