Get to know (and get ready to salute) the Admiral, Admiral Schofield

Get to know (and get ready to salute) the Admiral, Admiral Schofield

According to the dictionary, “Admiral” has two definitions:

- A commander of a fleet or naval squadron, or a naval officer of very high rank.

- A butterfly that has dark wings with bold colorful markings.

Both these definitions are relative when describing Admiral Schofield. 

Imagine a 6’6” 241 pound guard/small forward who has the body of a small truck that’s paired with a silky smooth jump shot. A threat everywhere on the court, literally, everywhere. Baseline to baseline, sideline to sideline. The ability to hit a corner three on one end, block your shot on the other, and then lead a fast break that turns into a ferocious dunk. He’s the guy you want on your team and hate him if he’s not. 

This is Admiral Schofield.

The Tennessee legend, who played all four years in that signature orange color, was a leader since stepping onto the Knoxville campus. In his first season (2015-16), the Vols hired new coach Rick Barnes and finished 15-19 that year, 12th in the SEC conference. Schofield averaged 7.6 points and 4.0 rebounds in just 18.7 minutes per game. The next year, Tennessee improved but not by much, finishing 9th in the SEC with a 16-16 record. By the time Schofield was a junior, his numbers improved all over the court and the Vols found themselves on top of the SEC finishing first in the conference with a 26-9 overall record and going as far as the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Schofield went through the NBA Draft evaluation process after his junior year but ultimately stayed with the Vols for one more season. And boy did he have an impact. Tennessee flirting with the No. 1 overall ranking in NCAA division I men’s basketball all last season, had a deep NCAA Tournament run, and Schofield made himself into quite the NBA prospect: 

- Averaged 16.5 points and shot 42% from three-point range; 

- A finalist for the 2019 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award; 

- 2019 Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year Award Midseason Team;

- A No. 1 Top -10 play on SportsCenter

- 2019 All-SEC First Team (Coaches)

(Just to name a few…)

He was the admiral in Tennessee. 

His style of play is that of “a butterfly with dark wings and bold beautiful markings.” A multi-faceted type of game: not afraid to have the ball in his hands, can overpower you in the paint, but also pull up with a smooth free throw line jumper. But what sets him apart from the rest of the field every time he steps onto the court is his ability to shoot beyond the arc. He is the type of person, not just player, willing to do it all. He has the tenacious mentality to grab an offensive rebound and go right up with it. The in-your-face dark wings with the bold, fearless jump shot butterfly that he is.

This is Admiral Schofield. A guy who can do everything and the little things:

Should the Blazers salute the admiral if he is still on the board at No. 25 on this Thursday’s 2019 NBA Draft? Absolutely. 

 

Headstrong: How Channing Frye emerged from the fog

Headstrong: How Channing Frye emerged from the fog

The month of November is Men's Health Awareness Month. ‘The Movember Foundation’ uses November to bring awareness to various men’s physical and mental health issues, as well as support to those tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and more.

Throughout this month, NBC Sports will be releasing numerous videos that feature sports superstars discussing the importance of mental health as well as how they approach the subject. Former NBA star, and former Portland Trail Blazer Channing Frye, was one such athlete that participated in the nationwide project.

Sometimes I’d go sit outside on the porch, play some sad music, kill two bottles of wine, and just cry for hours

- Channing Frye

Channing Frye is a mountain of a man. At seven feet tall and 255lbs, he hardly blends in. That size, coupled with his skills on the court, earned him a long career in the NBA. Fans tend to look at athletes as super-human, but that just isn’t the reality. While Frye was shining in the bright lights on the NBA's biggest stage, he was in a dark space on the inside. As he put it, he was in a fog, a space where nothing made him happy:

When you’re in the league, or you’re a professional player, you really feel immune to a lot of things. But for me at that time, I felt like I just had a weight on my chest. I felt like there was no reason to smile. No reason to get up in the morning.

Frye was dealt a blow at the beginning of the 2016-17 NBA season that left him reeling. The Indians were hosting the Cubs in the World Series when Frye got a call that his mom's health was taking a turn for the worse. He immediately flew to California to be with her, and she passed away shortly thereafter. A few weeks later, Frye got the news that his father had also passed away.

