Remembering the time Blazers fans bought a billboard to recruit LeBron James

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Lindsey Wisniewski
·2 min read
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Remembering that time Blazers fans bought a billboard to recruit LeBron James originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

Three years ago Friday, Trail Blazers fans put up a billboard to lure LeBron James to Portland.

Yes, this really happened.

The billboard went up at the intersection of NE Broadway and Martin Luther King Jr., just down the street from the Blazers’ home court, and was made possible by a GoFundMe started by ‘Trillblazin.’

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Blazers fans, which included Portugal The Man and Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Ian Karmel, raised over $6840 to send LeBron James this important message on a billboard in Rip City.

“LeBron, Dame needs a third option.” The sign also included the hashtag of #BRON2PDX2018.

Portland wasn’t the only city to try to entice King James to sign with their team. Philadelphia, Cleveland and Los Angeles also raised billboards for the NBA superstar.

In the end, only one team got to be part of James’ next chapter.

After the 2017-18 season, where the Cavaliers were swept by the Warriors in the NBA Finals, LeBron left his hometown team as a free agent for the second time in his career and took his talents to Los Angeles. He won his first championship with the storied Lakers franchise and fourth overall in 2020.  

James signed a two-year, $85 million contract extension in Dec. 2020 to remain with the Lakers throughout the 2022-23 NBA season. He will be 38 when his contract ends.

Fans may never know what could have transpired if LeBron joined Dame and CJ McCollum in Portland. 

But the Trail Blazers may have found Lillard's third option anyways. Behind Lillard and McCollum, the Trail Blazers recently traded for Norman Powell from the Toronto Raptors and haven’t lost a game since he entered the lineup.