Damian Lillard becomes first All-Star to perform on the NBA Saturday Night Stage

Damian Lillard becomes first All-Star to perform on the NBA Saturday Night Stage

Rip City has been anticipating this performance since it was announced last week that Damain Lillard would be performing on the music stage during NBA All-Star Weekend. 

Chicago’s Native rapper Common introduced DAME D.O.L.L.A.

“I’m proud to present not only an NBA All-Star, but this is an artist… Show some love to my guy, DAME D.O.L.L.A.,” Common yelled proudly into the microphone.  

DAME D.O.L.L.A performed ‘Money Ball’ featuring Jeremih followed by, ‘Run it up’ featuring Lil Wayne as Lillard became the first NBA player to perform on the NBA Saturday Night musical stage.

'Money Ball' can be found on Dame's latest album "Big D.O.L.L.A," while 'Run It Up' is on "Confirmed."

Lil Wayne didn’t make his way to the stage until midway through ‘Run it Up.’ Between Lillard and Lil Wayne’s presence on the stage, it looked like the performance brought the house down at the United Center.

Lillard also paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant by wearing a ‘Mamaba Forever’ jacket on stage.

After the show, Lillard took to the Trail Blazers Twitter account to share his thoughts on being on the big stage in Chicago, but not the typical big stage he is used to performing on during All-Star weekend.

All-Star Saturday-- it was a blast. It was a great time. I hope everybody enjoyed the show. I felt great out there and it was a great time. – Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard on his Dame D.O.L.L.A. performance

Re-living Damian Lillard’s shot still gives us goosebumps

Re-living Damian Lillard’s shot still gives us goosebumps

During the Portland-Houston first round playoff series in 2014, three of the six games went to overtime.

The entire series was a classic in its own right, let alone adding in Damian Lillard’s incredible Game 6 buzzer-beater.

The Rockets had won the regular season series, 3-1 that year. Both teams scored over 100 points in each of the four games.

The big question is: How was this almost six years ago?

Game Summaries heading into Game 6:

GAME 1 - Portland 122, Houston 120 (OT)

GAME 2 - Portland 112, Houston 10

GAME 3 - Houston 121, Portland 116 (OT)

GAME 4 - Portland 123, Houston 120 (OT)

GAME 5 - Houston 108, Portland

One thing is certain: Rip City Faithful misses this 2013-14 team.

Whether it was LaMarcus Aldridge, Nic Batum, Wesley Matthews, Robin Lopez or Thomas Robinson, Blazers fans shared their thoughts on how much fun it was to watch this squad.


Lillard, along with Aldridge, helped guide the Blazers to the Western Conference semifinals for the first time in 14 years.

Aldridge had a career season, winning three Western Conference Player of the Week honors, while also putting up career highs in several statistical categories including:

  • Points per game
  • Rebounds per game,
  • Free-throw percentage
  • Defensive rebounds
  • Double-doubles

Rewatching this game had Trail Blazers fans thinking about the what ifs.

What if Aldridge had stayed and not left for San Antonio in the summer of 2015?

What if…

But then, of course, there were all the feels once again with Lillard draining the three-point over Chandler Parsons with nine tenths remaining on the clock.

Lillard finished with 25 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Aldridge added 30 points and 13 rebounds.

Damian Lillard also gave Rip City their first taste of a game-winning three that nobody will ever forget.

This is the defender Carmelo Anthony "couldn't f*** around with"

This is the defender Carmelo Anthony "couldn't f*** around with"

Everyone is doing what they can to pass the time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Carmelo Anthony is no different. And while being stuck at home is less than ideal, Carmelo has been using his Instagram influence to kick back and drink wine with close friends.

In his latest Instagram live session, which he calls “#WhatsInYourGlass”, Carmelo was joined by entrepreneur, author, speaker, wine critic and Internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk aka “Garyvee”.

During this hour-long conversation filled mostly with talking about win and drinking it, too, Garyvee asked Melo a question that made him stop and think: “Who was the toughest defender you ever faced?”

His answer? Metta World Peace.

