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Around The World: August 28

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    August 28

    Trail Blazers: Fan Blog: New Favorite Player
    "Why Damian Lillard is the best!"

    Trail Blazers: The BlazerDancer Kelly: It's A New Season
    "After being home from Estonia for a couple weeks, we then headed to dance camp this past weekend for our “mini” camp. It was held in Portland, and we had three choreographers fly in from Los Angeles to teach us some amazing routines! After three days, a lot of hard work, and sore muscles, we came away with 13 amazing routines to bring to the court this year! It is always a fun experience to have the whole team together for some bonding, and do what we all love the most, DANCE! We also have themed days, and the picture is of my teammate Stephanie and I doing some cardio before our first learning session on Friday, for the “Blazer Gear” themed day. Now that camp is over, it’s time to prepare for the season! Our first game is just over a month away, and I can’t explain how excited I am to get going again! "

    Oregon Live via Spurs: San Antonio Spurs hire Portland native, former Trail Blazers forward Ime Udoka as assistant coach
    “Ime Udoka possesses an outstanding work ethic as well as a natural inclination to teach. We are excited to add someone with his potential to our coaching staff,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich."

    Blazersedge: How Much Difference Will Damian Lillard Make?
    "The story with Lillard is what it's always been. This guy is good. He's going to be good in the NBA. He fills so many Blazer needs in terms of skill, attitude, and position that they almost had to take him with that pick. Yes, they need him to perform well. Yes, he's capable of scoring in droves. Yes, he could well be in the discussion for Rookie of the Year. It's all true, including the part that says he still needs to prove himself and he's going to have ups and downs. The kid has a ton of responsibility on his shoulders already, not only for his own game but the health and future of the franchise. Plus everybody and their uncle is going to blame him if LaMarcus Aldridge's production falls on his watch, including perhaps LaMarcus. I don't think he needs any more pressure than that. Give him time and he'll prove himself to be a nice piece, maybe a great one. You won't regret having him around. That's all one can ask of a draft pick who hasn't even played a single game yet. Let everything else unfold and enjoy the ride."

    Madison: NBA: No summer vacation for Trail Blazers' Wesley Matthews
    "I didn’t become a gym rat until college, so that’s something that I want to instill in kids now: Be a gym rat. There are things that you can do on your own if you have access to a high school, a middle school, some other gym or your driveway. There are things that you can do if you want to be great."

    DIME: Dime Q&A: Meyers Leonard On Portland’s Future And The Center Curse
    "I think we’re still in somewhat of a rebuilding mode, but even that, they took Damian, who is a very very good player, with the sixth pick, and myself with the 11th. Obviously we have an All-Star in LaMarcus Aldridge, Wes Matthews is a very good player, and the rest of the guys around them, I think we have some very good pieces to be able to put together some wins."

    Trail Blazers: Thorpe: Why Damian Lillard Could Win Rookie Of The Year
    "I would agree completely that Lillard's more polished coming out of the collegiate ranks than Westbrook as Russ was viewed as somewhat of a raw prospect and Dame had four years in school (albeit only playing three due to a medical redshirt) compared to his two. But more polished than No. 1 overall pick and Rookie of the Year Derrick Rose? That's some serious praise. Yes, Lillard is 22 coming into his rookie campaign versus Rose's 19, but D-Rose led his Memphis Tigers all the way to the National Championship Game as a true freshman. If Lillard comes anywhere close to Rose's rookie averages of 16.8 points, 6.3 assists, 3.9 rebounds per game than Rip City is in very good hands for the foreseeable future with Damian Lillard running the show."

    ESPN: Uni Watch: Blazers Rank No. 48 On Best Uniforms In Sports List
    "A handful of NBA teams have worn diagonal stripes over the years, but the Blazers are the only team currently employing that concept. It works -- here's hoping they never move away from it. Fun fact: The Blazers' pinwheel logo is a graphic representation of a five-on-five basketball game. It's also one of the few logos in the league that doesn't include a depiction of a basketball."

    Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard All Over NBA Rookie Survey
    "Lillard's ability to hit shots is one of the main reasons the Trail Blazers drafted him with the No. 6 pick. Personally, I think Terrence Ross ends up being the best shooter of the 2012 draft class."

