Enes Kanter to join WWE after he retires from basketball

Enes Kanter to join WWE after he retires from basketball

During his short stint in Portland, Enes Kanter talked about professional wrestling many times after shootaround and practice. He even joked about what his WWE name would be some day.  

Now, Kanter is letting the world know that he has a plan to join the WWE once he retires from the NBA.

The former Trail Blazers big man told The Athletic’s Shams Charania in a recent interview that he has been offered a contract from the WWE.

I’m definitely becoming a WWE wrestler for sure. I actually already have this offers from WWE, but like, I gotta finish my basketball career first. After I’m done, I’m most likely becoming one.” -- Former Portland Trail Blazers big man Enes Kanter

At just 27-years-old, Kanter has plenty of time before transitioning to pro wrestling.

Plus, he already has some experience in the WWE world. Last September, Kanter became the WWE 24/7 Champion when he beat R-Truth.

Kanter's interview with The Athletic wasn’t just about professional wrestling.

There was some Lillard Time as well.   

The current Boston Celtics center was quick to let Charania know that Damian Lillard’s ‘wave’ game-winner over Paul George to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games and advance to the Western Conference Semifinals was his favorite NBA moment of all-time.

“Last year’s Dame’s shot for sure,” Kanter said. “That’s, like, my favorite moment of my whole basketball career.”

Same, Enes. Same. 

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Fry and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon along with special guest former Portland Trail Blazer Steve Blake.

Carmelo Anthony urges the younger generation to act against racism

Carmelo Anthony urges the younger generation to act against racism

Ten-time NBA All-Star. Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist. 

There's a reason that Carmelo Anthony has become one of basketball's most beloved figures.

Now, he's using that influence for the greater good.

For the July issue of SLAM magazine, Melo served as a guest editor for a special edition of the publication surrounding social justice activism through the lens of basketball.

[RELATED]: Carmelo Anthony delivers poignant message as SLAM guest editor: 'ENOUGH is ENOUGH'

On the cover, Melo and his son Kiyan both wear black hoodies with the powerful words “It stops now,” written across the bottom. 

[Listen to the latest Talking’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

Among his contributions to the issue includes an open letter to "future kings and queens" about their role in advocating against the systemic racism against black people and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

P.E.A.C.E. youngin’—

You may feel stuck. You may feel lost. You may be confused. I’m sure you have so many questions. The unknown is what keeps you up at night, but I want you to know your thoughts are POWERFUL. Believe me when I say this, you will get through this fog and uncertainty. Know you can do anything you set your mind to. Learn to trust your instinct. Get rid of that doubt. challenge your fears, overcome them and make them your strengths. Your circumstances do not define who you are as a young man, especially a black boy. It’s hard for me to tell you not to be afraid. I’m still afraid.

The struggle of life is, and always will be, a struggle against your own weakness. Will you become cowardly and think, “I can’t do this. I’m certain to fail”? Or will you challenge the difficulties that lie ahead with the courage of your convictions and tell yourself, “I AM STRONG! oh, and by the way, I’M BLACK AND I’M PROUD”? You’re probably questioning whether or not you can become stronger still. Your destiny in life will vary greatly depending on the spirit that you maintain and where you allow it to take you. Just like anything else in life, there will be good and there will be evil. The key is in how you work to overcome that evil, and harness that energy to turn it into power.

Remember these words: LOVE, HELL and RIGHT. If you love it, you will go through hell and with time and patience you will come out right!!!!!!

As long as you know that, you will be able to pick out the chicken from the chicken bones. (I know, that’s deep.)

Growing up, I always thought it was cliché when people told me, “Life is what you make it” or “Be all you can be.”

Now that I’m wiser, I understand how much those words influenced me. I want you to know you are the future. No, really—you are the future!

P.E.A.C.E.

Anthony will continue to use basketball and his platform to fight against racial injustice while participating in the NBA's resumption in Orlando this month where he will surely continue to speak out. Additionally, some of his Blazers teammates such as Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will take advantage of the NBA allowing special messages on their jerseys.