You could’t f*** around with him. You had to GO! You wasn’t-- like imma take time my time imma get into the game.. no. It become, for me, more mental than physical on how to beat him.

Melo also explained how he had problems with “smaller” guys on the court, too, and that the referees wouldn't call some flops that were going on in the game when he was trying to gain a position in the low post. Melo also revealed that ultimately the way to stopping a great player is team defense.

If you want the latest in Melo #WhatsInYourGlass content, head over to his Instagram page and give him a follow.

Anfernee Simons joins Jr. NBA at Home initiative

Anfernee Simons joins Jr. NBA at Home initiative

Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons is the latest NBA player to get involved with Jr. NBA at Home.

The program is a free interactive digital content series that provides basketball drills featuring both NBA and WNBA players that can be completed individually as well as in limited space. The series looks to inspire youth around the world to stay active in a healthy and safe way.  

Simons demonstrated a seated dribbling drill for kids to do at home in their own living room.

With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping families at home and kids unable to play with their friends and teammates, Jr. NBA at Home is hoping these videos will inspire youngsters to continue to work on their game and connect with the NBA.

So far, the NBA has published dozens of Jr. NBA at Home videos. Current NBA and WNBA players have rallied behind the initiative including Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari, Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd, NBA legend Muggsy Bogues, and now Simons is the latest player to get involved. 

Memories from Damian Lillard's "The Shot" game winner vs. Houston

Memories from Damian Lillard's "The Shot" game winner vs. Houston

Everybody remembers Damian Lillard’s “.9” shot. Just say “point-nine” to a Trail Blazer fan and you get a smile.

It was Damian Lillard taking “Dame Time” or “Lillard Time” (whichever you prefer) to a national level. And it was his first big moment on a truly national stage -- the clinching game of a playoff series.

But it’s difficult to understand the true dramatic impact of that shot without watching the entire rollercoaster of a game. And that opportunity will come tonight (6 o’clock) on NBC Sports Northwest.

It was May 2, 2014 and the Trail Blazers had been eliminated from the playoffs in the first round six straight times and hadn’t advanced to the second round in 14 years. The Rockets, with Dwight Howard and James Harden, were heavily favored to win the series.

But the Trail Blazers stunned everyone by going into Houston and capturing the first two games of the series on the road. But when the best-of-seven affair returned to Portland, the Rockets got a split in two games that went into overtime. Then Houston won a home game to send the series back to Portland.

For Trail Blazer fans, accustomed to seeing their team lose in the first round, the situation was dire. If their team couldn’t win a Game 6 at home to close out the series, could it possibly win a Game 7 in Houston?

Lillard made sure it didn’t go that far with his long three-pointer off an in-bounds pass with less than a second to play -- a dramatic moment that turned Moda Center into a cauldron of ecstatic emotion made only louder after Lillard grabbed the PA microphone and shouted “Rip City!”

Just prior to that, Chandler Parsons had put the Rockets up 98-96 with a reverse layup that froze the clock at “.9.”

And at that point, to all the world, the Trail Blazers seemed destined to make a trip back to Houston to fritter away what was once a 3-1 series lead and lose another first-round series.

But as he has done since his arrival in Portland, Damian Lillard made a difference -- as the horn went off ending the game.

It was the first time we’d seen such a thing in the playoffs. But it wouldn’t be the last.

Why resuming NBA play soon creates a logistical nightmare

Why resuming NBA play soon creates a logistical nightmare

Ever since Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, the NBA has not been the same.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver suspended the 2019-2020 season until further notice and has been seeking out any viable solution to get the NBA back on our television screens as soon as possible. 

One leading idea being tossed around league circles is having the entirety of the NBA postseason be held in Vegas with no fans in attendance but make the games available to watch on national broadcasts. This route would necessitate all NBA players and staff to self-quarantine for two to three weeks before entering the Las Vegas bubble to create a safe zone from the pandemic. 

On the latest Talkin' Blazers podcast, hosts Dan Sheldon and Channing Frye were joined by NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh to speculate on the logistical nightmare created by the need for players to self-quarantine. 

