16 contestants stepped up to the plate. Thousands of votes have been counted up. Only one was left standing. Who is the Portland Trail Blazers fan favorite?
If you’ve been following along, you’ve gotten to witness an up-and-down journey to determine the most beloved player in recent Portland Trail Blazers memory that never achieved stardom or got to bask in the national spotlight. Although these players may never been media darlings, Blazers fans will never forget their contributions to one of the most successful basketball franchises of this century.
Fan Favorite Tournament Finals
Damon Stoudamire vs. Wesley Matthews
Who they beat to get here:
- Stoudamire: Joel Przybilla, Nic Batum, Evan Turner
- Matthews: Robin Lopez, Ed Davis, Steve Blake
Damon Stoudamire had a few close calls on his way to the Finals, just sneaking past Batum and Przybilla with less than 60 percent of the votes in both rounds. Not having played for the Blazers in 15 years, he probably suffers from recency bias. However, his time in Portland was too unforgettable for him to not make the Finals. Across eight season with the team, he averaged 12.7 points and 5.8 assists per game, playing a big role on two Western Conference Finals runs.
Wesley Matthews on the other hand, blasted his way straight through the tournament. Despite arguably having the tougher road to get here, Matthews bested some of the most beloved players in Blazers history without ever receiving less than 78 percent of votes in any round. In five years spent in Portland, Matthews could always be counted on as a lethal scorer.
He averaged 15.4 points per game while making 39.4 percent of his 3-point attempts in an era before Steph Curry would change the basketball world forever. Matthews finished in the top five for most 3-pointers made in a season twice and was always in the top eleven 3-point shooters each year he was with the Blazers. He would help mentor Damian Lillard and guide Portland to their highest win total in a season this century in 2013-14.
For that reason, it would be enough for him to take the crown and cement his status as the Portland Trail Blazers fan favorite player.
Thank you Wes for being a proud example of what it means to be a Trail Blazer, and for playing your heart out for the team for so many years. And thank you everyone for following along, voicing your opinions and submitting your votes in this contest!