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News From Around The World: September 4

09/10/12
  1. Written by: DHawes22

    September 4



    Trail Blazers TV: Meet BlazerDancer Leisel

    Trail Blazers: Eddie Johnson Picks Damian Lillard For Rookie Of The Year
    "You can assume that Eddie Johnson, who played 17 season, has seen pretty much everything there is to see when it comes to the NBA. So when Johnson, the 1988-89 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, picks Damian Lillard as one of ten "impact" players for the upcoming season, that means something (at least as much as a preseason prediction can "mean something"). And since Lillard is the only rookie to make his "impact" player list, it makes sense Johnson would go all-in on the prediction front."

    Hoopshype: The Top 10 impact players for this season
    "I must admit that I have a hard time giving a player any juice before he actually shows me something, but there's something about Lillard that tells me he's going to explode. I love the fact that a top-quality player stayed at a school (Weber State) that was out of the spotlight and low on the totem pole, but still was found by NBA scouts. That tells me Lillard can ball. In the summer league, he showed glimpses of what could come next. Portland is the perfect situation for him, a place where he'll receive a green light to go. I love his tenacity, scoring ability and physical presence. I am picking him right now as favorite to win Rookie of the Year in 2013."

    NBA: Early ROY Forecast Favors Lillard?
    "What is more, he goes on to a team with LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, as well as some other veterans. He’s got a guy on the wing and an All-Star in the post to play off. Guys he can feed for open looks, guys who create lanes for him because the defense can’t help. Yes, the talent he has to face (particularly at the point) is substantially better at the NBA level than Summer League, but he is in a position to succeed."

    Pro Basketball Talk: Who is going to win Rookie of the Year? Try Damian Lillard.
    "But Lillard is very good — athletically and making decisions — and he is in a position to succeed with players around him. He’s my pick because he will impress and put up numbers. It may take a while for the casual fans and national columnists to catch up, but he will be the guy to watch."

    Trail Blazers: Bill Schonely: Profile of a Portland Broadcasting Legend
    "When the Blazers won the championship, there were block parties all over the place, you couldn't get anywhere," recalls a beaming Schonely. "I don't care where you went in this state or in this area, it was Blazermania time, Rip City time all over." He recalls the championship parade down Broadway as, "Nothing but people. It was incredible. The grandest thing I've ever been involved in."

    Trail Blazers: Bill Schonely: 2012 Gowdy Award Winner
    “I am absolutely stunned. This is something I’ve only dreamed about,” said Schonely. “To be included with the talented individuals who have won this award in the past is an honor I can’t begin to put into words.”

    CSNNW: Former Blazers assistant Larry Greer accepts ASU assistant gig
    "Greer spent four seasons as the Trail Blazers' advanced scout before former head coach Nate McMillan promoted him to assistant last offseason after Bill Bayno left to become an assistant in Minnesota under Rick Adelman."

    Trail Blazers: Meet BlazerDancer Leisel
    “The exciting part for me was that we got to dance with them at halftime and be their back up dancers and we made a soul train all around the floor,” Leisel explained. “That was probably one of the coolest things ever because I’m obsessed with oldies. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! It doesn’t get much better than this!’”

    Trail Blazers: The allure of the Rose City
    "And let’s get rid of this nonsense about the weather. Back in the days of the Portland Buckaroos, all of our players came from Canada and were often fond of saying, “You don’t have to shovel rain.”

    Sports Illustrated: Where does Reggie Miller rank in the pantheon of shooting guards?
    "We’re getting into dicier territory now, but I’m comfortable putting the Glide above Miller. He ranks 79 spots above Miller on the all-time PER list, and like West and Wade, he was just a more dynamic creator than Miller. Drexler averaged between 5.7 and 8.0 assists per game for eight straight seasons in his prime and could help an offense in more ways. He was the linchpin of one of the great teams to never win a title (the late 1980s/early 1990s Blazers), and he had the size to play small forward in three-guard lineups without fatally compromising his team’s defense."

    SLAM: Long Time Coming
    "A tournament-high of 25 points and 7 rebounds against the seasoned NBA veterans of Spain was the perfect personal achievement for Freeland, but unfortunately Great Britain, ranked 43rd in the FIBA rankings fell to world number two, Spain, 79-78."

