Report: Blazers Gov. Jody Allen Refused to Meet with Damian Lillard amid Discontent

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 7, 2022

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Portland Blazers governor Jody Allen reportedly refused to meet with star point guard Damian Lillard despite the six-time All-Star's discontent with how the team was being run, per the New York Post, who reported she deferred him to Blazers vice chair Bert Kolde.

"Damian wanted to sit down and have a conversation with Jody about the team and she didn’t return his call. Then he tried to email her. Eventually she just never responded and put him in touch with Bert," the source told the New York Post.

"When you own a team, there are critical key decisions to make and you should be the one involved in making the decisions."

Microsoft Corporation co-founder Paul Allen owned the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers until his death in 2018. His estate, which included both teams, is now being overseen by his sister Jody.

The New York Post report dropped two days after Allen, who also oversees the Seattle Seahawks, said neither team she owns is for sale at this time. However, she did note the teams would be sold in the future on an undetermined timeline as part of her brother's plan to "dedicate the vast majority of his wealth to philanthropy."

Seattle Seahawks @Seahawks

Statement from Jody Allen, Chair of the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Seahawks, Trustee of the Paul G. Allen Trust <a href="https://t.co/y3G5aSVhng">pic.twitter.com/y3G5aSVhng</a>

Word emerged from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on June 2 that Nike founder Phil Knight and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Alan Smolinisky sent a written offer to acquire the Blazers for over $2 billion. The duo reportedly discussed the deal with the Paul Allen Trust, but a Blazers spokesperson said the team is not for sale.

As for Lillard, he's reportedly been unhappy in Portland before. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported the following on June 27, 2021:

"The enormous backlash from the Portland Trail Blazers' process to hire a new coach and his concerns on whether a championship contender can be built have become factors that may push the franchise player—Damian Lillard—out the door, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

"Lillard has remained loyal to Portland in large part due to the tremendous fan base. But over the last few days, he’s seen some of those same fans attacking him on social media for a pending coaching hire he played no part in consummating, sources said."

Lillard is ultimately still in town as the Blazers retool their team around the star. Of note, they've traded for Jerami Grant, signed Gary Payton II, extended Anfernee Simons, re-signed Jusuf Nurkic and added Shaedon Sharpe in the draft this offseason alone.

Portland is now under the leadership of Joe Cronin, who was promoted to general manager in May.


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