Hassan Whiteside shows love for Portland and is excited about his 'fresh start'

Hassan Whiteside shows love for Portland and is excited about his 'fresh start'

LAS VEGAS – ‘There’s no place like home,’ – a prominent quote from the movie Wizard of Oz that automatically makes you think of Dorothy wearing her ruby red slippers. 

For the newest Trail Blazer Hassan Whiteside there’s no place like his new home, Portland, OR.

Whiteside was either channeling his inner Wizard of Oz or he was just showcasing his style on Thursday evening in Las Vegas while wearing sparkly ruby red shoes.  

The Trail Blazers held Thursday’s introductory news conference at the Thomas and Mack Center on the campus of UNLV before Portland tipped off its fourth Summer League game. Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey and head coach Terry Stotts were in attendance.

The Blazers are excited to finally have their guy they wanted three years ago after the four-team trade for Whiteside with the Miami Heat became official on Thursday.

“Hassan’s a player we’ve pursued multiple times in free agency. We’ve chased him through trades with the Heat. We finally find some traction… We’re thrilled to have him,” Olshey said to start off the new conference.

Maybe it was Whiteside’s Blazer red shoes and shirt or maybe it was his infectious smile that gave it away, but there is no doubt Whiteside is very much looking forward to this new chapter with Portland.

“What makes me excited about joining, is just the movement and how much they did in these last couple of years, going to the Western Conference Finals… And they have two guards, guys that you have to guard once they get out of their car in the parking lot… Those guys are big time shooters,” Whiteside said.

“I think I describe it as a perfect situation. You ever been on the beach, just chilling and drinking a nice water looking out at the sunset? That’s how I feel,” Whiteside continued.

Whiteside joked ‘yes, a water,” after saying the beach comment.

The 30-year-old is already bringing the laughs.

With Trail Blazers starting center Jusuf Nurkic sidelined for the foreseeable future, both Stotts and Olshey acknowledged how important the trade to acquire Whiteside was to this year’s team.

Stotts also said he plans to “put [Whiteside] in a lot the same situations that we put Nurk.”

For his career, Whiteside holds averages of 13.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game.

Before Whiteside was formally introduced in Vegas, he spent a couple of days in Portland.

Whiteside said he is already feeling the Rip City love.

“It’s so nice. People are so nice in Portland,” Whiteside said. “I heard so many welcome to Portlands… They really embrace me. It feels like a close-knit town that really loves the Blazers. I tell people all the time this is the only arena where you can come out in the lay-up line and when you go through warm-ups, you look into the stands and it’s like 60 percent of the fans are already waiting on you.”

There has been a lot of chatter about how Whiteside’s situation with Miami went south over the last couple of seasons and that maybe he has been a bad locker room guy.

To that, there is one thing Whitside would like his new fan base to know:

“Just how much I care…”

“I think a lot of stuff, if we did have a problem, it’s because we were losing and as a competitor you always want to win,” Whiteside said. “You know, I feel like it was a down year since we didn’t make the playoffs and that does something to you in the offseason.”

“You at home watching other teams play, you want to be out there. I think that’s what I really want them to know that how much I care about working and getting better. This a fresh start and realistically I really think that this team is on the verge of doing something really special,” Whiteside added.

Trail Blazers fans in attendance of Summer League showed their love to Whiteside by asking to take pictures with the Blazers big man and telling him how excited they are to have him in Portland.

Whiteside can now rock those red shoes while saying, there’s no place like home in Portland, OR.

CJ McCollum reaches out to Rip City for dinner ideas

CJ McCollum reaches out to Rip City for dinner ideas

As we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, self-isolation has become the new norm. 

No more going out to bars with friends. No movie theaters. No sports. 

It's basically, "what can I do at home?"

One thing many people have been doing is using food delivery services to "eat out."

You can't go to the restaurant, but the restaurant can come to you.

Not only are you getting your food fix, but you're helping local businesses in the process. 

On Sunday, CJ McCollum, looking to get some grub, reached out to Rip City for some help.

