Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, it may also be in the algorithm of artificial intelligence. As our friends over at Pinwheel Empire pointed out, the facial beauty network at South China University used its special software to rate the attractiveness of starters in the NBA.
While he may not be a member of the Blazers anymore, SCU's math said Maurice Harkless was the most attractive starting small forward in the league last season. In fact, he was one of the most attractive starter in the entire NBA.
Harkless responded simply, "the people have spoken."
But enough of Moe and his beautiful smile. Let's talk about the current Blazers. As is custom in 2019, many of the Trail Blazers players posted on social media this week. From proud dads, happy rookies, and happy birthdays, the Blazers players took to their favorite apps to talk about it. Here are some of the best Trail Blazers social media posts of the week.
“We have to be accountable,” Hoard said. “We need to make sure when we’re making a mistake, we’re not pointing fingers. We have to really own up to our mistakes and actually like, work to fix them, not just talk about it, not just say, ‘Oh, we’re going to do better’ in everything, we actually have to do it.
Hoard had 22 points and 10 rebounds and was the only Deacon in double-figure scoring in the loss.
Hezonja began playing basketball for Dubrovnik at the age of 13. He later signed with the Croatian team Zagreb, with whom he won the Euroleague Basketball Nike International Junior Tournament.
The number one song on Billboard 100 was "Take A Bow" by Madonna the day Hezonja was born.
No Thanks To College Offer
Hezonja had a scholarship offer from Coach John Calipari to play at Kentucky. Could you imagine what Kentucky’s team would’ve been like with the addition of Hezonja during the 2014-15 season? He would have been paired with Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Devin Booker, and Trey Lyles. But, Hezonja had set his sights on the NBA.
Strong Portland Connection
As the Trail Blazers get ready for the 2019-20 season, younger Blazer fans should know –
Hezonja is going to wear No. 44 this season, a tribute to Croatian great and former Trail Blazer and Hall of Famer Drazen Petrovic.
Petrovic wore No. 44 in Portland. Drazen's brother, Aleksandar, coached Hezonja on their country’s national team.
“Obviously the greatest European player of all time,” Hezonja said during his introductory news conference with the Blazers. “It’s out of respect to him. The journey continues in his name right now. I’m glad I’m the leader of the journey right now. Carrying my entire country with it.”
Hezonja’s passing skills were modeled after Petrovic.
Just for fun here’s a throwback video to some of Petrovic’s career highlights:
March 17th’s one-point victory over the Lakers was no ordinary game for the Knicks and for Hezonja.
The New York Knicks forward — who yes also dunked on Giannis Antetokounmpo and then stepped over the Greek Freak last December — had blocked LeBron James’ game-winner attempt in that win over the Lakers.
This photo was snapped after Hezonja committed a foul on King James earlier in the contest, so it’s not the photo of him blocking the LeBron’s game winner, however, it’s kind of a perfect summary of that night.
Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum is among the five inductees.
The Roger S. Penske/Lehigh Athletics Hall of Fame currently includes 100 members across 25 sports.
McCollum joins Lehigh standouts Matt McBride '07 from baseball, Lisa (Sweeney) Van Ackeren '09 from softball; along with former coaches Muffet McGraw (Women's Basketball), and Chris Marshall '88 (Swimming and Diving).
The official induction ceremony will take place on Friday evening, September 27th.
According to Lehigh, McCollum and McGraw will have their formal induction ceremonies at a different date when they are able to attend.
McCollum is considered the most accomplished student-athlete to pass through Lehigh's men's basketball program.
Here is a quick list of McCollum’s accomplishments at Lehigh:
-- Graduated as the Patriot League's all-time leading scorer
-- Ranks second on Lehigh's career scoring list
-- Two-time Patriot League Player of the Year
-- Led the Mountain Hawks to Patriot League titles in 2009-10 and 2011-12
-- Scored a game-high 30 points in the memorable upset of No. 15 seed Lehigh defeating No. 2 seed Duke 75-70 in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament
-- Three-time first team All-Patriot League honoree
-- All-Patriot Rookie of the Year in 2010 (Also, Player of the Year)
After the Trail Blazers selected McCollum 10th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, McCollum became Lehigh's first-ever NBA draft pick.
Lehigh’s Hall of Fame is located in Taylor Gymnasium and is named in honor of Roger S. Penske, class of '59.
Inductees for the Hall of Fame are determined by a selection committee based on nominations and detailed research on criteria of the nominees “charter and founding membership.”
Potential candidates are eligible for nomination at any time after five years of receiving his or her bachelor's degree.
Right before Gasol’s basketball career took off, he enrolled in medical school at the University of Barcelona. Being such a big NBA fan growing up, Gasol wanted to find a cure for AIDS when Magic Johnson revealed to the world in 1991 that he was HIV positive.
Pau left medical school early when his basketball career with FC Barcelona began to flourish.
Pau’s jersey was the 14th best seller in the NBA during the 2009–10 season.
He speaks English, Spanish and Catalan.
Pau’s first sport was rugby.
Medical studies run in the family
In a 2009 interview, posted on the Lakers official website, Gasol discussed what life was like growing up with his mother being a physician and his father a hospital administrator.
Interview Question: “Was education emphasized before sports as you grew up?”
Gasol: “Yes, it was always ‘Do your work before you play.’ They wanted me to keep my options open, to make sure studying was a big priority over basketball because you’re not sure that sports will work out. So I stayed in school as long as I could and should have even though it was hard my first and last years in college to do both medical school and professional basketball.”
Visiting LA’s Children's Hospital
During his time with the Lakers, Pau would spend a lot of his time at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
The kids at the Children's Hospital would light up when Pau would visit.
