The Portland Trail Blazers may never reach the promised land. Last season’s squad looked like it had as good as shot as any but they withered in the playoffs under the defensive pressure of the New Orleans Pelicans. This year’s squad has already faded a bit from their early peak and, despite the intriguing development of Zach Collins, they don’t appear to have a way to significantly raise their ceiling.
The good news is that they won’t have to go it alone. Damian Lillard has developed into one of the league’s premier leaders, a player who takes his responsibility as face of the franchise incredibly seriously. He appears to be on the Portland-for-life track, heading for that special corner in the Hall-of-Fame reserved for players who spend their entire careers with one team. Even if this is as good as gets (and who knows, crazy things happen) the Blazers are enjoying a golden era with a golden player that very few franchises ever get to enjoy.