Portland Trail Blazers: Counting down the most interesting Draft player comparisons in team history

CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Sebastian Telfair, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Sebastian Telfair, Abraham Lincoln (HS)

Was compared to:

The Portland Trail Blazers are no strangers to sad stories. And sometime in between the end of the Jail Blazers era and the start of the Roy-Aldridge cameo, is a story that gets somewhat forgotten these days.

Portland entered the 2004 NBA Draft with the No. 13 selection, and took a chance on Sebastian Telfair, a guard who frequently drew comparisons to his older cousin, two-time All-NBA selection Stephon Marbury.

Just like nearly every selection at this time, Portland wasn’t exactly risk-averse. We’d seen the likes of Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett make the jump to the NBA, but never before had we seen a point guard make the jump from high school straight to the professionals.

The rave was so high, ESPN even ran a documentary, Through the Fire, to tell his story. To help you understand the hype, look no further than Chris Ballard’s 2004 Sports Illustrated piece:

"“Ever since The Dallas Morning News ran a feature on him as a seventh-grader, Bassy has been anointed as the Next Great New York Point Guard, fawned over by the press and the roundball kingmakers who, like television networks calling the winners on election night, compete to be the first to declare the next big thing. Telfair has posed for magazine covers, hung with Derek Jeter and Jay-Z and played on ESPN2, making him basketball’s second-most-hyped high schooler ever, behind his friend LeBron James.”"

Next. Is the Draft's biggest steal in Portland's backyard?. dark

As you likely know, fortunes weren’t great for the Coney Island phenom. He ventured through eight teams in ten years, never averaging more than ten points per game. Even despite managing a solid, decade-long career, the Draft comparisons feel painfully short of juxtaposing to Marbury, who, at the very least, created a dialogue on it he was the best point guard in the NBA at some time.