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Around The World: February 27

  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 5.0

    February 27 Video: LaMarcus Aldridge Post-Game Interview In Orlando Video: LaMarcus Aldridge All-Star Highlights Video: Joel Przybilla Speaks

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Sign Joel Przybilla
    "We’ve been actively trying to get Joel to return to Portland for some time now and we’re thrilled with his decision to come back to the Trail Blazers family," said Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. "Joel is a hard worker, a great teammate and a player that does the little things to help you win, all qualities that will help us down the stretch run."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Waive Armon Johnson
    "The Portland Trail Blazers have waived guard Armon Johnson, it was announced today by the team. Johnson, 23, averaged 2.9 points, 0.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 7.2 minutes in 39 games over two seasons in Portland. He appeared in one game this season. The Trail Blazers selected Johnson with the 34th overall pick in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft."

    Trail Blazers: Bill Schonely Receives Naismith Hall Of Fame Curt Gowdy Award
    “I am absolutely stunned. This is something I’ve only dreamed about,” said Schonely. “To be included with the talented individuals who have won this award in the past is an honor I can’t begin to put into words.”

    Trail Blazers: Portland’s All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge Debuts In Orlando
    "Finally the big night was upon him. Now, the All-Star game is typically dominated by guard shooting and this 152-149 win by the West was no different. Though his minutes on the hardwood were limited to just under ten, Aldridge did his best to make them count. He put up five shots and hit two for a total of four points. Add to that a rebound and an assist and you’ve got a nice first performance as an All-Star."

    Oregon Live: LaMarcus Aldridge's first All-Star Game features short minutes but long-lasting memories
    “My mom looked at me and she smiled when I checked in,” Aldridge said. “She seemed happy that I was checking in. That was a real good moment for me.”

    Oregon Live: Blazers All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge: The last pillar standing
    "Me, Brandon and Greg," Aldridge said, his head still shaking. "At the dinner table, I just remember seeing a vision of us three together, and it was something special. I felt like we were so young, we had so much time to build chemistry, so much time to grow and get better. I just saw all three of us having multiple rings. At least one ring. But it never came together. It never panned out."

    Columbian: Blazers’ season has been rather gray
    "So will the Blazers try to acquire someone like Steve Nash in hopes of making a run? Do they have the bargaining chips to make an impactful deal? Will they trade away someone like Wallace, hoping to salvage some value out of fear he will leaving next season? Do they really want to keep Felton on the roster?"

    Blazersedge: Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Break Assessment Part 1: The Team
    "More disturbing than the road record has been Portland's utter lack of victories in games decided by 5 points or less. They're working on a 2-11 performance in that category. Splitting those contests 6-7 would put them in 3rd place in the conference instead of 8th...a specious designation given the bunch-up in the West but it'd be better to be at the head of that pack instead of being mired in the middle. Once again you point to Portland's name-level talent--players who have been around the league, put up stats, even won a little--and you think late-game execution shouldn't be an issue. Several of those players are new to the team or new to their roles, though, not felicitous when practice time is precious. Late-game fatigue also plays a role. That doesn't entirely excuse the dismal showing. Portland has enough talent to hang with these teams. For whatever reason they're not maximizing it, nor coming up with the critical plays necessary to close games."

    Ball Don't Lie: Ranking the 2012 dunk contest, dunk-by-dunk
    "The dunk contest has gone on for enough years that dunk creativity, at least when it doesn't involve props, now primarily involves pasting together aspects of past dunks to create something new. So Evans gets credit for this attempt — covered more extensively by Dan Devine here — which combined the basic dunk of jumping over someone, the even simpler idea of taking an alley-oop, and the old-school decision to throw down two balls. It was something we hadn't seen before, and he did it with enough power to make a statement about his abilities. It would've been better if he'd done it on the first try, but, on a bad night, this dunk is possibly the only one that will be remembered years down the line."

    Ball Don't Lie: Anthony Morrow pays tribute to Drazen Petrovic at Three-Point Contest
    "Morrow followed through on his promise, wearing a classic Petrovic jersey during his first-round run during the Three-Point Contest (screenshots via SB Nation). And while Morrow's 14 points weren't enough for him to advance to the competition's final round, most everyone agreed that his gesture made him the event's emotional winner."

    Ball Don't Lie: Video: Ricky Rubio dribbles through DeMarcus Cousins’ legs, alley-oops to Blake Griffin
    "Very early in the second half, Rubio took an outlet pass and started the break by calmly dribbling the ball through opponent DeMarcus Cousins' legs. Then, to prove that play was just part of the experience, he finished things off with an easy alley-oop to Griffin. It was fun, creative, and unique — exactly the kind of play that makes this game one of the best events of All-Star Weekend every year."

    The Basketball Jones: All-Star memories: Michael Jordan’s last hurrah
    "The All-Star weekend of 2003 featured one of the better slam dunk contests ever. Save for a tame effort by Richard Jefferson — in which he managed the rare feat of doing an elbow dunk that didn’t involve use of an elbow — it was a high caliber affair that culminated in a showdown between 2001 champion Desmond Mason and 2002 champion Jason Richardson, both pushing the other to produce their A-games, crescendoing beautifully with J-Rich’s final clincher"

    DIME: The Top 10 NBA Plays Of The Season’s First Half
    "So while the fears from the end of the lockout about how such a packed schedule would fatigue players are still there, it also means the best plays come at a rapid-fire pace. Take, for example, the last weekend of January. On Saturday, Andre Iguodala ripped off a huge slam. A day later, LeBron James jumped over John Lucas to spawn a discussion about its place in dunk history. Two days later, Blake Griffin ripped up that same conversation like a bad first draft with his full-frontal dunk on Kendrick Perkins. "

    DIME: Kevin Durant Wins The All-Star Game MVP; Everyone Forgot About Dwyane Wade
    "And so it begins… Even in an All-Star Game, LeBron can’t escape his demons. James and Kevin Durant turned this one into a duel, with Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade playing sidekick roles, and in the end, the West walked out of Orlando with a 152-149 win. Tons of offense. Tons of points. A close finish. A lot of eye candy, and enough dunks that we forgot all about Jeremy Evans and Paul George within the game’s first six minutes."

    SLAM: Post-Up: Midseason Awards
    "Blake is the obvious choice, and either Abe’s pick or his dunk from the other night could have gotten this spot, but I wanted to show Batum some love. The Frenchman had a great first half and this dunk punctuates it perfectly. The Blazers couldn’t come to an agreement and work out a deal with Batum in January. Instead of pouting, he went out and showed management what they’ll be missing next season. The fourth-year pro hit a remarkable nine 3′s against Denver earlier this month, then dropped 33 against the Wizards ten days later. For the season, he is averaging 13.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per and has been a solid contributor for Portland off the bench."

    Hang Time Blog: Kings, NBA Reach Agreement On New Arena In Sacramento
    “I really want to jump up and down right now, because I’m so excited,” said a smiling Johnson, standing in a hallway of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where the sides had been meeting for the past two days. It’s a new day for Sacramento. We’ve all been working around the clock to get to this point and it’s going to be a defining moment for our community. We have the framework of an agreement going forward.”

    ESPN: Staying or Going: Will Dwight Howard be traded by March 15?
    "Going. He needs to go. The Magic aren't going to win a championship this season. Or the next. Instead of working piecemeal and picking up spare parts here and there, it's time to blow apart the roster and start over. Otis Smith should get as much as possible in a trade (draft picks!) before Dwight bolts this summer as a free agent."


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