McCollum was looking to give back to businesses in Rip City, and Rip City was not hesitant to reach out and help. 

From mac and cheese to hot wings, the foodies around town gave McCollum plenty to chew on. 

If McCollum wasn't hungry before, he sure is now. Good thing he has a few places to pick from, thanks to Rip City. 

Memories from Damian Lillard's career-high vs. Golden State

Memories from Damian Lillard's career-high vs. Golden State

I’m pretty sure a lot of Trail Blazer fans have been waiting for this (Sunday, 6 p.m.) classic game. Not because it was played a long time ago and they haven’t seen it in a while, but because of the spectacular nature of what happened on this January night in Moda Center against the Golden State Warriors.

This was the night Damian Lillard went for 61 points and you have your chance to see every single one of them.

Lillard broke his own franchise record (60) for points in a game, set earlier in the season, while taking just 37 shots from the field. He became the first player in NBA history to score 60-plus points and hit 10-plus three-pointers in a game and he was just the sixth player in league history to have more than one 60-point game.

Portland trailed the outmanned Warriors by a dozen points in the third quarter and needed a Lillard three with 14.9 seconds to go to send it into overtime.

The Trail Blazers then faced a six-point deficit in overtime before rallying for the win.

‘’He’s a great player,‘’ Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said of Lillard. ‘’He’s an All-Star who has had a million big shots in his career, so none of it was surprising. You just take it for granted with him.‘’ 

Lillard made all 16 of his free throws, had 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Hassan Whiteside had a memorable game, too, getting 17 points, 21 rebounds and six blocked shots.

But this game will forever have Lillard’s name stamped all over it. A night when Lillard Time lasted the entire four quarters and an overtime. 

How to Watch: Damian Lillard’s 61-point game vs. Warriors

How to Watch: Damian Lillard’s 61-point game vs. Warriors

Enjoy your Sunday evening with this instant classic and what Damian Lillard calls one of the best performances of his career.

It was less than three months ago when Lillard topped his own franchise scoring high with 61 points along with a career best 11 three-pointers in a home win over the Golden State Warriors.

The short-handed Trail Blazers defeated the Warriors 129-124 in overtime behind Lillard’s 61 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists on the night.  

"It's one of the best of my career," Lillard said postgame. "One of my better performances in a game we needed to win. “I think that's just what it is. We needed a win tonight. A great performance. I'm excited about it. I'm happy about it, but I wish it counted for three wins instead of one."

Lillard’s previous career high was 60 points that he set earlier in the season against Brooklyn, which broke the club record at the time.

With the rare feat, the 5x All-Star became the first player in NBA history with 60-plus points and 10-plus 3-pointers in a game, and just the sixth player with multiple 60-point games.

But, the 61 points almost didn’t happen.

After Hassan Whiteside nailed two clutch foul shots with 8.5 seconds left, Lillard, was tossed two more free throws in the final seconds.

The Trail Blazers point guard admitted after the game that he knew what his point total was when he went to the line.

"Yeah, I knew," he said. "I knew I had 59 after it was eight seconds left so I was like, it's probably going to sit at 59. Then the shot went up, I got the rebound, the guy bumped me and I was like, I'm going to fall down. They’re going to have to blow the whistle and I’m getting those two free throws."

This 61-point game from Lillard was smack dab in the middle of a tremendous scoring run for the 29-year-old. During an eight game span from Jan. 17 to Feb. 2, Lillard averaged 45.1 points, 9.6 assists, and 5.5 rebounds.

Starters for Blazers vs. Warriors Game on Jan. 20, 2020


D’Angelo Russell

Damion Lee

Eric Paschall

Willie Cauley-Stein

Alec Burks


Damian Lillard

Anfernee Simons

Carmelo Anthony

Nassir Little

Hassan Whiteside

HOW TO WATCH: Lillard’s 61-point performance

WHEN: Sunday, April 5 at 6:00pm 

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


Stream the game here.  

OR stream the game on your phone with the 'MyTeams' App -- available in the App Store for iPhones and on Google play.  