After my mom passed, that was like a swift kick to the nuts. Then, like getting elbow dropped by Macho Man Randy Savage, was when my dad died on Thanksgiving.

This series of events left Frye in that fog he talked about. He struggled to get out to bed, struggled to find motivation, and struggled to smile. But Frye eventually reached a place where he realized he couldn’t continue his downward spiral and needed help to get his mind back on track.

It took a lot for me, not only to have some self-awareness to say you need to get help to stop going in the circle, but to be like, hey, you can’t do this alone.

Frye opened up about his battle with depression and mental health in an article with The Players' Tribune. Mental health never used to be a thing athletes talked about. It was something they bottled up inside, afraid of the stigma associated with going public. But times have changed, and more and more athletes are coming forward because they know they can’t fight the battle alone.
 

You can hear more from Channing Frye in the video above.

Trail Blazers transfer Moses Brown and Jaylen Hoard back to G League

Trail Blazers transfer Moses Brown and Jaylen Hoard back to G League

Friday morning, the Portland Trail Blazers announced that they have completed the two-way transfers of center Moses Brown and forward Jaylen Hoard back to the G League’s Texas Legends.

It was on November 9th that the two rookies were recalled from the G League to join the Blazers.

Players on two-way contracts can spend up to 45 days on NBA rosters while spending the rest of their time in the G-League. The Blazers had initially assigned both Brown and Hoard to the G-League's Texas Legends back on October 27th.

[RELATED]: Moses Brown makes his NBA debut

In two appearances with Portland this season, Brown played a total of five minutes, recording three rebounds. Hoard appeared in one game and finished with one rebound in one minute of action.

The Texas Legends (1-2) will visit the Iowa Wolves on Saturday.

Dribble, dribble, dribble: What Shaq & Barkley think about Melo to Portland

Dribble, dribble, dribble: What Shaq & Barkley think about Melo to Portland

Carmelo to Portland. By now you've heard. 

Dwight Jaynes will tell you why it's a good move, Tom Haberstroh will proceed with caution and Jamie Hudson and Mike Richman will break it all down for you.

But really, you're all wondering: What do Shaq and Charles Barkley think of the move?

Well, you're in luck:

Barkley's point about the ball being dominated by Trail Blazer guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is a fair point. It will be an interesting transition to see how Melo finds a way to mesh with the duo who has played their whole career together and how those pieces come together inside Terry Stotts system. 

Haberstroh: 3rd time the charm? Thoughts on Carmelo Anthony to Portland

Haberstroh: 3rd time the charm? Thoughts on Carmelo Anthony to Portland

For Carmelo Anthony’s last two stops in the Western Conference, the idea of Melo was more appealing than actual Melo. Now, Portland takes a chance.

Maybe third time’s the charm?

Interestingly enough, Portland provides a similar opportunity as his stints in OKC and Houston: come in and embrace the third-wheel role. OKC had Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Houston had James Harden and Chris Paul. Portland has Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

The difference is that Melo hasn’t played in a year and doesn’t have the defensive safety nets of Steven Adams and Clint Capela. The Blazers traded Moe Harkless and Meyers Leonard this off-season because they thought Hassan Whiteside could be that guy, but they rank 19th in defense, compared to 14th in offense. They need stoppers. Anthony is not that guy. Especially not after a year on the sidelines.

Best case scenario, Anthony comes off the bench and provides instant offense like Seth Curry did last season.

Worst case scenario, it doesn’t work, they move on. Houston did just that and got to the Western Conference semifinals.

Portland wants an offensive spark, but they need defenders. As long as Melo isn’t portrayed as the savior, he can help. But we said the same thing about OKC and Houston.

Read More on the Melo signing:

Trail Blazers to sign 'Melo' -- and let me tell you why it's a good idea

Social media reacts to the report of Blazers signing Carmelo Anthony

Throwback: Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum supported Carmelo to Portland in the Summer of 2017

Trail Blazers to sign 'Melo' -- and let me tell you why it's a good idea

Trail Blazers to sign 'Melo' -- and let me tell you why it's a good idea

Look at it this way, Trail Blazer fans – what does your team have to lose by signing Carmelo Anthony to a non-guaranteed contract?

More games? Well, if Portland doesn’t solve its power-forward problems, that’s going to happen, anyway.

And spare me the hand-wringing about Anthony’s defense. There wasn’t going to be some sort of miracle move that was going to transform this team into a rabid pack of guard dogs at the defensive end of the floor.

The Trail Blazers plan to sign Anthony – it hasn’t happened yet because there are logistics, including a physical, that need to be taken care of before he can actually sign – to that non-guaranteed contract. That means if something good doesn’t happen, he can be sent down the road with no great financial loss.

Think of him as a "rent-to-own."

But let’s keep it real about the Trail Blazers right now: the loss of Zach Collins has left a gaping hole at the power forward spot. And at the same time, Portland is struggling to score. Frankly, there is little chance before the return of Jusuf Nurkic that this team is going to somehow figure out a way to consistently hold a team to fewer points than it is scoring. So why not try Carmelo Anthony? Why not try to put enough points on the board that the defense doesn't have to be so tight?

Half the league is playing that way in this era.

And really, I have no idea how well he can do as an offensive player after getting into just 10 games last season. But I know this – opponents are loading up against Damian Lillard more frequently and he needs help. Lillard has always been a big proponent of signing Anthony and famously tried to recruit him to Portland when he was a free agent. And the 10-time all-star will be able to play with composure in clutch situations and attack mismatches when they present themselves late in games.

Anthony has always been popular with his teammates and will bring a presence to the locker room that might need a little shaking up.

It might not have made any sense to bring him in earlier, when it was believed the team was deep on its frontline. You wouldn’t want to bring him in just to have him sit on the bench. But now? If he has anything left, he’s probably going to get as many minutes as his 35-year-old body can handle. This is a player who has averaged 24 points per game during his career.

And when Dame is getting blitzed on pick-and-rolls or being hounded by a box-and-one defense, I have a feeling Carmelo Anthony will at least be a credible option that teams need to worry about late in games.

If not… at least the franchise made an effort. And wasn’t afraid to take the gamble.

Throwback: Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum supported Carmelo to Portland in the Summer of 2017

Throwback: Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum supported Carmelo to Portland in the Summer of 2017

The NBA world has been waiting on pins and needles for months waiting to see if future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony would land on an NBA roster this season. On Thursday, we got our answer, and it landed right in our backyard.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Portland Trail Blazers have agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with Anthony. 

Carmelo Anthony has long been linked to the Blazers. Portland's star duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have both been very vocal about their support and recruitment of Melo in the past. In fact, Lillard talked about the prospect of adding Melo two summers ago at his annual basketball camp. 

McCollum happened to be making a guest appearance at Lillard's camp that same day, and he too gave the media his thoughts on the prospects of adding Anthony. 

We all know what happened that summer - he was traded by the Knicks, not to the Blazers, but to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He then hit the open market in the summer of 2018, where he once again rejected the Blazers and signed with the Rockets. As recently as two months ago, Lillard said that he felt after multiple failed recruitments that Anthony was never coming to Portland. Wonder if he saw this one coming. 

Stayed tuned to NBC Sports Northwest for all the latest Anthony news as it develops. 

Social media reacts to the report of Blazers signing Carmelo Anthony

Social media reacts to the report of Blazers signing Carmelo Anthony

The Blazers have been experimenting at power forward since losing Zach Collins to shoulder surgery.

Thursday evening, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Trail Blazers are set to sign Carmelo Anthony. The contract is non-guaranteed.

According to Yahoo Sports reporter Chris Haynes, Damian Lillard was informed of the potential signing on Wednesday night after the Blazers lost to the Raptors.

Trail Blazers forward Mario Hezonja has already expressed his excitement.

Other NBA players, past and present, are weighing in, too:

Here is what Rip City is saying:

Anthony last played for the Houston Rockets and averaged 13.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.5 apg in 10 games in '18-'19.

The video above is from media day 2017 following a summer of rumors around Melo to Portland. 

NBA Rumor: Trail Blazers set to sign Carmelo Anthony

NBA Rumor: Trail Blazers set to sign Carmelo Anthony

Breaking news for the Portland Trail Blazers. According to Woj, the team is set to sign free agent Carmelo Anthony to a non-guaranteed deal. 

The Blazers have been riddled with injuries to start the season and are especially thin at the four position, which Anthony could provided offensive support at. 

Anthony has long been a rumored target for the the team and garnered support publicly from both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in past off-seasons. 

Anthony last played for the Houston Rockets and averaged 13.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.5 apg in 10 games in '18-'19.

During his last lengthy stint in the league, Anthony averaged 16.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.3 apg during 78 games with the Thunder in '17-'18

Anthony will join the Blazers during their upcoming six-game road trip.

More on this story as it develops from Insider Dwight Jaynes and reporter Jamie Hudson.

The video above is from media day 2017 following a summer of rumors around Melo to Portland. 

Trail Blazers facing plenty of questions heading into long road trip

Trail Blazers facing plenty of questions heading into long road trip

The feeling inside the Trail Blazers locker room was some combination of frustration and resigned optimism.

After falling to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night, and losing for the sixth time in seven games to drop to 4-8 on the year, the Blazers were believably frustrated. The optimism was mostly by default.

It’s still November, the marathon NBA season is just beginning and for all of Portland’s clear and obvious issues, players pointed to the 70 games remaining on the schedule as the biggest reason to be hopeful the team can find its footing.

“It’s a long season,” Hood said, uttering a refrain that his teammates would echo. “Nobody’s in the playoffs right now. I don’t care if they’re number one in the league or number one in the west, everybody is fighting and figuring out everything. Nobody has tailed off and took off from everybody else. By next month we could be up there at the top so we just got to continue to stay positive and get better.”

If the Blazers are going to make as dramatic a turn as Hood suggested and end up in the top of standings by December, most of that progress will come on the road. Wednesday’s game against the Raptors was a brief pit stop in Portland before the Blazers head out for an 11-day, six game trip, finally returning to Moda Center the day before Thanksgiving.

Even early in the season, this trip looks daunting because this team has obvious flaws.

The Blazers are still searching for answers at power forward after losing Zach Collins to shoulder surgery until at least mid-March. With a combination of injuries and poor play, Terry Stotts has mixed and matched groups to open games, trotting out his sixth different starting lineup of the season in Game No. 12 on Wednesday.

Stotts turned to Nassir Little against Toronto. The rookie played hard and mostly held his own. It was an encouraging performance even with Little going 3-for-10 from the floor in 23 minutes. Frankly, going with the high-energy rookie at that spot might be the Blazers best option as Anthony Tolliver has been ineffective at best and Mario Hezonja isn’t suited for a big minute role. 

Beyond who starts, the Blazers desperately need to figure out how to finish games. Other than a face plant at Golden State, the Blazers haven’t been rolled over in most of their losses. Instead their consistently dropping games in crunch time, out executed or outworked at winning time. The Blazers have a league-worst 122.8 defensive rating in the fourth quarter, and they are the second worst defensive rebounding team in the final frame.

“Sometimes it’s not just because we can’t get a stop. It’s we can’t get a rebound,” Damian Lillard said. “If you give up two and three opportunities to an NBA team you’re going to get scored on.”

The reasons for frustration inside the locker room are obvious. The injuries, the shifting rotation and repeated late game letdowns are already threatening to derail this season in its early stages. And yet most of the Blazers said they were optimistic or even encouraged.

“You gotta just keep going. You gotta keep fighting," Lillard said. "I think that we should be encouraged by the fact that we’ve lost a lot of games the same way. We’ve been in the mix. We’ve been right there down the stretch and we lose games down the stretch. I think that’s one thing we can’t forget. But like I said before, we can’t fold. We gotta just keep coming, continue to try to correct the mistakes and the things we already know how (to do) to win games."