    Ball Don't Lie: Anthony Davis has set some pretty big goals for his rookie season
    "And the first two parts stand to reason. As the top overall pick, it makes sense that Davis has his sights set on the Rookie of the Year award, and the oddsmakers think him a sound bet to take it home, with Bovada listing him as nearly four times more likely to win ROY than the next best bet, former Kentucky Wildcats teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of the Charlotte Bobcats. Plus, history confirms a very reasonable suspicion — every All-Rookie first team since the squad's 1962-63 inception has featured the player who won Rookie of the Year. (That said, we shouldn't start carving Davis' name into the trophy just yet — in the 60 years that the NBA's given out top-rookie honors, the No. 1 pick has only received them 19 times.)"

    Ball Don't Lie: Doug Collins wants Spencer Hawes ‘to play the Pau Gasol role,’ which might actually work
    "Though a good chunk of Hawes' 2011-12 season was lost to injury and then the aftereffects of his Achilles tendon and back woes, he still managed to roar out of the gate with a strong start to the season while showcasing an impressive passing touch. Raw assist totals like Hawes' 2.6 dimes a game won't blow your ears back, but when you factor in the other elements that go into appraising a player's work in dishing the ball — his position, the pace at which his team plays, his minutes, the attention he pays toward setting others up with the assist — Hawes' assist ratio of 17.6 from last season rivals Pau at his finest."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Nets’ new $1 billion Barclays Center is already completely covered in rust, by design
    "Worse, to me, is the fact that the pre-rusted steel was "put through more than a dozen wet-and-dry cycles a day" at a treatment center in Indianapolis before it was sent Brooklyn's way. I'm not exactly chaining myself to trees or trading in that Datsun for a Prius, but that seems like a ridiculous waste of a finite necessity just for mostly aesthetic uses."

    Ball Don't Lie: Brian Scalabrine is the frontrunner to become a Chicago Bulls assistant coach, report says
    "The idea of Scalabrine as an NBA coach likely involves some level of cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, he is known to most NBA fans as a guy who mostly played in garbage time, became a crowd favorite in large part because he reminded viewers of themselves, and earned the ridiculous nickname "White Mamba." But for others, he's a trusted veteran who understands offensive and defensive systems and players' roles within them. As long as players respect him — and there's no indication that they wouldn't — Scalabrine would seem to be a good fit as an assistant for Thibodeau. When Scalabrine spoke out against those who mock him, he effectively broadcasted his desire to be taken seriously by everyone in basketball, not just by those with firsthand experience of his knowledge of the game. Although he wanted that to come through another job as a player, becoming a coach would actually serve as a better means of altering Scal's reputation from that of the goofy benchwarmer to the serious basketball mind. Coaches can be beloved, but they're typically not treated like harmless mascots."

    The Basketball Jones: Scottie Pippen is going to be in NBA 2K13 after all
    "Good news, fans of the Dream Team, Chicago Bulls, hyper versatile small forwards who redefined the possibilities of their position and video games that are maybe just a little bit too hard for a normal person who isn’t completely devoted to gaming — Scottie Pippen is going to be in NBA 2K13, along with the rest of the 1992 United States Olympic basketball team."

    The Basketball Jones: Kevin Durant might be releasing a rap record
    "And that could be interesting, considering how well Durant has managed his brand this far in to his career. Will releasing music make people think he doesn’t take basketball seriously enough, even though he obviously does? Will this be the first step towards Durant getting tattoos that people can easily see? Will he become such a huge star in the world of rap that he neglects his original career, kind of like a reverse Will Smith? There are a lot of questions that could result if Kevin Durant does release an album. Some people are weirdos and seeing their favorite basketball players rapping doesn’t always sit well with them."

    DIME: 6 White Men Who Can Jump
    "But let’s not forget that just seven years after Barry won the dunk contest, he showed up to 2003’s All-Star Weekend for a different competition: the Three-Point Shooting Contest. After advancing past the first round, he Crip Walked back to his seat to collect $1,000 from fellow Sonics (R.I.P.) teammate, Gary Payton (who didn’t think he would break out the dance move on national TV). Brent Barry can jump, but he can also shoot (he is 13th all time for three-pointers made and shot 40 percent from beyond the arc for this career), pass (he averaged over five assists per game three times in his career) and Crip Walk. Jon Barry is more than a little jealous. "

    DIME: Sam Presti Picked Serge Ibaka Over James Harden, And Somehow No One’s Talking About It
    "For all intents and purposes, the Thunder had a decision to make: Serge Ibaka or James Harden. Ibaka’s recent four-year extension clearly indicates, however, that the decision was made. Many have flirted with the possibility of amnestying Kendrick Perkins’ bloated $8 million per year deal to make room for Harden, but that still won’t cut it: OKC will still be at least $6 million over in year one, which is only slated to rise as the contracts of Westbrook, Durant and Harden elevate with each successive year. (Contracts are typically backloaded, with the yearly salary increasing every year.) So really, it boils down to some creative cap-fenagling or basketball fans coming to grips with a fact we’ve only skirted around. James Harden is entering his last year in Oklahoma City."

    DIME: Dime Q&A: Dion Waiters On Summer League And Cleveland’s Future Backcourt
    "Honestly, I didn’t play great. I was coming in there out shape, I really hadn’t do nothing. Hadn’t worked out for anybody, or anything like that. I really had to do other stuff, besides that. I got my feet wet, it was a great experience for me. Learned a lot there, definitely motivated me also. Like I said, it was a great experience."

    SLAM: Ricky Is All In
    “My Nike contract was finished last season,” Ricky, who averaged 10.6 ppg and 8.2 apg as a first-year NBA PG, explains, “and we were talking about re-signing, but they weren’t that interested, as much as other brands like adidas. Making my own shoe over here is a big deal.”

    SLAM via Interaksyon: Rajon Rondo Wants to Become Greatest Point Guard in Celtics History
    “I hope I can end my career as the greatest point guard in the history of the Boston Celtics,” he said. He doesn’t know where he ranks just yet on the list of top lead guards in the history of the green and white, a lineup that includes all-time greats such as Bob Cousy, Jo Jo White, Nate Archibald, and Dennis Johnson, among others. Cousy was the first Celtics superstar, and was part of six titles with Boston."

    ESPN: Ewing Athletics Relaunching
    "In 1989, as the shoe business heated up thanks mostly due to Air Jordans, Ewing, who was getting paid nearly $1 million a year by adidas, left the brand. For most of the 1988-89 season, at the advice of Falk, he wore an unbranded white shoe to keep people guessing what was next. Toward the end of the season, Ewing, in partnership with Pony founder Roberto Mueller, unveiled the Ewing Athletics brand. By 1990, the company was doing remarkable business, grossing approximately $100 million that year."

    Sports Illustrated: How will Kobe Bryant mesh with the Lakers’ revamped roster?
    "Bryant is renowned for both his work ethic and his basketball intelligence. If you asked 100 players to name the smartest “basketball” guy in the league, I’d wager Kobe would finish among the top three or four vote-getters. (Nash would certainly give him a run.) Bryant’s footwork in the post is legend. That same nimble footwork, plus a heady sense of anticipation and space, makes Bryant a genius off-ball player when he wants to be."

    Trail Blazers: Weekend Plan: Specially Designed For Families And The Busy Nine-To-Fiver
    "Built for the family-oriented fan with a busy work-week, the 12-game Weekend Pack maximizes the thrill-factor while keeping the competitions to Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A smattering of Western Conference rivals and Eastern Conference visitors during one-offs and key home stands, you can get your hands on this schedule-friendly pack for as low as $11/game and $52/game in the lower bowl."

    Trail Blazers: The Rivals Plan: Two LAs, Oklahoma City And The Return Of Roy
    "The smallest of the four big ticket plans, the eight game Rivals Pack packs a big punch. You’ll be in the building and eating a corndog while others are wondering how to get their hands on a way to see the return of Brandon Roy and the sure to sell out L.A. Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder."

    Trail Blazers: Why The Value Plan Makes 'Cents' For You
    "The Value Pack starts at just $5 a game. That’s 12 games for as low as $60! Talk about some serious bang for your buck. But that’s not even the best part about this ticket plan. Four of the 12 games take place in the month of January. And there is absolutely no better place to be during an Oregon winter’s night than inside the raucous Rose Garden. Not to mention this pack gets you into the arena to see some of the league’s biggest names and brightest young stars such as Dwight Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, and Rudy Gay."

    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."


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