Raptors and Blazers fans embracing bond after Norman Powell and Gary Trent Jr. swap

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - MARCH 26: Norman Powell #24 of the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - MARCH 26: Norman Powell #24 of the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

As hard as it was to stomach for both sides, the Toronto Raptors trading Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood was a move that simply had to be consummated.

Portland, looking for a third scorer to take the pressure off of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, landed their man in Powell, while the Raptors, got a cheaper, younger alternative that could fit into their core down the road in Trent.

Oddly enough, both fanbases have started to develop a strange kinship after this deal. Portland fans jokingly called for Powell’s jersey to be retired after setting a Blazers record for points in a game by a midseason acquisition, and Trent gave Raptors fans an interesting glimpse at what is to come despite not practicing with the team before the game.

With Trail Blazers fans originally stunned that a player with as high a ceiling as Trent was traded, they’ve been pleading with Toronto to make sure Trent’s ascension continues. With both fanbases bonding over their traded star players, Portland and Toronto have formed quite a wholesome, unexpected relationship on social media over the last few days.

Raptors and Trail Blazers fans bonded around Norman Powell

On paper, these two teams shouldn’t be as friendly with one another as they are. Not only are they about as far apart geographically as you can get in the NBA, but there is a sizeable chunk of Blazers fans over in western Canada.

Those differences have been put aside, as both sides want to see their former star pupils continue to grow into stars.

Blazers fans are finding out what a great shooter Powell, who was averaging around 23 points per game over the last two months, can be, while Raptors fans will learn Trent’s two-way potential.

After just one game, the early returns for both clubs have been satisfying.

The galvanizing factor between these two franchises just might be their shared hatred of the Los Angeles Clippers.

With Kawhi Leonard having left the Raptors at the altar in free agency and that new-look lineup having toppled Portland several times over during the last few years, their hatred of LA’s second team is something both fanbases will always share.


The Raptors might not make it to the postseason this year, but if Powell and the Blazers make it, you can bet that Canada will have a firm rooting interest.

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