The recently-completed five-game road trip was one of the most uneventful trips I've been on with the team. Usually there are at least a few random happenings that make for an interesting blog post, but these guys were strictly business during the seven-day, five-city swing that started in Philadelphia and ended in Oklahoma City.
Nevertheless, I had a few items in my notebook that I wanted to get out there before we turn our attention to Wednesday's nationally-televised home game against the Nets at the Rose Garden.
-- The road trip started off well, with LaMarcus Aldridge being named Western Conference Player of the Week for the third time of his career. By winning the award, Aldridge became just the third Trail Blazer, joining Brandon Roy and Clyde Drexler, to win the award at least three times.
But neither Drexler or Roy found out about winning the award the way Aldridge did this time around. While The Glide and B.Roy were told by either their agent or someone on the team PR staff, LaMarcus heard about his most-recent accolade the way everyone hears about things these days: via Twitter.
"I woke up from my nap and had a few texts saying 'congratulations' and I was like 'For what?'," said Aldridge. "They were like 'Go look at Twitter.' Twitter is where you hear about everything now. So I went on Twitter and saw Paul Allen's tweet
. That's how I found out."
What an age we live in.
-- Damian Lillard's mom came to the games in Chicago and Atlanta, both victories. But Ma' Lillard went home after the Atlanta game, rather than taking her hot streak to Oklahoma City for the final game of the trip, a game the Trail Blazers lost. I asked Damian how he could let his mom leave when she had seemingly brought the team good luck, to which he replied:
"My mom, she won't even care about that stuff. She don't even look at it that way. She just saw it as her being out on the trip and caught some of my games. I think she could can care less that she left and we didn't win the games… I don't believe in superstitious stuff; I believe in God."
-- Not much shoe news on this road trip, at least in regards to the players. But there was one interesting footwear note: a member of the coaching staff, who shall remain nameless, wears Vibram FiveFinger shoes
. In layman's terms, they're the "shoes" that look like neoprene gloves for your toes and are generally considered to be some of the strangest looking things you can put on your feet (no offense, Vibram owners).
Now, this coach doesn't wear Vibrams while at practice, but he does wear them to practice, which surprises me, as players will typically take any opportunity to poke fun at "uncool" shoes, a category Vibrams definitely fall under (again, no offense).
-- Before every game, the bench players tap the player sitting directly to their right on the leg. Then the next guy does the same, all the way down the bench. I never noticed it until I saw the team go through this routine before the game against the Bucks, where visiting media seating is the best in the NBA