This may be a bitter pill to swallow for some fans, given the last Blazer to wear that number. Brandon Roy is a huge part of Blazer history, has always been well regarded in Portland, and will continue to be well after his playing days. But Mo’s selection wasn’t about that. All his career, Mo has worn the number 25. When 25 was unavailable, he wore 2. When 2 was unavailable, he wore 5. It has always been some combination of those two numbers. So when all three were taken (Earl Watson: 25, Wesley Matthews: 2, Will Barton: 5), it only seemed natural to add the numerals together.
Mo’s family also factored into the decision. He and his wife, Keisha, are happily married with five children. In Mo’s introductory press conference, he stated that his son picked helped pick the number:
I asked my son. You know, I have an eight year old son, I said, “What number do you want me to be, son?” He said, “You know what, dad? I like seven.” I said, “Why do you like seven?” He said, “Well, there are seven of us. It’s you and mama, and there are five of us.” I said, “You know what? We’ll take seven.”
I am okay with Williams in a #7 jersey. It will be strange at first, but I think we’ll adjust. Mo chose the number from a genuine place and the least we could do is genuinely accept him. Brandon Roy won’t mean any less as we continue the next chapter of Blazerdom.
If you have 20 minutes, I’ve included Mo’s full introduction: