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Around The World: July 26

07/26/12
  1. Written by: DHawes22

    July 26



    Trailblazers.tv: Video: 2012-13 BlazerDancer Announcements

    Trailblazers.tv: Video: Damian Lillard At Summer League

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Host L.A. Lakers Halloween Night Top Tip-Off 2012-13 Season
    "Among the top teams making the trip to the Rose City in 2012-13: the defending NBA champion Miami Heat on Jan. 10; Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 31 and April 10; the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 13 and April 12; and the Boston Celtics on Feb. 24."

    Trail Blazers: Big Games Plan: 12 Of The Biggest Games
    "This game has it all. Season opener, at home, against the loathe-inducing Lakers, in Steve Nash's first game in purple and gold and it's on Halloween night! Any game against the Lakers at the Rose Garden is going to be a lively one, but the confluence of circumstances in this particular game sets the stage for one of the all-time season openers in Trail Blazers history."

    Trail Blazers: Time To Make Plans
    "The Trail Blazers will play 12 of their first 19 games on the road. The day after the opening-night game against the Lakers, we’ll head for Oklahoma City, to take on the defending Western Conference champs. The very next night the Blazers will take on the Rockets in Houston, followed by a game in Dallas. Not exactly an easy three-game trip off the top."

    Oregon Live: Blazers coaching candidates might be one opportunity from becoming big names
    "Steve Clifford is a no-brainer just like Thibs was," Jeff Van Gundy said. "I give Portland and Neil a lot of credit. I just think it's brilliant they identified him. He's the first one to recognize the greatness; Clifford has been overlooked. It's just like Thibs, who took forever to get noticed. But I've always said: Some GM is going to make a lot of money off Clifford because he is going to get the maximum level output from a team, and the organization will benefit greatly from that," Van Gundy said. "

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers schedule highlights: Portland opens season against Lakers
    "Brandon Roy's retirement didn't last long -- all of one lockout-shortened NBA season -- and Blazers fans won't have to wait long to see his return to the Rose Garden. In what promises to be one of the more memorable nights in recent memory, Roy and the Timberwolves will make their first of two Portland visits the day after Thanksgiving (they visit again on March 2). It's hard to imagine the one-time franchise cornerstone roaming the Rose Garden in slate blue and green and it's unclear how much of the All-Star form Roy will show just one season after retiring with chronic knee issues. No matter, Roy is back, and Rip City won't have to wait a month to see him again. Portland will have to wait a while for ... "

    Portland Tribune: Blazers peek at high-octane future
    “I love Lillard and Leonard,” says Boston coach Doc Rivers. “The Blazers had a great draft, which is the key for them. They’re doing some really good stuff.”

    Hardwood Paroxysm: Damian Lillard and the Science of Summer
    "For what it’s worth, though, Lillard passed the eye test. After a few initial first-half jitters, he exuded calm and confidence bringing the ball up the floor. Even when his scoring was inefficient, his shot selection was hard to fault. After his third game, which featured that dunk and an overall virtuosic scoring performance, he told reporters he could have done a better job making plays for others, and in the following game, he visibly looked to pass more. He ran the pick-and-roll well with Meyers Leonard and showed all the signs of a floor general who will mesh well with LaMarcus Aldridge. In my several postgame-media-availability interactions with him, he came across as thoughtful and quick to identify weaknesses in his own game. Until further notice, there is every reason to believe Lillard is the real deal. Unless he isn’t, in which case it will be only the latest reminder that Summer League performances are to be taken with several entire salt shakers."

    SB Nation: Damian Lillard, Then Everyone Else: Ranking The 52 Rookies At Summer League
    "It's also amazing to see just how well he finishes against the trees. There are two reasons for this, and both of them are incredible given his age and experience against high-level competition in college. For one, not only is he capable jumping off one foot and off two feet, but he knows when to do each. He understands when he needs to use the one-foot jump to take advantage of a quick opening that will soon close, and he also understands when he needs the momentum of both feet to power through defenders and avoid the shot block. For another, his upper body strength is well-developed, allowing him to keep his attention on the rim even as his shoulders are being battered. His body control in the air reminds me of a young Gilbert Arenas."

    SB Nation: 2012 NBA Summer League: All-Rookie Team
    "Man oh man was Mr. Lillard outstanding. The first of two Blazers lottery picks acclimated himself well in Vegas after playing his college ball at Weber State. In addition to some highlight-reel plays and co-MVP honors (along with Josh Selby), the steady-handed guard averaged 26.5 points and 5.3 assists while under the tutelage of interim head coach Kaleb Canales."

    Fox Sports North: Young stars shine in Vegas Summer League
    "After the Trail Blazers' final game on Saturday, in which Lillard did not play, the point guard said that he gave his summer league performance a B grade overall. Whether that grade is a mark of humility or nonsense or even a sign of his dogged work ethic remains to be seen; regardless, Lillard did what he needed to do for the Trail Blazers in Las Vegas."

    Ball Don't Lie: Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, allegedly: ‘Baseball is American,’ basketball just ‘a game’
    "We're aware that this is our second consecutive day of pointing you toward signs of something that can never be fully proven, that Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf cares far more for his baseball team than his basketball one. This wouldn't be a problem in the slightest if Reinsdorf wasn't declining to pass on investing the considerable profits the basketball team has made him over the last nearly three decades, while spending freely on a baseball club with a payroll that only recently dipped below the $100 million mark after several years above it."

    Ball Don't Lie: Tim Duncan cut his paycheck in half, so that his San Antonio Spurs could remain whole
    "The massive pay cut Duncan took as he signed what is likely to be the last contract of his NBA career — from $21.16 million in 2011-12 to $9.65 million in 2012-13 — meant the Spurs had the full go-ahead to re-sign the sorts of parts and helpers that could push San Antonio to the last title of Duncan's career in 2013 or beyond. It's a significant move that helps the Spurs attempt to stay at championship level in his waning years nearly as much as Duncan's play helped San Antonio win titles during the peak of his career."

    Ball Don't Lie: Minnesota’s strange offseason results in the team’s signing of Andrei Kirilenko
    "Kirilenko, though declining, will likely be an upgrade on second year forward Derrick Williams, who was the hoped-for future small forward but disappointed at both the big and small forward slots during 2011-12 (he played more of his minutes at power forward, though that position is currently occupied by All-Star and Team USA member Kevin Love). He'll be an upgrade over Michael Beasley, whom the Wolves declined to retain. He'll certainly be an upgrade on Wesley Johnson, who played half of Minnesota's minutes at small forward last year and was one of the worst rotation players in the NBA that season — one of the worst lottery picks of the last half decade even without taking into consideration the fact that he was selected ahead of DeMarcus Cousins, Greg Monroe, and Paul George."

    Ball Don't Lie: Gilbert Arenas is selling his infamous, shark tank-laden mansion for $3.5 million
    "When former Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas signed a gigantic $111 million contract extension back in the summer of 2008, we sharply disagreed with the move, while giving a knowing nod to Arenas' reputation as the NBA's lovable goofball prince. Undeterred, Arenas set to spending that money and enhancing that reputation by beginning construction on a massive D.C.-area mansion complete with a grotto, an infamous shark tank (that cost $5,000 a month in maintenance bills), seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and a couple of "sitting rooms" that sit between bedrooms and bathrooms that Gilbert clearly didn't use much as his knees (and reputation) fell apart over the years since."

    The Basketball Jones: Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony are prep school villains
    "But seriously, these are the actual United States opening ceremony outfits and they’re going to make everyone on Team USA look like the bad guy in an ’80s movie. As you can tell from that totally inconspicuous horsey, the kits are made by Ralph Lauren, which in turn means you can buy it all online. $55 for the hat, $795 for the blazer, $89.50 for the shirt, $125 for the tie, plus $295 for the white pants and $165 for the white bucks that you can’t see. That means you’re dropping a measly $1,359.50 to look like an extra from “The Great Gatsby,” and that’s if you don’t pick up the scarf ($58) and newsboy cap ($55) that are also being offered. And really, if you’re spending that much money, you should really pick up those two things too, just to complete the look."

    The Basketball Jones: Pick-and-Pop: The top 20 new NBA jerseys for next season
    "The Trailblazers’ lottery pick point guard certainly improved his jersey stock with his play in the Las Vegas Summer League, and you can never go wrong with either the number zero or the Blazers’ classic black-and-red look. Plus, repping for Lillard is kinda like repping for late-’90s teen comedic actor Matthew Lillard, which is always a plus."

    The Basketball Jones via Dan Patrick: No one wanted to lead the 1996 Olympic team in scoring because then they’d be drug tested
    "It was actually pretty funny — nobody on the team wanted to be the leading scorer in those games, in the Olympic games. Because whoever was the leading scorer, ended up having to be drug tested. And the reason for that is the drug testing process, you’d be there for two hours after the game. And so nobody wanted to be there and have to go through that whole process."

    The Basketball Jones via Prosports.ru: Timberwolves’ newest shooting guard loves cats and video games
    “I’m a cat lover. Our family always had cats — Siamese first, then the cat of the same breed. And now I have a Bengal — same as the snow leopard, only little. Chica is the name. She wakes me every morning and evening. It’s so nice when you come tired, in a bad mood, and the cat settles on your knees. You have to stroke it and you somehow calm down. Not for nothing do they say that cats are treated. Play with it, scratch it — and somehow the problems are forgotten. ”

    DIME: Why Kevin Love Picked The Worst Time To Be Entitled
    "One of the more interesting pieces I’ve read about the latest Dream Team incarnation was what Chris Sheridan had to say about Kevin Love after the Team USA win over Argentina on Sunday, because it went against everything I’ve watched about Love. Sheridan’s sources told him USA Basketball power brokers Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski are upset with Love because of a supposed sense of entitlement, and have played him in garbage minutes as a result. Supposedly, he believes he’s owed more than what Coach K was willing to play him. Not only did it not jive with the Love I’d watched but the way Team USA works if it wants to win."

    DIME: Dime Q&A: Danny Green On How To Make It As A D-League Call-Up
    "I mean, I used it more as a motivational thing, and as a nothing to lose type of thing. I think it helped my game, and my attitude in the game. Being around the D-League it made me more confident in my game, and I don’t know, made me more aggressive. After the experience that I’ve had of being let go, and things of that nature, it really changed my mindset, so I took as: I got nothing to lose. And if I do go out, I’m going to go out the way I wanted to go out: I’m gonna go out fightin’. If I got another shot, another chance, I wasn’t going to let it slip away this time."

    DIME: The Top 20 U.S. Olympic Snubs Of The Last 20 Years
    "The Worm only had one chance to realistically make a squad, but the powers that be who made the 1996 team blew it by not adding one of the game’s best-ever rebounders. But this wasn’t a basketball decision, even though Charles Barkley has come out and said that team won gold despite one of the most selfish attitudes he’d been around. The U.S. just didn’t want to have Rodman as one of the faces on its team, because he would have surely been zoomed in on during the opening ceremonies in Atlanta, and you can bet he would have been wearing garish makeup. I suppose that somehow made sense leaving off an undersized player who averaged at least 14.9 rebounds per game for seven straight seasons starting in 1991-92. In 1994-95, he grabbed 37 percent of every defensive rebound on the floor when he played. Not like the USA Basketball leaders were watching or anything."

    SLAM: Best of Vegas Summer League
    "The short list of Sin City’s most impressive players starts with co-MVPs Josh Selby and Damian Lillard, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Tobias Harris, Bradley Beal, John Henson, Malcolm Thomas, Donatas Motiejunas, Jeremy Lamb, Harrison Barnes, Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, Kenneth Faried, Jimmy Butler; the list goes on. Countless players—drafted, undrafted, known, unknown—left a resonating impact in Vegas.'

    ESPN: Dream Team set bar at Olympics
    "It's funny to hear the remaining defenders of Kobe's position that the 2012 team could beat the Dream Team, ask, "Well, who could guard LeBron?" -- as if anybody on this team, including LeBron, would step in front of an in-his-prime Barkley, whose freakish athleticism confounded defenses nearly as much LeBron's. Who on this London team could guard a 29-year-old Jordan? Who could go down on the low block and trade hips and elbows with Karl Malone? Would Tyson Chandler, yet to make an All-Star team, have any chance at stopping David Robinson or Patrick Ewing? Could anyone on this team shoot it as well as Chris Mullin or dish it and swipe it as prolifically as John Stockton?"

    ESPN: Top challengers to Team USA
    "The brothers Gasol, Pau and Marc, are NBA All-Stars. Serge Ibaka, who's 23 years old, played in the NBA finals and finished second in the voting for NBA defensive player of the year. Point guard Jose Calderon finished fourth in the NBA in assists this past season. Euroleague star Juan Carlos Navarro was a second-team all-rookie in his only NBA season."

    Sports Illustrated: Mavs’ position in Dwight Howard derby
    "To wit: The Mavs, as of this moment, have $34.2 million in guaranteed money for the 2013-14 season committed to four players: Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and first-round pick Jared Cunningham. There has been mass confusion about the status of Carter’s deal, but according to Deeks and other sources, $2 million of the veteran shooting guard’s $3.18 million deal for 2013-14 became guaranteed when the Mavs did not waive him on June 30; that amount has been factored into the $34.2 million figure above, as has the customary 120 percent rookie scale figure for Cunningham."

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