The idea of quaratining an NBA player in self-isolation for two to three weeks before entering the so-called 'bubble', that would take every NBA player [to] not get the Amazon delivery that comes to your door. It means not going to the grocery. It means not anyone in your house, your family, cannot go to the grocery [and] can't go outside and interact with anyone for two to three weeks ...It would take so much more than I think we realize. - Tom Haberstroh

Channing Frye shared his own take on the situation as a former NBA player himself.

What I've been hearing is that we are not going be able to watch basketball the same. Let's say it did go to Vegas, let's say they got all this done... What is your opinion on how many reporters will be able to come in? Like how are we even gonna watch it because then those people have to be quarantined. - Channing Frye

The former NBA Champion then brought up how many people the elite players come into contact with that will also need to be quarantined.

Let's say a guy like me who's just me as a player... I don't have a personal trainer. I don't have a nutritionist. I don't have a chef. I don't have a bodywork guy. You're talking about a guy like LeBron who has a chef, a bodywork guy, a trainer, a somebody else person. He has like four or five people just for basketball not including his publicist. Not including his day-to-day person so even you're relying on these guys to not [contract the virus]. The security would be unbeliveable. 

Adam Silver has stated that a decision will not be made until May at the earliest, but the NBA and NBAPA are assessing multiple coronavirus testing options that may make playing again a reality. 

You can listen to the full episode below.

How Carmelo Anthony stays prepared amidst uncertainty of the NBA season

How Carmelo Anthony stays prepared amidst uncertainty of the NBA season

With the NBA season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and NBA commissioner Adam Silver saying a decision won't be made until May 1 at the absolute earliest, many questions linger about the rest of the year.

Most of all, when and if the 2019-20 NBA season will be returning. The uncertainty has caused personnel around the league to be patient while the NBA and NBAPA gather all the information they can. But unlike coaches and front office personnel, players need to stay in shape without access to their normal athletic training equipment and a target date on when they'll resume play on the basketball court. 

One of these players is Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony, who knows a thing or two about waiting around for an opportunity to get back on the court. He sat out of the NBA for nearly a calendar year after being let go by Houston early in the 2018-19 season.

On an Instagram Live with his Banana Boat buddy Chris Paul, Melo was asked how he is staying mentally prepared for the rest of the current season. 

First of all, it's very hard...due to the unknown. We don't know if what's going to happen. We don't know when it's going to happen. We don't know how it's going to happen. So that's the hard part is dealing with the unknown. You don't know how hard to go. You don't know how many days a week to go, it's just different things and different ways that you got to play with. But you also got to stay on point, you got to stay sharp.

However, with the country in necessary quarantine, Melo cannot go to the gym so he brought the gym to him. 

We done turned the house into a... gym. We got bikes, we got all the weights...kettlebells, dumbells that you can imagine. Stretching machines... everything that you could possibly need here. So I've been keeping up to speed with that.

Whether he has his trademark workout hoodies isn't confirmed, but should be a given. 

In his first season as a Blazer, Melo has averaged 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and started in each appearance. 

When the season was suspended, the Trail Blazers were 3.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. If the league decides to head straight into the postseason, Portland's season could be over, but some are in favor of a play-in tournament for the final playoff spot, including Damian Lillard. 

[RELATED: Damian Lillard suggests NCAA Tournament format if NBA play resumes]

On this day in sports history, Carmelo Anthony leads Syracuse to a National Championship

On this day in sports history, Carmelo Anthony leads Syracuse to a National Championship

The date is April 7, 2003.

The Syracuse Orange (30-5) lead by 6-foot-8 freshman sensation Carmelo Anthony, sporting a thick orange head band, have a date with the Kansas Jayhawks (30-8) in the NCAA National Championship in New Orleans, Louisiana.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Syracuse - Carmelo Anthony, Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, Craig Forth and Kueth Duany.

Kansas - Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich, Jeff Graves, Aaron Miles and Keith Langford.

There were no freshman jitters for the young star from Baltimore, Maryland. 

The Cuse jumped out to an early 53-42 halftime lead. However, the hot shooting did not carry over into the second half with Kansas outscoring Syracuse in the second half. But in the end, Melo pulled through for his team. He lead all scorers with 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in an 81-78 National Championship win. 

