10 fun things we learned from Trail Blazers Media Day
Trail Blazers Media Day is in the books as the 2018-19 season is officially underway. Finally! Because you know, Ball is Life!
Media Day is always a time for media members along with the players, GMs, and coaches to reunite as one big family. This year, alongside Dwight Jaynes, I found out some unique and fun stories, which I always think is the best part of Media Day. Yes, you want to know what everyone has worked on over the summer, but it’s also fun to know if Jake Layman thinks a taco should be considered a sandwich—He doesn’t, by the way -- just so you know.
Let's get to the top 10 interesting and unique things that we learned sitting down one-one with the players, Coach Terry Stotts and Blazers GM Neil Olshey…
Coach Stotts does not have a bowtie sponsor
Throughout the course of the day we pulled fan questions taken from social media and one fan from Facebook, was all about Coach Stotts and his bowtie collection, asking... Did Stotts invest in anymore bowties this season??
Stotts did in fact buy a couple more bowties this summer, but he also mentioned that he does not have the hookup for bowties… SO... Calling all bowtie establishments, you want to sponsor Coach Stotts?
Coach Stotts in a bowtie is always a fan favorite.
ET owns a store at Ohio State... Who knew?
Evan Turner owns a store in Clombus, Ohio on the campus of his alma-mater Ohio State…
What will you find at an ET owned store? “Clothing and streetwear” for Buckeye students…. Several clothing brands including “Carhartt and Off-White. Able to help students make sure they’re staying fashionable,” Turner said with a smile.
Maybe ET can hook us up and keep us looking fresh this Blazer season?? Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.
Neil Olshey watches A LOT of college basketball
Nobody ever says it's easy being a general manager of professional team and let it be know that things are always changing. Blazers GM Neil Olshey walked us through a typical day of being an NBA GM.
“It’s 365 days of the year. It looks completely different at different points in the year. At this point right now, my job is to trouble shoot, makes some calls if there are some deals and be opportunistic,” Olshey said.
And for Olshey, scouting college players is on of his biggest focuses. He watches anywhere from 85 to 100 college games live every year.
The Nigerian Basketball Team is really good!
9-0 is a beautiful thing! The Nigerian basketball team went undefeated in FIBA World Cup qualifying and Al-Farouq Aminu was a big part of their success.
Aminu says he learned a lot playing for his parent’s home country. The biggest success for him though, is not only the team winning, but that he walked away from that experience with no injuries.
The Chief has arrived back in Portland! A healthy Aminu is ready to go as he gets set to play in a contract year.
Zach Collins thinks he’ll play more inside
The big storyline of Zach Collins this summer is that he got BIG. Collins talked about how he was stricter with his diet this summer and how focusing on gaining muscle was an emphasis this offseason.
So, will Collins be playing at the 4 or the 5? When we asked Collins, he said he was going to playing more inside, but don’t think that he’s not going to shoot the three. Even though, Collins said he feels he will be playing down low more this season, he also admitted playing as a stretch four is where he likes to be.
#RipCityOnTheyAss is potentially over
This is what we call investigating reporting….
HARD HITTING QUESTION to Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic:
Will the infamous hashtag from last year of "Rip City On They Ass" continue this season or has the hashtag run its course?
Dame was quick to answer: “Each year I move on to something else… I don’t know. I see Nurk still uses it, but we’ll see."
Nurk’s response: “It depends.”
'The Mitten’ is NOT okay
While playing at Oregon State, Trail Blazers training camp invitee Gary Payton II was "given" the nickname, “The Mitten” after following in his father’s footsteps of playing intense and intimidating defense. Yes, it makes sense you would call Gary ‘The Glove” Payton’s son “The Mitten”, but I found out GPII does not approve of the nickname and he wants that to be left behind and never uttered again.
So, let’s all just stick to calling him GPII as he fights to land a roster spot in the league.
Dame expects Nurk to carry responsibility with new contract
There’s a lot of fans happy to see the Bosnian Beast back on the court as a Trail Blazer this season. There are also those fans out there that are concerned that since Nurk got a big contract this summer, he may relax. Damian Lillard knows that isn't in Nurkic's character, but Lillard did note that after getting serious money things do change.
“When you do get paid it comes with responsibility and pressure. People expect more from you because it’s an investment. There’s expectations,” Lillard said.
McCollum likes to set his goals based on percentage
Every media day means you’re going to talk about the upcoming season’s goals.
How does CJ set his goals? It's all about the percentages and ratios...
“I set percentage goals. If you make a high percentage of your shots, you’ll make more shots… Things of that nature. Keep your turnovers down that means you’re making the right plays… Ultimately, all of those things lead to more wins,” McCollum said confidently.
NO SURPRISE HERE: CJ is the biggest Baker Mayfield fan
If you follow McCollum on social media, you know he is a die-hard Cleveland Browns fans and now you should know that CJ has a ton of respect for the Browns rookie QB. In fact, McCollum couldn’t help but get so amped when he was asked about the freshly named starting. CJ McCollum grinned and added—“I can’t wait to see him DISSECT the Raiders this weekend.”
You better believe CJ’s Browns facing off against Dame’s Raiders is going to be a fun storyline to follow this week at training camp! I'll keep you posted on this situation, for sure.
Read more about CJ's love of Baker Mayfield here.