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers select which social justice statements they'll be wearing

The new SLAM issue includes essays from sports legends like Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, and Spencer Haywood, as well as a WNBA roundtable with Sheryl Swoopes, Angel McCoughtry and Lexie Brown.

100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to charities supporting issues impacting the Black community. Fans who want to get their hands on the Melo edition can order The Social Justice Issue here.

[RELATED: Trail Blazers look to continue to advance discussions on social injustice in Orlando]

The NBA restart will give players not only a platform but also a voice

The NBA restart will give players not only a platform but also a voice

The countdown is on to the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season with the first slate of games tipping off July 30.

On the latest Talkin' Blazers podcast, NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon give us their thoughts and predictions about life in the Orlando Bubble as the Trail Blazers and the other 21 participating teams begin training camp this week.

Frye discusses how the NBA "are the leaders when it comes to their players’ voices" in professional sports.

The NBA has made it clear that they will continue the movement for equality, and do not want to detract from the current Black Lives Matter movement.

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers enter NBA's Bubble in Orlando-- everything you need to know

Frye believes that by having superstar NBA players together in one place to resume play, it will be like giving players a megaphone. He also feels that LeBron James will continue to lead by example.

For me, the NBA has by far and away shown that they are the leaders when it comes to their players’ voices, supporting everything to be whatever and whoever you want to be, and I think this is just another example of that. I think it’s giving the players a megaphone for their voice and for their beliefs… it's absolutely amazing. It’s empowering and it changes generations. -- Channing Frye on the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast

Fyre also added that LeBron James will be and has been instrumental in allowing players to feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts and opinions, saying, “[LeBron] is the leader of the NBA, whether people want to acknowledge that or not, he has set a precedent that you’re allowed to speak your mind on your truths and what you believe in.”

Ahead of traveling to Orlando, both Damian Lillard and Blazers coach Terry Stotts shared their vision in looking to continue the social injustice conversations.

Lillard, who attended a Black Live Matter march in Portland last month, believes the NBA has a real opportunity to use its platform to make impactful statements and continue to support the black community when play resumes.   

Obviously there will be a lot of eyes on us in Orlando. So I do agree with the fact that it’s an opportunity for us to make statements with the amount of people that’s going to be watching -- whether that’s together, before games, during games, after games, TV commercials, whatever that might be, I do see some opportunities in that.  -- Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard

The Blazers landed in Orlando Thursday evening. Following two days of quarantine, Portland will hit the ground running with their first team practice Saturday night. 

Life inside NBA bubble won't be boring from an outsider's perspective

Life inside NBA bubble won't be boring from an outsider's perspective

The Portland Trail Blazers arrived in Orlando, Florida Thursday evening and now will be quarantined for two days before training camp begins Saturday night in the NBA bubble.

With only one back-to-back, and a handful of matinee games locally, here's how Portland’s ‘regular season’ of eight games shakes out:

  • Friday, July 31 vs. Memphis Grizzlies (1:00p.m. Pacific Time)
     
  • Sunday, Aug. 2 vs. Boston Celtics (12:30pm Pacific Time)
     
  • Tuesday, Aug. 4 vs. Houston Rockets (6:00p.m. Pacific Time)
     
  • Thursday, Aug. 6 vs. Denver Nuggets (5:00p.m. Pacific Time)
     
  • Saturday, Aug. 8 vs. LA Clippers  (10:00a.m. Pacific Time)
     
  • Sunday, Aug. 9 vs. Philadelphia 76ers (3:30p.m. Pacific Time)
     
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11 vs. Dallas Mavericks (2:00p.m. Pacific Time)
     
  • Thursday, Aug. 13 vs. Brooklyn Nets (TBD)

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers enter NBA's Bubble in Orlando-- everything you need to know

As players look to get back in game shape during the NBA’s three-week training camp, we are all looking to keep up with life in the bubble.

And so far, looking at the social media posts from the bubble -- they have not disappointed.

With players, staff members, and media members all eager to share what life in the bubble looks like, it will almost feel as if we are down in Orlando.

And we are here for it!

ARRIVING IN THE BUBBLE:

View this post on Instagram

Ready

A post shared by Hassan Whiteside (@hassanwhiteside) on

 

[RELATED]: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum roast Gary Trent Jr. for airplane bathroom photoshoot

THIS IS SPOT ON...

