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Around The World: July 16

07/16/12
  1. Written by: DHawes22

    July 16



    Trailblazers.tv: Video: Trail Blazers 85, Hornets 82: Summer League

    Trailblazers.tv: Video: Meyers Leonard Between-The-Legs Dunk

    Trailblazers.tv: Video: Lillard And Leonard Post-Game Interview

    Trailblazers.tv: Video: Trail blazers 85, Hornets 82: Post-Game Interviews

    Trailblazers.tv: Video: BlazerDancer Auditions Day One

    ESPN: Lillard Outshines Rivers In Guards' Debuts
    "I really wanted to show people I can make plays and get guys involved," Lillard said. "I thought I got a lot of guys shots. Any time you can come in and make the guys around you better and get them easy shots, I feel like you're doing your job and you're playing well and just making the right plays, and I thought I did that."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Acquire Jared Jeffries from New York
    “This trade allowed us to acquire multiple assets for the future without impacting our current cap position,” said Olshey. “Jared Jeffries provides depth and a versatile skill to our front court. He is a consummate professional on and off the floor, competes every night and is aveteran leader for our locker room.”

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Sign Froward J.J. Hickson
    “J.J. played very well for Portland late last year and we’re pleased to be able to bring him back for another season,” said Olshey. “He’s a very special athlete that will offer some depth on the front line and we expect him to pick up where he left off in April.”

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Sign Rookie Will Barton
    "The Trail Blazers used the 40th overall pick in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft to select Barton, 21, the reigning Conference USA Player of the Year. In two years at Memphis, Barton averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.49 steals for the Tigers. He led the conference in scoring last season with 18.0 points per game."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Sign First Round Picks Damian Lillard And Meyers Leonard
    "The Trail Blazers selected Lillard, 21, with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. A four-year guard from Weber State, Lillard averaged 18.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.25 steals during his collegiate career. The two-time Big Sky Conference MVP and Oakland, Calif., native placed second in the nation in scoring last season with 24.6 points per game (46.7% FG), earning Associated Press All-American Third Team honors."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Sign British Forward Joel Freeland
    “The timing was right to bring Joel over and we’re thrilled it worked out,” said Olshey. “He is a rugged interior player with a nice touch around the basket and he plays hard every game. Joel will be a nice addition to the roster.”

    Trail Blazers: What's In The Bag Elliot Williams
    "Elliot Williams, despite being ruled out of the Las Vegas Summer League as a precautionary measure, is still working out and practicing with Portland's roster. Being the amiable person that he is, I was able to convince Elliot to let me riffle through his team-issued backpack, which contains pretty standard fare for a professional basketball player: black Nike Kobe VII sneakers, practice outfit (including one pair of shorts, one jersey, two pairs of NBA socks, a pair of Ralph Lauren underwear and a lanyard that allows the aforementioned items to be looped together), a pair of Beats by Dre headphones, an IPhone, an IPod, a black Louis Vuitton wallet and a small horsehair wave brush."

    Trail Blazers: Elliot Williams Practices With Summer Squad, Cleared For Everything But Full Contact
    "Laughing through the entire interaction Williams walked through the stages of his rehab, “I started by just doing strength stuff with Jay [Jensen] like pressing against his hand, but I got stronger and stronger to enough where he moved to weights. Now I’m doing like push-ups things and just getting stronger and stronger. And now it’s basically just getting your motion back and shooting more. I’m starting to shoot a lot, coming in the gym and getting a lot of shots up, getting you shoulder back into the shooting motion.”

    Oregon Live: Phil Jackson interested in joining the Trail Blazers in non-coaching role
    “Phil would be interested in talking about a possible role in the organization,’’ the source close to Jackson said. “My sense is there is a lot Phil can offer by being there, be it handling players, advising trade scenarios, managing coaching staff ... I think he would be a tremendous adviser to the owner.’’

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers summer league practice: Damian Lillard one-ups Austin Rivers, Nolan Smith sits, Meyers Leonard puts on show
    “Coming into summer league, I just wanted to show people that I belong here,” Lillard said. “And everybody knows Austin Rivers, they know he went to Duke, and he had the hype. I know some people probably saw me and wondered how I got picked sixth (in the NBA draft). I felt like going against somebody with that status, who has been around the NBA all his life and everybody knows him, was a good opportunity. I definitely came out and I wanted to win that matchup. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I did, but I wanted to outplay him and show that I belong here.”

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Blazers must ask, Where does Nicolas Batum rank among small forwards?
    "Last season -- Batum's fourth in the NBA -- he averaged 13.9 points, which ranks ninth among the league's small forwards. In terms of 2012-13 salary, two players who will make more money had lower scoring averages -- Iguodala (12.4 points) and Turkoglu (10.9). Turkoglu is considered overpaid, enough so that the Magic keep trying to make taking his salary off their hands part of any trade package for Dwight Howard."

    Oregon Live: Point guard Damian Lillard off to a winning start with Trail Blazers
    "I like Meyers, man," Matthews said. "When he puts it all together, he's gonna be good."

    Rip City Project: Felton No Longer A Blazer
    "Fear not. He is a Blazer no longer. Portland has officially dealt Ray-Ray and Kurt Thomas to the New York Knicks, a team rushing headlong to become the oldest team in the history of the NBA, in exchange for journeyman forward Jared Jeffries, oft-traded center Dan Gadzuric, the rights to Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou, a 2016 second-rounder, and cash considerations."

    Blazersedge: Summer League Media Row Report: Blazers 85, Hornets 82
    "Me and Meyers have connected a lot," he said. "We've been in the gym a few late nights together. Just sitting around talking, messing around. Even on the court, we talk a lot. Just to loosen each other up. He'll throw a joke at me. I missed a few shots today and he threw a joke at me, just keeping the spirits positive. As far as the pick and roll, he's a threat to attack the rim and I'm a threat to make shots so we've just got to be able to work off each other."

    Ridiculous Upside: With Printezis And Papanikolaou, Blazers Win Big In Ray Felton Trade
    "In the end, Portland obtained one of the best young players overseas -- if not the best young player. Couple that with Printezis and this extends beyond a win for the Blazers. Getting them to the NBA is a story for a different time, but this is a trade that gives Rip City a concrete plan for the future."

    Hardwood Paroxysm: Damian Lillard’s Happiest Birthday
    “I’m so happy that I’m here with him on his first game really playing for the NBA,” Johnson says. “You know, I mean it’s not really playing with the team but it’s playing with people with the same caliber of skill. And then playing with people where he don’t have to work so hard ‘cause, see, I’ve been watching him play on a team where he had to do a whole lot. He had a good team, but it wasn’t like a lot of people there that was really functioning at their position. Because looking at him working with [No. 11 pick Meyers Leonard] … Leonard is five times, to me, the position he had there. So, to me, now he can just do his thing. And then to see him out here playing good, I’m happy.”

    Ball Don't Lie: Ray Allen thanks Boston Celtics fans with full-page newspaper ad
    "The text is typically classy from Allen: respectful of the city and its tradition, thankful for the opportunity, and about more than just playing basketball. However, Allen might also have misjudged exactly how bad some Celtics fans feel about his deal with Miami. Boston takes its sports very seriously, with a passion that borders on jingoism. The idea that any player would jump to a rival is distasteful. For Allen to then thank fans as if everything were fine suggests that he didn't every truly understand Boston, by one point of view."

    Ball Don't Lie: Knicks fans create Change.org petition to keep Jeremy Lin
    "One can quibble with the specifics of this petition — the Knicks' run to the 1999 NBA Finals was a pretty big deal, and I'm not sure Lin has shown enough staying power to be clearly identified as the most popular player in the NBA. Whatever the case, as Kelly Dwyer has explained, it would be a good idea for the match. If fan outcry helps the Knicks decide to make that move, then the petition will have done its job."

    Ball Don't Lie: The New York Knicks have to match Jeremy Lin’s contract offer, and ensure he stays a Knick
    "His was the hottest name in New York during the end of a dispute between the Knicks' MSG-brand and Time Warner cable, and many credited Lin's play with forcing Time Warner's hand as it agreed to MSG's terms and ended its Knick game blackout. MSG stock rose significantly once Lin took over as Knicks starter and turned in back-to-back Sports Illustrated covers, and it has fallen precipitously as news of his potential departure looms — and that's for a player that hasn't played a minute of NBA basketball since suffering a MCL tear on March 24. "Linsanity" has faded, in a day-to-day realm, and yet deep into summer just rumors about a man who hasn't played in nearly four months are setting the tickers off."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Dallas Mavericks have put together a quietly engaging offseason’s worth of moves
    "New pickups Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones and an Addition To Be Named Later (or, "Jose") shouldn't strike fear in anyone's hearts, not when we're still scared of the Heat, impressed with the Thunder and considerin' about those Lakers with Steve Nash asking for the ball. But just as we couldn't predict how the 2011 or 2012 model would turn out, this batch is dynamic and talented enough to wonder if a long season and a series of good playoff matchups will have these Mavericks back to impressing us again."

    DIME: Video: Steve Nash Accepts A Road Beer From Some LA Guys On The Highway
    "Let’s break this one down into its subsidiary parts. Here’s Steve Nash, driving along on the highway (most likely a passenger) who happens upon a bunch of random dudes in a car next to him chanting his name. So Nash, all of a sudden, decides to film the situation. But then one of the guys produces a Keystone Light, which seems all the more appropriate for some frat dudes in a car, and he reaches out towards Nash to hand it to him – both cars are still flying down the highway, mind you. Nash, being the kind soul that he is, reaches out as well and gladly accepts the cold beverage. All the while he’s holding the camera."

    SLAM via SacTownRoyalty: Sacramento Kings Sign Aaron Brooks
    “When it rains it pours. According to Kings Play-by-Play Announcer Grant Napear, Free Agent PG Aaron Brooksis coming to Sacramento. Brooks himself seems to back this up with a tweet from his verified account. No contract details have been reported yet, but after this morning’s acquisition of James Johnson, the Kings had just $2.5 million left in cap space. This move is one that has been seen as a long time coming by Kings observers as Geoff Petrie has liked Brooks for a while now."

    ESPN: Blazers to interview Patrick Ewing
    "I consider myself a coach," he said during a USA Basketball and U.S. Military afternoon sports clinic for kids at George Washington University. "Even though I did play the position and (am) very knowledgeable about the position, I feel that I'm knowledgeable about every position."

    ESPN: President Obama picks Dream Team
    "This is a generational thing. I was around in '92, I was a Bulls fan, so I've got to go with the original Dream Team."

    CNNSI: James helps U.S. basketball team dispatch Brazil after poor start
    "But the Americans got the tempo they wanted in the second, simply wrestling the ball out of Brazilian hands to create turnovers and fast breaks. A 12-0 run fueled by steals and layups turned an eight-point deficit into a 33-29 lead, and James powered to the basket for the last two baskets of the half as the Americans went into the break with a 37-32 lead."

    DIME via Pro Basketball Talk: DeMarcus Cousins Doesn’t Agree With Jerry Colangelo Calling Him “Immature”
    “‘I actually just had a conversation with (Colangelo),’ Cousins revealed after Monday’s scrimmage between the Select Team and members of the recently named U.S. Olympic squad. ‘I asked him, ‘How was I being immature?’ He never really gave me an answer. I mean, I really wanted to know. I took offense to it. … It definitely bothered me.’”

    DIME: Ranking The Other 11 Olympic Teams’ Potential Of An American Upset
    "It’s the first time sine 1948 the Brits are fielding a team, which is just as sad as when Greece threw together a baseball team in 2000 out of castoff college players and Kevin Youkilis. This team is statistically worse than Sri Lanka, Macedonia and the Virgin Islands. A Virgin Islands team without Tim Duncan. Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens said “eh, no thanks” to his own nation in its own Olympics, and if you can think of a less patriotic thing to do — especially when there’s not exactly a line of NBA players waiting to play behind you like the U.S. — I’d like to hear it. We apologize in advance for Luol Deng, who’s going to look bad as the Empire’s only NBA player."

    DIME: Report: Blake Griffin Formally Agrees To Sign Max Contract For 5 Years, $95 Million
    "The next question for Clippers is Chris Paul, who will be “exploring his options” next year when he’s a free agent. Some have speculated that this is merely a tactic to secure more money through Larry Bird rights next year, while others have hinted that Paul’s time in Los Angeles may just end at two years. Either way, the Clippers will do everything possible to keep him in uniform with Blake for years to come."

    DIME: Report: Tim Duncan Will Get A Three-Year Deal From San Antonio
    "The specifics, according to Johnny Ludden, are three years and $36 million for one of the greatest forwards in basketball history. Duncan, 36, helped lead San Antonio to the top seed in the West last year with averages of 15.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, against his averages of 20.3 points and 11.3 boards per game."

    Sports Illustrated: Knicks’ offseason moves raise more questions than answers … for now
    "That’s the puzzling thing about this team, especially without Shumpert: The Knicks look bad, defensively, on paper. But they looked just as bad last season, with minus defenders (Carmelo Anthony and Stoudemire) at both forward spots, a bunch of guys splitting time at shooting guard and an untested second-year player in Lin manning the point. Despite all of that, New York ranked fifth in points allowed per possession and spent the entire season as one of the league’s stingiest defenses. Chandler was at the heart of that, talking to everyone and sliding all over the place to plug holes before they fully opened. The Defensive Player of the Year was so good that the Knicks managed to allow points only at a league-average rate even with Anthony and Stoudemire on the floor together."

    Sports Illustrated: Report: Wizards with “renewed consideration” for amnesty on Andray Blatche
    "The prospect of trading Blatche, while daunting, doesn’t figure to be impossible, especially for the Wizards, who, in June, managed to get the New Orleans Hornets to take on Rashard Lewis as he entered the final year of his $118 million, six-year contract. Lewis had a $13.7 million buyout provision, which the Hornets took advantage of less than two weeks after acquiring him."

    Sports Illustrated: T'wolves reportedly agree to terms with Shved
    "Shved can play both point guard and shooting guard. He comes to a team with a healthy international roster that includes Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea and Nikola Pekovic."

    ESPN: Source: Lou Williams, Hawks agree
    "He's a guy we're really looking to come in here and put the ball in the basket," Drew said. "I mean, that's what he does. He's one of the best I've seen in quite some time as far as shooting the basketball."

    ESPN: How Steve Nash became a Laker
    "I was really close at times to being a Raptor or Knick," Nash said over the weekend. "Really close. I've always wanted to play for the Knicks, and to go home to Toronto was a dream opportunity in a lot of different ways. But I wanted to exhaust every opportunity to be near the kids before I really made a decision. Being in L.A. would mean I can see the kids three or four times a month instead of three or four times a year. Now, after practice or an off day, I can fly home, pick 'em up from school, take 'em to the park, feed 'em and be back home for bedtime. That's priceless to me. That was the most important thing. No matter how disappointed some Suns fans would be, nothing could compete with the disappointment of telling my kids I'd only see them a few times throughout the winter. That trumps everything."

    ESPN: Magic look for Dwight Howard bids
    "Sources say that new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan might feel more comfortable taking back a package of youngsters, recent draftees and future first-round draft picks -- while shedding some long-term salary as well -- than taking on Bynum as Howard's replacement and facing a similar challenge on convincing him to commit to the franchise long-term like the Magic have dealt with for months with Howard."

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