    Rip City Project: Portland Trail Blazers: Fully Introducing the Blazer Coaching Staff
    "With the entire offense running through LaMarcus Aldridge, having an ex-big man like Kim Hughes on the coaching staff is an invaluable addition. Not only can he give L.A. tips and tricks to improve his game, but he can help speed up the development of Meyers Leonard and Joel Freeland, as well as help add towards J.J. Hickson’s clearly-lacking post game."

    Blazersedge: The Dozen Most Influential Trail Blazers: 6-12
    "If Darius Miles was a headache for the Blazers Shawn Kemp was a nightmare. He came in as part of the same purge-reshuffle summer of 2000 that brought Davis. He already had one strike against him with fans as he was traded for local superhero Brian Grant. Grant was aging quickly due to injuries and would never put up great numbers following the trade. He also wanted either serious cash to stay on Portland's crowded roster or a trade out of town. He had impending free agency to enforce that wish. None of that mattered to Portland fans, whose basic reaction to the trade was, "Grrrrrrr...:" Had they known the eventual outcome the reaction would have changed to garbage pelting the court. Kemp went instantly from 18 ppg to 6 when he joined the Blazers. He lacked playing time and the freedom of being the #1 option. He carried with him approximately 50 extra pounds plus an astounding $11-12 million contract. Without mobility or energy non-scoring contributions were out of the question. Plus he could never control off-court demons which took him out of the league. After dumping him Portland ended up paying him $15 million cap-and-tax-clogging dollars in 2003-04 to play for the Orlando Magic. This was the final, final straw for several things: Bob Whitsitt's tenure as general manager, owner Paul Allen's willingness to spend big money, and whatever goodwill Portland fans had left for the Blazers. The next era of Blazer fandom would start from scratch"

    Hang Time Blog: Trail Blazers starting from scratch in rebuilding process
    "If his performance during the Summer League was an appetizer, Lillard has the potential to be one of the breakout stars from a deep Draft class. And if Leonard just stays healthy and contributes on a consistent basis, he'll have outshined his big man predecessor (Oden). That said, a dose of reality is needed when assessing the prospects for this team right now. They are a long way from being the force many envisioned they'd be by now. They are a mere shadow of the team fans in Portland thought they'd be when they embarked upon their last rebuild."

    Sheridan Hoops: Sheridan’s September Power Rankings
    "Who starts against Dwight Howard on Opening Night? Is it Jared Jeffries, Joel Freeland or Meyers Leonard? Yes, it’ll be a long season for Terry Stotts and Neil Olshey. But Damion Lillard has a chance to put up ROY numbers."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Nets will play in Brooklyn in 2012-13, but no Nets will actually live in the borough
    "Beck, a Brooklynite for years who is now charged with covering his adopted hometown's new team, reveals that seven Nets will be living in New Jersey this year. A more well-heeled cadre of Net veterans — Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Kris Humphries and Jerry Stackhouse — will make do with living in Manhattan. No player will call Brooklyn home."

    Ball Don't Lie: Sweet psychedelic teddy bear sneakers, Jimmy Butler
    "The eye-popping "Bear Shoes" that Butler's sporting — in "slime/macaw green," natch — are a collaboration between adidas and fashion designer Jeremy Scott that feature faux fur up top, a toy bear head on the tongue and hippy-dippy flowers all over. The peace-love-and-Ruxpin joints will run you $200 a pop, but the style they confer ... well, that's priceless."

    Ball Don't Lie: Mark Jackson: Reggie Miller was ‘as good as any two-guard,’ outside of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant
    "We'll get into Miller's relative merits as the week moves along, a needed venture as he takes to the Hall, but this is just athlete silliness at its worst. It's just fine for Reggie Miller to be pretty damn good. Just fine for him to be amongst the greats, a fantastic example of how to change your game on the fly and stay potent deep into your 30s. The guy was a marvel, even if you couldn't stand him, until the very end. Miller retired in 2005 just three months before his 40th birthday, but it's no stretch to suggest he could have played capable and starter-level NBA basketball for at least one or two more seasons."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Houston Rockets’ massive new scoreboard will be the largest in an arena in the U.S.
    "As you can see in the mockup above, those 58-foot-long sideline-facing screens mean the entire scoreboard will stretch from lane to lane, covering nearly 62 percent of the length of the 94-foot NBA court. The Rockets' new video board is larger than a similar indoor, center-hung HD scoreboard being installed at Bankers Life Fieldhouse by the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers' new screen, which team spokesman David Benner confirmed to BDL on Tuesday, will be installed and operational in time for Indy's home opener — also slated for Nov. 3, against the Sacramento Kings — and will feature twin 21-feet-by-50-feet screens facing the sidelines and 25-feet-by-14-feet screens facing the baselines."