There are many “firsts” that Hassan Whiteside is going through right now.
This is the 7-foot, 265-pound center’s first time living in Portland; first time experiencing Voodoo Donuts and the I-5 traffic; and first time seeing a waterfall (Silver Falls to be precise). Yesterday was another first that hit Whiteside at a whole new level: seeing his name above his locker in the Blazers locker room at Moda Center. A locker that sits just feet away from Damian Lillard.
On Wednesday at NBC Sports Northwest’s Chalk Talk, Whiteside sat on a panel for a Q&A session with Dan Sheldon, Dwight Jaynes, Michael Holton and Brian Noe.
“I think you guys will really enjoy the blocks, the dunks, the rebounds, me flex’n...” says Whiteside. “As far as the team, I definitely want to increase on the record from last year. This is potentially the best team I’ve ever played on talent wise and it’s not many times you get the opportunity you get a real shot at winning the championship. So as a team, I just want to be that defensive anchor and just bring as much as I can to the team."
Following the interview, Whiteside then proceeded to lay eyes on his locker for the very first time.
Since the day Whiteside was traded to Portland, it's no secret that he is excited to be here and seeing his name above his locker makes it all so real.
Hassan Whiteside extremely happy with trade news.
“We got shooters... We got shooters. We got shooters. Let’s go!”
The Portland Trail Blazers continue to round out their training camp roster. A few days ago reports were out that they added UCLA big man Moses Brown and it appears today they have added two more players in Troy Caupain and London Perrantes.
Portland has signed Troy Caupain and London Perrantes to training camp contracts with Exhibit 10 deals, league sources tell ESPN.
Luke Adams describes the new clause as, "Exhibit 10 contracts are one-year deals worth the minimum salary. They don’t come with any compensation protection, but can include an optional bonus ranging from $5K to $50K."
Caupain went undrafted in 2017 NBA Draft and spent time in the G-League after bouncing around from Raptors (Summer League) to Orlando (Training Camp). In 2018 he signed to play professionally in Italy. Later during the '18-'19 NBA season he was on a two-way contract with Orlando and spent more time in the G-League.
Perrantes also went undrafted in 2017 and moved between Miami, San Antonio, and Cleveland at various lower levels. After being waived in the summer of 2018 he played oversees in France and then landed on the 2019 Pelicans Summer League Team.
Keep it locked here at NBC Sports Northwest for all your training camp updates and full coverage of the Trail Blazers from Insider Dwight Jaynes and reporter Jamie Hudson.
This will be first opportunity to catch Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum return to the court following Porltand’s run to the Western Conference Finals. It’s also fans first chance to see Kent Bazemore, Hassan Whiteside, Mario Hezonja, Anthony Tolliver and Pau Gasol in a Trail Blazers uniform.
The intra-squad action will include four quarters of competition.
Bazemore won the Lefty Driesell Award for best collegiate defensive player during his junior year at Old Dominion University.
Has his number has been retired at Old Dominion (No. 24)
Graduated with two degrees – Human Services and Criminal Justice
Bazemore was a proud member of the “Pi Kappa Alpha” fraternity at Old Dominion.
Bazemore played a HUGE role with Under Armour endorsing Stephen Curry when he was on the Warriors.
Endured Rookie Hazing
In April of 2013 several Golden State Warriors veterans had some some fun at the expense of rookie Kent Bazemore. The vets decided to fill Bazemore’s car with popcorn. Richard Jefferson seemed to be the leader of the prank.
Bazemore’s app featured his statistics, a fantasy tracker, video highlights, team schedule, chat opportunities, social media links and even contests. The app is no longer available.
But here was a quick Youtube tutorial on how to use Bazemore’s app.
At the time, Bazemore was the third NBA player to have his own app. The other two -- LeBron James and Brandon Jennings.
Founder of Arms Foundation
Bazemore started the Arms Foundation, which “promotes, motivates and inspires the next generation of leaders through life-changing programming and initiatives. Supporting ARMS is supporting students who need you to accomplish their goals, dreams and aspirations.”
According to the Arms Foundation website this is how and why the foundation came about:
“Bazemore grew up in a small town in Kelford, NC with a population of around 300 people. Its size meant that the community was closely connected. The small size of the community also meant that resources were limited – there was one park in the town, which became a center of activity and fun. Kent’s family didn’t have a lot when he was growing up. The one park provided he and his friends an opportunity to play and provided Kent with an introduction to his passion of basketball.
The ARMS Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit that exists to invest in youth, inspiring them to achieve their dreams and seeding programming that drives those dreams to becoming reality. This is achieved through engaging programming, unique and strategic partnerships, and decisive investments that foster youth opportunity and success.
Kent sees the Foundation as a long-term project. He wants it to outlast his career in the League and be a major focus of his work in the future. Its work can be central to Kent’s long-term legacy.”
Bazemore and his wife Samantha tied the knot in 2017.
Last season, Bazemore hosted a podcast with Vince Carter with topics on “everything from golf, to rookie hazing, to career milestones, The Ringer’s new podcast, titled “Winging It,” gives fans an exclusive glimpse into the NBA — straight from the players themselves.”
Phone App Note Goes Viral
It was back in March of 2019, when Bazemore took to Twitter to explain his defense on James Harden.
This ‘note’ was posted after the Internet reacted to Harden sending Bazemore into a spin move on the defensive end.
The move was Shaqtin’ A Fool moment. Most NBA fans no that there is no shame in being destroyed by Harden.
Bazemore had fun on twitter explain exactly what happened.