Another big topic of conversation has been the food provided to the players and staff inside the bubble.

And, we should say -- the not-so appetizing food. 

[RELATED]: Damian Lillard will be proven right about players breaking the bubble

BUBBLE FOOD:

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum roast Gary Trent Jr. for airplane bathroom photoshoot

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum roast Gary Trent Jr. for airplane bathroom photoshoot

C’mon Gary….

Isn’t there a common understanding that IF you have to use the bathroom on an airplane, that you get in do your business and leave as quickly as possible?

Well, turns out Portland Trail Blazers second-year player Gary Trent Jr. got a little bored on the coast to coast flight from Portland to Orlando and decided to do turn said bathroom into a studio.

In his words, “long flight.”

View this post on Instagram

Long flight 👺🤣✈️

A post shared by G Trent (@gtrentjr) on

Gary.......... 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

I mean, it is around a six hour flight from Portland to Orlando, so the likelihood of having to use the bathroom is indeed higher. Turns out there was a line behind him waiting to use the facilities.

Teammates Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Zach Collins, Nassir Little and Anfernee Simons all called out GTJ on the situation.

“Bra this why I had to wait to use the damn bathroom?” - Damian Lillard

“Bruh something wrong with you.” — CJ McCollum

“That 3rd photo got me weak.” — Anfernee Simons

This is what we were waiting on!?” — Zach Collins

“Im tryna take a piss and you in there doin this.” — Nassir Little

Maybe GTJ learned his lesson for next time...

The Trail Blazers landed in Orlando, Flordia and arrived at their hotel (Disney's Yacht Club) on Thursday evening. Friday is a quarantine day and then the Blazers will begin practice on Saturday.

Read more on head coach Terry Stotts' plans for practices/scrimmages before Portland's first game on July 31.

Trail Blazers enter NBA's Bubble in Orlando-- everything you need to know

Trail Blazers enter NBA's Bubble in Orlando-- everything you need to know

Twenty-two NBA teams will soon all enter in the Orlando, Florida bubble to resume the 2019-20 season where they will spend a minimum of five weeks at the Walt Disney World campus.

The resumption of the season in the bubble starts now for the Trail Blazers.

The Blazers landed in Orlando at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Thursday. The team will now start to settle into their new digs as the initial protocol of being quarantined for the first two days begins.  

And Zach Collins will be taking us along for the ride!

The NBA’s bubble has already proven to be a fascinating situation. After seeing Nuggets shooting guard Troy Daniels’ food options in the bubble, social media erupted about the not-so-appealing dish.  

Thursday it was reported that the NBA has now partnered with a handful of restaurants to provide delivery services to the bubble. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

The Blazers will get their first chance to practice as a team on Saturday as their three-week training camp begins.  

Portland will also play in three scrimmages before the Blazers tip-off their eight 'regular season' slate:

  • Thursday, July 23 vs. Indiana at 12:30 p.m. PT
  • Sunday, July 26 vs. Toronto at 3:00 p.m. PT
  • Tues, July 28 vs. Oklahoma City at 3:00 p.m. PT 

The scrimmages will have the look and feel of a typical NBA game.

“The only thing I know about the scrimmages is that they're going to be games,” Blazer coach Terry Stotts said earlier this week. “They're going to be 48-minute games [with]referees. So it's not going to be an informal scrimmage... It's going to be conducted just like a regular game.”

Teams started to arrive in Orlando on Tuesday this week with all 22 teams scheduled to enter the bubble by the end of the week.

The Clippers, the Thunder, the Celtics, the Pelicans, the Kings, the Grizzlies, the Heat, the Wizards, the Jazz, the Nuggets, the Nets, and the Suns all touched down in Orlando earlier this week.

Check out the quick links below to get up to speed on all things Trail Blazers as Portland gets set to tip-off its three-week training:

 

CJ McCollum gets candid about race in America

CJ McCollum gets candid about race in America

Racism has taken a seat front and center in the 2020 news cycle.

The killing of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement sparked countless riots and protests across the country. Protests that continue more than a month after his passing. 

