VIDEO: Trail Blazers Open Practice For Fan Appreciation
I planned to write a recap about yesterday’s open practice as soon as it was finished, but instead I found myself pretty keyed up from the day. As far as Trail Blazers events go—I’ve attended too many to count in my two years with the team—this was far and away my favorite.
Over the last few weeks as playoff hopes dwindled and finally disappeared I’ve found myself going through somewhat of a grieving process. But days like yesterday make it so much easier. Interim Head Coach Kaleb Canales decided to hold a practice that was open to the public. And thought it ended up being less of an actual practice and more of an exhibition for those in attendance, it was was a very cool move by K and the squad.
“We looked at the schedule and technically this is our last practice in Portland for this season,” Canales said. “So I though it was important to really let the fans know again how much we appreciate them. Their love and support for our team is second to none and we really appreciate it.”
The guys went through their normal stretching routines and headed straight into a three-point shooting contest. It’s no big surprise that Luke Babbitt took home top honors with Nicolas Batum coming in a close second.
Post-contest was when the real shenanigans began. A new challenge started in which players were partnered with a fan from the stands and a member of the media. One person from each team had to shoot a layup, free throw and three-pointer. After all were made everyone on the team tried to make a half-court shot. It was awesome.
“It’s fun. It’s bittersweet. We would like to be practicing in the confines of the PF grinding and getting ready for the playoffs, but reality is we’re not,” Wesley Matthews said. “So what better way to really go out than to be in the community with our fans.”
Finally, the guys spent time signing autographs and taking pictures with the countless fans in attendance.
If you weren’t able to make it be sure to check out the video, you won’t regret it.