    Ball Don't Lie: Dwight Howard thanks Orlando in a full page newspaper ad; Orlando is slow to respond
    "Yet, in a miserable bit of self-aggrandizement, tactlessness, obliviousness and incompetence that in comparison made Smith look like the NBA executive of the decade, Howard blew any goodwill he had from outsiders that understood that his best years would probably be best spent away from Orlando. Dwight was traded from Orlando to the Los Angeles Lakers early in August, just a few days after cowardly begging off an appearance at his own youth camp so as not to face the sort of pointed questions that only an 11-year old in high tops could nail him with."

    The Basketball Jones: Yes, Rajon Rondo will sign your baby
    "After that, it’s your decision on what to do with your signed baby. Wash it? Sure, if you don’t like valuable autographs. Frame the onesie the baby is wearing? Maybe, if you can find a jersey frame that small. Get it tattooed on your baby’s body? Probably the smartest idea."

    The Basketball Jones: Jay-Z steps up his Brooklyn Nets hat game
    "You might not think that it’s a big deal that Jay-Z wore two different Brooklyn Nets hats on stage during this past weekend’s Made In America festival (you are probably right), but you have to remember Jay’s famous line about the Yankees: “I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can.” Ergo, this is pretty much Jay’s first attempt at making the rebranded Brooklyn Nets cool, which would be quite the achievement considering they haven’t been cool since making a couple of SLAM magazine covers around the turn of the century and even that was a stretch."

    The Basketball Jones: LeBron James promised his soccer team a Vegas trip with Kanye West if they win the Premier League
    "Unfortunately, Liverpool is kind of doing terrible. And by “kind of,” I mean “big-time.” They’re currently in next-to-last place, notching only a single point through the season’s first three games, while already tallying a goal differential of minus-5. And that’s coming off their worst finish (eighth) in 18 years which directly led to the club losing their adidas sponsorship. So if there’s ever a team that could use a Vegas trip with LeBron, it’s probably Liverpool. But also, pretty safe bet from LeBron that he won’t actually show them his secret Vegas party zones."

    SLAM via ESPN: Dwight Howard to Work Out With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    "“Just sat down with @kaj33,” Howard tweeted after the meeting. “Man God is so good. Was in tears. What a blessing. This is like a dream come true. Go Lakers.” Howard then tweeted a picture of the two of them together with the caption, “Me and @kaj33 together. For many years to come.” The “many years to come” will surely come as music to the ears of Lakers fans worried that Howard might leave after this season when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Howard said he has not talked about an extension with the Lakers and won’t do so until this season is over."

    SLAM: Tower Of Babylon
    "Definitely. We had a court in the driveway, and that’s how I learned. That’s where it all started at: in the backyard, in the driveway, and of course local gyms. And he was a coach, so he coached me. In the town we had our own little league, and I played in those leagues, and as I got older I played in other leagues and other AAU teams."

    DIME: Bob McAdoo: The Oklahoma City Thunder Are Still The West’s Best
    "While at the U.S. Open watching his daughter play tennis, McAdoo told the New York Post today, “We got to get there but I still feel OKC is the team to beat in the West,” the Hall of Famer said. “Everyone’s talking about how they got better but I still think (OKC) is the team to beat. They’re still young and got experience of a championship series."

    True Hoop: The NBA's most signature moves
    "Pierce isn't particularly quick, so how is he always able to get space for that jumper? Part of it is that he sometimes uses unorthodox footwork in his pull-up. The natural motion for a right-handed player moving to his right is to stride-stop, plant the (outside) left foot, plant the right (inside) foot and fire. But Pierce uses his outside right foot to stop his momentum, then uses his left foot and left shoulder to nudge his defender and create space. Pierce ends up firing the shot a half-beat earlier than his defender expects and uses a little muscle in the process."

    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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