The protests, coupled with the Black Lives Matter movement, have forced many of us to have the uncomfortable conversation about racism in this country. 

Among the many having the conversation is Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum.

"What's happened in the world now has given us a chance to have those uncomfortable conversations," said McCollum in a recent NBA roundtable, "I'm a black man. I've faced racism. I've gone up against racism, but I still didn't know enough. I still wasn't as educated as I would like to be. I just tried to watch as many movies as I could, as many documentaries as I could, read as many books as I could so that when I have those conversations, I'm not just biased. I'm not talking about my experiences, I'm talking about the experiences of my ancestors, the experiences of everyone."

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

While, on the surface, we have come so far since the end of segregation and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is very apparent that we still have so far to go.

As a way to help educate and bridge the gap, NBA stars Blake Griffin, Harrison Barnes, and Kyle Korver recently paired with McCollum to have a candid conversation about race in America. 

The conversation was aired in its entirety on the Excel Sports Management Instagram page (listen to the full interview below). 

While each of us has a unique perspective and experience in regards to racism, it was incredibly powerful to hear from these four.

McCollum, in particular, struck a chord, as he shared stories about race and his experience in Portland.

"Fast forward to being drafted to Portland, Oregon, it's a place that is extremely white," said McCollum. "Having gone to the African American museums and we learn more about Oregon's history, you'll find out that it wasn't too long ago where all the blacks were forced to leave... This was a place that wasn't big on racism in terms of slavery, but they believed that this should be an all-white place."

Growing up in Oregon, I've learned a lot, I've seen a lot. There is a city called Lake Oswego, they call it Lake No Negro, in a sense as a running joke because the only black people that live there now either play professionally, work for Nike, work for Intel... it's like a running joke. I never really truly understood it until I researched the history of Oregon. - CJ McCollum on race in America

Not only does Oregon have a sad history with the African American population, but the state also held Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II.

While race relations may be a stain on Oregon's history, it's an important part none the less. It is something that you look back on, learn about, and hope that your knowledge helps prevent us from ever repeating.  

It doesn't change the past, but the knowledge can help heal the wound.

As a black man, McCollum has a perspective that many of the fans who root for him can't understand. McCollum also happens to be engaged to a white woman. It's something that he is thankful for because it has allowed him to better understand a race experience wholly different than his own.

As a person who's marrying a white woman, I have a very good understanding of white race, I have a very good understanding of black race. My job as a guy who plays in the NBA, my job for my neighborhood and where I come from is to try to bridge the gap to allow people to understand my perspective, but also sharing my wife's perspective, her family's perspective. -- CJ McCollum on race in America  

McCollum also talked about how perception can create racism even if you don't know it. How people have an idea in their head of how a certain person, a certain race is supposed to act and when someone doesn't conform to that stereotype it throws people off. 

"I think there's a lot of preconceived notions as a black man on how we're supposed to behave, how we behave historically, how we act," said McCollum. "When you're a 'proper' black man, it catches people off guard, they're surprised. 'Oh, he's so well-spoken. He's so this, he's so that. He's so educated.' It's almost as if assume that since you're a black man you wouldn't be... it happens far too often."

However, it's not a one-way street, and McCollum admits it. As a young black man, McCollum said that he had many false narratives about the white community. Ideas of how white people should act, think, speak, etc. It wasn't until attending Lehigh University, and predominantly white university, that McCollum learned that his ideas were wrong. 

My perception has changed because of my experiences. I even had some biases or racism toward whites based on what I was taught, based on what I seen growing up, based on what you hear in the neighborhood. Then you go to an all-white school and you realize a lot of those things aren't true. There are great black individuals in this world, and there are ones who aren't doing things the way they're supposed to do. The same thing goes for the white race. -- CJ McCollum on race in America 

This is why the conversation about race in America is so important.

McCollum himself had his preconceived notions wiped away through experience and learning. 

If you just act like an ostrich and bury your head in the sand, you'll never get a chance to listen and learn from someone else's experience. 

You may have negative stereotypes in your head about certain populations and not even realize it. But through listening and learning, you, too, can begin to bridge the gap and shift the narrative.

