Worldwide, many are mourning the loss of Paul Allen and, in the sports world, the owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Seahawks and other entities made a significant impact. With that as the backdrop, Blazers superstar Damian Lillard plans to pay tribute to Allen on Thursday evening, as Portland opens the season with a nationally televised tilt against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lillard will honor Allen with a pair of custom adidas Dame 4s, courtesy of Kickstradomis.
This is a fitting and poignant tribute from Lillard, who also spoke about Allen’s passing earlier this week.
“The first thing that I think of is every time I saw him, when he came to the practice facility I would expect it to be like ‘Dame, how’s the team doing? What’s going on?’ but he would always ask me how I was doing,” Lillard told Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com. “Even when I met with him last season at the arena, the first 15 minutes I was there he was asking me how I was doing. It’s saddening to know that a great person like that had to go. That’s the best way to put it.”
Though the Blazers will have plenty of nationally televised contests this season, it is also a special confluence that Portland’s opener will draw a significant audience, as the presence of James and the Lakers will greatly increase outside interest. When prompted about the first game itself, Lillard shed further light on what the team will be aiming to do in Allen’s memory.
“I think the best thing we could do is go out there and play in his honor, try to, I guess, do it for him,” Lillard told Holdahl. “But I don’t think it would do us any service if we go out there with our heads down worried about it, let it wear on us too much, it’ll effect our performance. I think the best thing we could do is go out there and play for him.”
The Blazers may not emerge victorious on Thursday evening but, even before tip-off, it is heart-warming to see the team’s centerpiece doing something to ensure the memory of Allen lives on.