Blazers dig hole too big to climb out of vs Pelicans

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© Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Blazers dig hole too big to climb out of vs Pelicans

The Trail Blazers fell short to the New Orleans Pelicans tonight, 123-116. Even with Anthony Davis out with a groin injury, the Blazers were unable to contain the power of DeMarcus Cousins. Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 29 points, followed by CJ McCollum and Meyers Leonard with 17 each. Despite the loss, Leonard had a standout performance going 7-9 with one steal, two rebounds, and three assists. The Blazers’ next game is on Tuesday, December 5 against the Washington Wizards..

[NBC Sports Gold “Blazers Pass” 15-game Blazers package for fans without NBC Sports Northwest $34.99 – click to learn more and buy]

Final Score: Pelicans 123 - Blazers 116

 

 

 

 

CJ McCollum loves him some Baker Mayfield

CJ McCollum loves him some Baker Mayfield

In a lot of ways, NBA players are no different than you and me. And with that, many of them live and die with their favorite sports teams and in the case of CJ McCollum, that team is the Cleveland Browns.

The Canton, Ohio native is a life long Browns fan (bless his heart) and his experience has been well documented on Twitter. 

At Trail Blazers media day, I asked McCollum how much of a Baker Mayfield fan he was coming off the heals of Mayfield's incredible Thursday Night Football performance. 

Mayfield entered in the middle of the first half after Tyrod Taylor left the game with a concussion. Mayfield went 17-23 for 201 yards and led the Browns to their first victory in 635 days and CJ couldn't help but get excited about it.

"I am a Baker Mayfield fan. I was a fan when he planted the flag in the middle of the block O after the game (when Mayfield was in college and Oklahoma beat Ohio State in early 2018). That told me a lot about his character, a lot about his toughness, and his leadership because he didn't do it by himself, the team followed..."

McCollum continued, "He’s a gamer. Walk-on, Heisman, number one pick... The moxie he has, people compare him to Johnny (Manziel) but he loves football. Johnny played it because he was good. He (Baker) loves football, knows the playbook. First time playing with the 1s was in that game, he didn’t get any reps with the 1st during training camp or the preseason."

Even off camera, the Mayfield discussion continued as McCollum praised his pocket pressence and decision making. 

For a little extra fun, keep an eye out social media this weekend as McCollum's Browns (1-1-1) take on Damian Lillard's struggling Oakland Raiders (0-3) with a 1:05pm kickoff. 

"I cant wait to see him dissect the Raiders this weekend," McCollum said with a smile. 

Let the friendly trash talking begin. 

Three Trail Blazers engaged to be married, but all of them engaged on defense too

Three Trail Blazers engaged to be married, but all of them engaged on defense too

A few player-related thoughts from Trail Blazer media day:

  • Gary Trent Jr. has an outgoing personality. And from all you hear from his teammates, he's got plenty of confidence, too. Those are not qualities that guarantee greatness, but I do believe they help.
  • Al-Farouq Aminu was very excited about the success of his Nigerian national team in the FIBA qualifying tournament. His team has romped undefeated past the Africa teams and qualified for the final tournament next summer. "China!" he said with a wide smile. And yes, that's where they will hold the championship rounds.
  • I was surprised at the ease Anfernee Simons handled his television interview with us. He's a cool customer and he's also getting very good reviews from his teammates off his performance in pre-camp workouts. They're talking about his explosiveness and ability to make shots.
  • Just so you know, three Trail Blazers became engaged this summer -- Jake Layman, Nik Stauskas and CJ McCollum are now committed.
  • Just about every player we interviewed Monday spoke about the necessity of playing good defense in order to earn playing time. A smart group of players.
  • I loved Damian Lillard telling Jusuf Nurkic on camera about the responsibilities of getting a new contract -- and the expectations that go with it. Wise words from a wise man.
  • Maurice Harkless said he's about 80 percent healthy but does expect to be ready to go by the start of the regular season.
  • I love the idea that this team has added more three-point shooters. It's going to open the floor for the starting guards and provide more overall firepower.
  • Sometimes when McCollum talks about the game, I almost expect him to pull out a package of charts and a laser pointer. He talks fast and with great detail when evaluating the game and you almost expect visual aids.

McGowan will continue to live in Portland, run the Blazers

McGowan will continue to live in Portland, run the Blazers

The president and chief executive officer of the Portland Trail Blazers is soon going to be a very busy man.

Chris McGowan, who was served in that capacity for the Trail Blazers since 2012, was named Monday the CEO  of Paul Allen's Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, overseeing the business operations of all VSE sports franchises and facilities, which include the Seattle Seahawks, the Trail Blazers, CenturyLink Field, WaMu Theater and Moda Center. Vulcan also named Chuck Arnold as president of the Seahawks.

“Chris and Chuck have produced excellent results for their organizations for many years, and I know VSE and the Seahawks are in good hands under their leadership,” said Allen in a statement on the Seahawks' website.

McGowan said he will not move to Seattle and will continue his duties as president and CEO with the Trail Blazers.

"It's a great new role for me," McGowan said on a media conference call.  "Becoming the CEO of Vulcan Sports and Entertainment -- there is no other better job in sports when you think of the teams it represents.

"I will still be heavily involved with the Blazers. Obviously that's a huge priority. We have a great management team in Portland.

"We’re really financially healthy in Portland. We have been the last several years."

McGowan was asked about the advantages of having the Seattle and Portland-based business operations tied closer together under one leader.

There are opportunities when you run things together," he said. "This is an unbelievable platform if we operate things together."

For instance?

"A couple thoughts there," he said. "Sponsorships. You can talk to brands about multiple platforms…. And it also helps in recruiting and maintaining employees in the organization. There may be someone who has a better opportunity for growth in one of the other organizations. There will be good opportunities for people.

"And then live entertainment. We have music venues in both cities. There are economies of scale… a lot of interesting opportunities I get excited about."

 

Videos from Trail Blazers Media Day

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NBCSNW

Videos from Trail Blazers Media Day

Basketball is back and it's time for Trail Blazers Media Day! We will be updated this article all day long with live videos from the event. 

Click the links below to hear what the team has to say:

General Manager Neil Olshey

Head coach Terry Stotts

Damian Lillard

CJ McCollum

Jusuf Nurkic

Al-Farouq Aminu 

Maurice Harkless

Meyers Leonard

Evan Turner

Seth Curry

Zach Collins

Anfernee Simons

Jake Layman

Wade Baldwin

 

 

CJ McCollum proposes to longtime girlfriend

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@CJMcCollum

CJ McCollum proposes to longtime girlfriend

Just one day before Trail Blazers open up training camp, Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum announces his engagement to longtime girlfriend Elise Esposito.

 

McCollum now joins Jake Layman and Nick Stauskas as other Blazer players to pop the question to their significant others this offseason.
Elise also shared this photo on her instagram acount.

 


Trail Blazers Media Day tips off on Monday at 11:30am. You can check out 'The Brian Noe Show' on NBC Sports Northwest from 12-3pm for tomorrow’s coverage live from Moda Center. 

 

Trail Blazers engage Minnesota Timberwolves in potential Jimmy Butler deal

Trail Blazers engage Minnesota Timberwolves in potential Jimmy Butler deal

NBA sources confirm the Portland Trail Blazers are one of as many as eight teams involved in negotiations for disgruntled Minnesota forward Jimmy Butler. 

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has no interest in bringing Butler into the team's training camp and threatening a bigger circus than already exists within the franchise, and has demanded that Wolves GM Scott Layden not only take calls on potential deals, but reach out to initiate conversations, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. 

In the Blazers calls with Minnesota, it was made clear that neither Damian Lillard nor CJ McCollum would be part of the discussions. 

Also to note, Jusuf Nurkic, whom the Blazers re-signed during the offseason, would not be in any trade scenario. Nurkic is ineligible to be traded until Jan. 15th. 

No teams have progressed very far with Minnesota in a deal for Butler, league sources tell NBC Sports Northwest.

The Blazers have had a long interest in Butler, which has been widely known and reported on, and a deal for the All-Star forward would mean they are taking a chance that he could become a one year rental. 

During a meeting with Tom Thibodeau last week, Butler reportedly highlighted the LA Clippers, the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets when demanding a trade, all teams that will have cap space to secure Butler on a long term  max contract when he becomes a free agent next season. 

NBA training camps open Monday with media day.

 

Radio play-by-play voice Brian Wheeler to open season on medical leave

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Portland Trail Blazers

Radio play-by-play voice Brian Wheeler to open season on medical leave

Portland Trail Blazers radio play-by-play voice Brian Wheeler will be on temporary medical leave when the 2018-19 NBA season begins, it was announced by Wheeler and team officials today. Beginning with the September 29 preseason opener against the Toronto Raptors in Vancouver British Columbia, NBC Sports Northwest (NBCSNW) Rip City Radio broadcaster Travis Demers will handle radio play-by-play duties.

“Continuing to steer my health in a positive direction is the top priority for me,” said Wheeler, who will call his 21st season behind the Trail Blazers microphone when he returns to the broadcast team. “I’m looking forward to being back in action as soon as I can.”

Co-host of the daily radio show “The Rip City Drive” alongside Chad Doing, Demers will be paired with color analyst and former Trail Blazers player Michael Holton for home games. For road games, Demers will team-up with Trail Blazers Insider Casey Holdahl. 

Demers has an extensive broadcasting pedigree in the Portland market. Before joining NBCSNW Rip City Radio in 2014, Demers was a host at ESPN Sports Radio 1080 “The Fan” for 10 years. He’s a familiar broadcast voice for University of Portland men’s basketball and baseball; and can also be heard calling high school sports on the Oregon Schools Activities Association (OSAA) Radio Network.  Since 2016, Demers has been a regular fill-in broadcaster for Hillsboro Hops Baseball. Demers has also covered the Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers for 15 seasons.

Trail Blazers games are helmed by radio flagship AM-620 NBCSNW Rip City Radio and extend around the region across the 20-stationTrail Blazers Radio Network. 

Blazers vs. Raptors in Vancouver will air on NBC Sports Northwest

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NBC Sports Northwest

Blazers vs. Raptors in Vancouver will air on NBC Sports Northwest

We are just over a week away from the Portland Trail Blazers tipping off its preseason slate. You can get your first look at the 2018-19 Blazers when they open the preseason on Saturday, September 29th vs. Toronto a part of the NBA Canada Series. The game will take place in Vancouver, B.C. and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Northwest courtesy of MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment). 

This will be your first look at Kawhi Leonard in a Toronto uniform as well (as long as he is healthy and ready to play).

[MORE ON PRESEASON] Three home games highlight Trail Blazers Preseason Schedule

Portland vs. Toronto will be the fourth preseason game played in Vancouver as part of the series. This is the first time the Trail Blazers have participated in the series and is the 10th appearance for the Raptors.

Here’s the full lineup of Blazers exhibition games you can catch on NBC Sports Northwest:

*Blazers at Raptors on Sept. 29th (Rogers Arena in Vancouver BC)

*Jazz at Blazers -  Sunday, Oct.7th (Moda Center)

*Suns at Blazers  - Wednesday, Oct.10th (Moda Center)

*Kings at Blazers - Friday, Oct. 12th (Moda Center)

You can also listen to all of the Blazers preseason games on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio AM-620.

Trail Blazers welcome 14th annual Fan Fest presented by Wells Fargo

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USA Today Images

Trail Blazers welcome 14th annual Fan Fest presented by Wells Fargo

The preseason showcase that Portland Trail Blazersfans eagerly await is back with a new, later 7 p.m. start time. The 14th Annual Trail Blazers FanFest Presented by Wells Fargo is set for Sunday, September 30 at Moda Center featuring new entertainment and fan engagement in the arena’s lower bowl, alongside a first-look scrimmage by the new 2018-19 Trail Blazers roster.

The free event features first-come, first-served general admission seating, with doors opening at 6 p.m. Special front-row seating in select courtside areas will be reserved for kids from community-based organizations. Parking on the Rose Quarter campus will be free, subject to space availability. Fans can download their free digital tickets online at trailblazers.com/fanfest.

Blazers Fan Fest presented by Wells Fargo is the annual chance for fans to get an up-close look at the upcoming Trail Blazers team with four quarters of competitive, intra-squad NBA action. Three-time All-Star and All-NBA point guard Damian Lillard returns for his seventh season with teammates CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic and more. Fans will get to interact with the Trail Blazers television and radio broadcast teams including Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd, Brooke Olzendam, Jordan Kent, Brian Wheeler and Michael Holton as they interview players and coaches on the new endzone entertainment stage.

Fans will also see performances by this year’s BlazerDancers and Stunt Team; and have loads of chances at free prizes and other giveaways from team mascot Blaze the Trail Cat. Starting in the second half of the scrimmage, fans will be encouraged to use their mobile devices to choose a Most Valuable Player from the Blazers Fan Fest presented by Wells Fargo scrimmage. Voting for the MVP will be found at the trailblazers.com/fanfest website and in the Trail Blazers Mobile App.