Moda Center is one of the toughest venues for opposing teams across the entire NBA. Stellar Blazers players like Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic who call the arena home play a major role in that, of course, but so do the fans.
Those fans were absent for most of the 2020-21 season, but they made their long-awaited return with a limited capacity on Friday, May 7, for the Blazers’ huge victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Around 1,900 spectators were on hand to represent an entire fan base’s return to games.
From comedians to actresses to rock stars, the Blazers’ fan community features a few famous faces. But which one is the biggest celebrity supporter? Here are a few candidates:
It wouldn’t be a list of famous Blazers fans without the “Portlandia” creator.
Armisen, who was born in Hattiesburg, Miss., gained fame on “Saturday Night Live” before creating his comedy show set in the City of Roses.
The comedian centered an episode of “Portlandia” around the hometown NBA team. Lillard, McCollum and franchise legend LaMarcus Aldridge even made appearances to explain some of the basics of basketball in an epic Portland crossover.
Portugal. The Man
This band brought the Blazers to Coachella.
The rock group was formed in Wasilla, Alaska, and now resides in Portland. It took the iconic Blazers broadcast music and played its own version of it during a set at Coachella in 2018.
This group isn’t the only music connection between Portland and the Blazers. Lillard, of course, has the rap moniker Dame D.O.L.L.A. and has released music throughout his NBA tenure, even getting features from artists like Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne and Jeremih. Portland rapper Aminé also collaborated with the NBA, Bleacher Report and Mitchell and Ness to create a swingman Blazers jersey.
Banks married into her Blazers fandom.
Her husband, Max Handelman, is a sportswriter and blogger who calls Portland home, and he loves his Blazers.
Along with Hollywood hits like the “Hunger Games” and “Pitch Perfect” franchises, Banks can also be seen courtside at Blazers games, even if it’s on the other side of the country at Madison Square Garden.
Even if the Blazers have a committed fan base, it still doesn’t hurt to do some recruiting.
That’s exactly what Lillard did in a 2015 Foot Locker ad for his first signature Adidas shoe. As Lillard sought a celebrity fan to be the Blazers’ equivalent of Spike Lee, Nick Cannon jumped to the front of the line.
Dame was definitely skeptical at first, but after seeing the other contenders, including Joey Fatone, he agreed to welcome Cannon aboard the Blazers bandwagon.
Cannon hasn’t followed through in becoming the courtside regular that Lee is with the Knicks, leaving the door open for another A-lister to take the mantle for Portland.
Max Molski contributed to this story.