McCollum is an NBA superstar. A person with a platform that millions of people can listen to. McCollum has done his part, he took to the time to speak. 

Now it's time for us to listen and learn, and hopefully help create the change needed to make the world a better place. 

Trail Blazers are bubble bound

Trail Blazers are bubble bound

The Trail Blazers are on their way to resume the 2019-20 season in the Orlando bubble.

All 22 participating teams will be in Orlando by the end of the week after teams started arriving at the Walt Disney World campus on Tuesday.

The Trail Blazers should be able to settle in at their Disney Yacht Club hotel by 8:00 p.m. local Orlando time.

Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard said goodbye to his fiancée and his son Dame Jr. at the airport this morning. The Blazers will spend a minimum of 5 weeks in the bubble.

 

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers return to play schedule in Orlando released

The Clippers, Thunder, Celtics, Pelicans, Kings, Grizzlies, Heat, Wizards, Jazz, Nuggets, Nets, and Suns all touched down in Orlando earlier this week.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

As for Portland, the Trail Blazers will now quarantine for the next day and a half before training camp practice begins on Saturday evening in Orlando. We will hear from the Blazers via a Zoom call following their first practice.   

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers Coach Terry Stotts maps out Portland's practices in Orlando 

Former Blazer Patty Mills will donate every cent of NBA salary to fight racism

Former Blazer Patty Mills will donate every cent of NBA salary to fight racism

Patty Mills wants to put an end to racism and he’s willing to donate his remaining NBA salary to do so. 

When the NBA restarts in Orlando, the San Antonio Spurs guard will participate, but with the goal of tackling racial inequality. Mills, an Australian native, will donate the approximately $1,017,818.54 he earns in the eight games scheduled at the Disney World campus to Black Lives Matter organizations. 

"I'm playing in Orlando because I don't want to leave any money on the table that could be going directly to Black communities," Mills said in the video. 

Mills, who played in Portland for two seasons from 2009-11, said the salary will be going to Black Lives Matter Australia, Black Deaths in Custody, and We Got You, a campaign he helped organize that is dedicated to ending racism in sport in Australia.

For the first time in my career, I have white people — teammates, old teammates, old coaches — telling me they never knew the level of racism in sport, especially in Australia. They haven’t felt comfortable asking me, as a black Australian, about racism before. Which speaks to the impact and value of the Black Lives Matter movement and the millions who have participated in protests around the world.”

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

The NBA’s commitment to social justice causes will also be prominent in the league's return. The NBA is allowing players to make personalized statements on their jerseys through the remainder of the season.

Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard has chosen the statement “How Many More?” according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports. Lillard’s backcourt mate, CJ McCollum, will use his jersey to make a statement about education reform in the Black community. 

Teams are slowly arriving to the NBA bubble this week. The Trail Blazers will arrive on Thursday around 7:00 p.m. local time and are among eight arrivals of the 22 teams participating in the league’s restart. 

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers Coach Terry Stotts maps out Portland's practices in Orlando 

Jusuf Nurkic announces Bosnian Beast clothing line

Jusuf Nurkic announces Bosnian Beast clothing line

Jusuf Nurkic might just be a fashion icon. 

The Blazers big man hasn't played in a game since March 25, 2019 when he broke his leg against the Brooklyn Nets, but he has been making great use of some of his spare time.

While hitting the rehab trail, Nurkic was an ever-present body on the Portland bench. 

Fans loved seeing Nurk in the arena, but they also loved to see what he was going to be wearing. 

From the stylized suits to his graphic tees, Nurkic was always dressed to impress. 

Now he is taking that sense of fashion he has put on display for years in Portland and turning it into his own brand. 

On Wednesday, Nurkic took to social media to announce the Bosnian Beast clothing line. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].

For a very limited time, July 10th through the 13th to be exact, fans can head to TheBosnianBeast.com to buy their favorite Nurk merch.

While the news of the new line was great to hear, those with a keen eye may have noticed Nurkic dropping hints on social media in recent weeks and wearing some of the merchandise during workouts. 

Something tells me Nurkic is gonna have no problem pushing his new product in Rip City.