During his one and only season at Syracuse, Melo averaged 22.2 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game and was later selected as the No. 3 overall draft pick in the 2003 NBA Draft to the Denver Nuggets. 

The rest is history.

New Orleans will always hold a special place in Melo's heart. A National Championship and an (second) NBA debut.

[RELATED]: Carmelo Anthony reminisces on 'special' Trail Blazers debut

How to Watch: Damian Lillard’s "The Shot" game-winner vs. Houston

How to Watch: Damian Lillard’s "The Shot" game-winner vs. Houston

The legendary 0.9 shot…

Trail Blazers fans will never forget that day. It was May 2, back in 2014 with the Blazers battling the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of their first round playoff series.

Portland held a 3-2 series lead.

With 0.9 seconds remaining in regulation and the Rockets leading 98-96, the Blazers were looking to lock up the series and avoid a Game 7 in Houston.

On the inbounds play, Damian Lillard curled off a Wesley Matthews screen, clapped for the ball from Nicholas Batun, and then caught it and elevated over Chandler Parsons before time expired... Nothing but net.  

The rest is history.

In just his second year in the league, Lillard showed the heavily favored Rockets  what time it was as the Trail Blazers advanced.

[RELATED]: Damian Lillard's game winner vs. Houston wasn't the original play call

Lillard’s memorable buzzer-beater was followed by another very memorable moment of him grabbing the microphone from Blazers’ public address announcer Mark Mason, and yelling out in excitement:

“Riiiiiiiiip Ciiiiiiiitttyyyyyy!!!!”

The Trail Blazers advanced to the Western Conference semifinals for the first time in 14 years.

And everyone knew what time it was…

Re-live the 0.9 shot and the entire game with the rest of Rip City tonight on NBC Sports Northwest at 6:00pm.

Starters for Blazers vs. Rockets Game 6 2014

HOUSTON

Chandler Parsons

Dwight Howard

Omer Asik

Patrick Beverley

James Harden

PORTLAND

LaMarcus Aldridge

Robin Lopez

 Damian Lillard

 Nic Batum

Wesley Matthews

HOW TO WATCH: Lillard’s game winner vs. Houston

WHEN: Tuesday, April 7 at 6:00pm 

Channel: NBC Sports Northwest, Channel 737 (Portland), 617 (Seattle)

CHANNEL FINDER

Stream the game here.  

NBC Sports Northwest is airing 12 Trail Blazers Classic Games over the next few weeks.

The full schedule can be found here.

CJ McCollum names his top three NBA players today

CJ McCollum names his top three NBA players today

Ranking the best players in the NBA has been a discussion as old as the league, but now CJ McCollum has shared his opinion. 

In an episode of The Boardroom, the Trail Blazers guard was asked who the best three players in the NBA are at this moment and told to put them in order.

He knew the top three pretty quickly but needed some time for how to rank them.

I'd go Bron....Kawhi. Giannis.

McCollum thinks that LeBron James "has solidified himself as the best player right now" and even said that he would have his vote for the MVP award.

[He] makes his team better. Like you take him off that Laker team you see what happened last year you know what I'm saying. Like put him on another team. If you change roles that's how I look at like most valuable player. 

The choice of LeBron as the game's best player isn't a controversial one, but to say he's also the MVP is. Before the abrupt suspension of the NBA season due to COVID-19, reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was easily the favorite to win the award averaging 29.6 points (3rd in the NBA) and 13.7 rebounds (3rd in the NBA) on the NBA's best team while also recording a PER of 31.63 (1st in the NBA, 7th all-time). 

LeBron has been great in his own right with 25.7 points (11th in the NBA) and 10.6 assists (1st in the NBA) but the Lakers have a worse record than the Bucks and James has Anthony Davis as his team's second-best player who is arguably a top-five player in the world as well. 

With his choice for the second-best player, CJ chooses Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard who led the Toronto Raptors to an NBA Championship just last season, which included winning four straight games in the Eastern Conference Finals against Giannis, CJ's third-best player. 

McCollum took Kevin Durant out of the running because of his Achilles tear suffered in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals.