If you're like me (which you probably aren't, but just play along) one of the first thoughts that popped into your mind when you heard Patty Mills would rejoin the Trail Blazers in Detroit for tonight's game against the Pistons was "What is he going to wear?" Coming straight from Boise (or maybe Albuquerque, the Stampede play there tonight), would he have a Trail Blazers jersey with him? Would he end up having to wear Brandon Roy's uni? Or a uni with a number and no name on the back? I mean, this is the pros man; you've got to look legit!
So to get the answer to our question, I tracked down Matt Wilson, the Trail Blazers' equipment manger, and the man responsible for everything you see the team wearing during practices and games, as he was packing up gear onto the bus and luggage truck for tonight's game. Turns out that Wilson, probably along with every other equipment manager in the NBA worth his salt, is always prepared for these situations.
Wilson brings every possible travel uniform for every player who has even the slightest chance to dressing on every trip, so he's got Patty Mills' jerseys (both game and practice), shorts (both game and practice), socks, shoes, warmups (both game and practice) and undergarments at the ready for tonight's game. Mills won't be taking the court tonight in hand-me-downs or hastily thrown together jerseys with numbers and name glued to the back.
And that's not all. Wilson has a gear traveling for everyone except for Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla. So if Travis Outlaw's foot is miraculous healed overnight by some divine intervention, Wilson has his complete game and practice outfits ready to go on the road.
The kicker is that he has the same equipment locked and loaded for Shavlik Randolph and Anthony Tolliver, guys who aren't even currently under contract with the team. That's like packing swim trunks and sun tan lotion for a trip to Antarctica. After all, you never know when an Australian point guard is going to show up on your doorstep.