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

The full schedule can be found here.

No way NBA is throwing in the towel this soon with so much money at stake

No way NBA is throwing in the towel this soon with so much money at stake

Yesterday I wrote about my doubts about the NBA, and other pro sports, resuming play as quickly as they would like. Soon after that was published, there was this report:

...the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down.

That could well be true. But from what I’ve heard from sources within the league, the NBA is also doing its due diligence in regard to multiple scenarios that would allow it to complete the regular season and/or the playoffs.

It’s what you do in this situation -- you still have plenty of options and plenty of time to make a final decision, so why not make plans for all outcomes?

There is no particular reason at this time to give up on playing a season, even if it would be judged the most probable outcome.

Let’s say that a treatment for COVID-19 is developed quicker than anticipated, a league would need to have a plan in place based on whatever date it would get the all-clear to gather for games, either with or without fans.

Those plans could be made and changed based on when a possible return could happen. And the point is, the league must prepare for all eventualities. 

It’s hard to believe but the NBA has been shut down for just a little more than three weeks. It seems like three months. But we're still a few months away from having to make a call on the season.

I’m sure the NBA -- and the other major pro sports leagues -- will do what’s best for the health of their employees and fans. But at the same, keep in mind there are billions of dollars at stake here -- for owners, players, staff and associated businesses.

The league will do anything and everything to make sure it exhausts all avenues for retaining some or all of that money. You can depend on it.

There is no point in cashing in the chips at this point. I think there could be doomsday planning being done, but you can bet that scenarios are also being developed to pick up the pieces of this season whenever possible.

It’s just the smart thing to do.

Miami Heat throws shade at Hassan Whiteside with social media post

Miami Heat throws shade at Hassan Whiteside with social media post

When Hassan Whiteside got traded to the Portland Trail Blazers on the second day of 2019 free agency, he took to his Instagram to announce his pleasure with the move.


Of course, Whiteside was referring to guards Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Rodney Hood, and more which looked much more promising than Whiteside's previous stop, the Miami Heat, which ranked 20th in three-point percentage that prior season. He seemed hyped to have more open space in the paint to operate created by the spacing from playing with one of the league's elite backcourts.

Well, that prior season may have been an anomaly in Miami because in their first season since trading Hassan Whiteside, the Heat are tied for first in the NBA in three-point percentage at 38.3%. (In Whiteside's defense the Blazers are sixth which isn't shabby at all.)

Part of the Heat's newfound success from distance has been the emergence of second-year player Duncan Robinson who's shooting a scorching 44.8% from beyond the arc, good for fourth in the NBA. 

The Miami Heat decided to give a shoutout to their sensational sophomore by comparing him to NBA legend Ray Allen who shot 41.3% from three in 2012-13 for Miami...and also threw some shade towards Whiteside in the process.

"We (always) got shooters" is obviously a reference to Whiteside quote, and while it may just be referring to how over they had elite shooting this season and with Ray Allen. It also can be shading the Portland center by saying the franchise has always had shooting and he shouldn't have acted liked he didn't have any when he got traded. 

NBA planning a televised H-O-R-S-E competition with 'high-profile players'

NBA planning a televised H-O-R-S-E competition with 'high-profile players'

Yes, the NBA is talking about horse and no, they're not referring to Hassan Whiteside. 

They're talking about the schoolyard game of H-O-R-S-E where players shoot a shot and if they make it, their opponents need to shoot the same shot to avoid getting a letter. Get five letters and you lose. The last player standing remains. 

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA and ESPN are planning to put on a game of H-O-R-S-E between NBA players involving several "high-profile players" and players would shoot in isolation in separate gyms. 

Given that the NBA will be on hiatus for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, the basketball community will take anything close to professional basketball they can get. Getting to see some of the best shooters in the world go head to head in a game of H-O-R-S-E is better than nothing and a welcome sight.

Plus, perhaps one of the "high-profile players" could be a Blazer like Damian Lillard who is famous for his deep range i.e. Logo Lillard. Watching Dame warm up from that distance is something you don't see every day and would make him a force in the competition. It'd be great to see him bomb away from deep after having to sit out of the Three-Point competition due to a strained groin, especially after the contest implemented a new deeper shot with green "Dew" balls. 

Also, this wouldn't be the first time the NBA has held a game of H-O-R-S-E. In 1977-78, the NBA and CBS aired multiple games during the regular season and postseason to crown a champion between 32 players. Eventually, Paul Westphal defeated Rick Barry in the finals.

The NBA tried it again over the 2009 and 2010 All-Star Weekends where Kevin Durant won both games, defeating Joe Johnson and O.J. Mayo in 2009 and Rajon Rondo and Omri Casspi in 2010. 

It's reported that details for the newest edition are still being finalized.

Donald Trump wants fans back in arenas in time for NFL, CFB season

Donald Trump wants fans back in arenas in time for NFL, CFB season

President Donald Trump had a conference call with the heads of numerous leagues Saturday, including NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NFL commissioner Rodger Goddell to discuss the next steps in the coronavirus pandemic.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski, Trump told the panel that he wants to see fans returning to arenas and stadiums by August and September, which would allow the NFL and NCAA College Football seasons to start on time with fans in attendance.

The report also clarified that it's unclear if medical experts find that to be a realistic timeline or if it's just Trump's desire.

Adam Silver stated that he wants the various leagues to help lead the economy back to normalcy once they received the "all-clear" from public health officials. The NBA was the first sports league in the United States to suspend their season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11th. 

The President also brought up the idea of leagues lobbying for tax credits to allow for the deduction of tickets and concessions from taxes to incentivize fans to return to games during the current economy. 

The call had representation from higher-level executives from the 12 major sports leagues in the United States: The NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, NHL, Major League Soccer, WNBA, WWE, the PGA Tour, LPGA, UFC, IndyCar and Breeders' Cup, according to a White House pool report.

Real talk: Only game we will have for next several months is the waiting game

Real talk: Only game we will have for next several months is the waiting game

Some real talk about the resumption of sports in these times:

It should not be at all surprising that the NBA would be considering cancelling the remainder of this season. In fact, I expect Major League Baseball will soon be considering the same thing.

It’s because so many things have to be accomplished before it would be safe (and sane) to restart:

  • China’s pro league thought it could begin its season anew by simply taking players’ temperatures to gauge whether they are carrying the virus. That apparently doesn’t always work with asymptomatic people. China gave up on the restart. Real tests with results within an hour are needed. And then, of course, players and staffs would have to be in strict quarantine throughut the schedule -- which could prove difficult.

  • A vaccine is not likely in the offing, but would obviously open the door to a return. But that could take years -- or maybe never. It is not on the immediate horizon.

  • A medical treatment for the virus, something that could at least keep people from dying, is a much more viable solution, but such things require clinical trials that could take several months. This is the most probable road out of this hell, but not easy. Scientists are working on it all over the world and we’re rooting for them.

  • Without a treatment or a vaccine, there is no way crowds should gather for anything such as sporting events. Any restart would have to include a ban on fans for what I believe could be several months. And the idea of bringing the whole NBA together in one spot to finish the regular season or playoffs is the best idea, if they are determined to try something. But I’m not sure you could expect to isolate that many people in one spot for a great length of time. Somebody is going to go off the ranch or behind the lines and then you have a possible big problem.

I will reiterate, fans at events are just a non-starter. Totally isolating this virus is nearly impossible. All it takes is one infected person showing up in a big crowd and the whole war is on again. This deadly virus is extremely contagious.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but I believe the NFL season is at risk, too, until there is readily available, reliable testing and a valid treatment for those carrying the virus.

And these leagues are going to have to accept the reality that the only game being played for months will be the waiting game.

And that’s likely to go into overtime. Or extra time. Or extra innings.

Damian Lillard's game winner vs. Houston wasn't the original play call

Damian Lillard's game winner vs. Houston wasn't the original play call

While it happened in the blink of an eye, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard remembers nearly every detail about one of the biggest shots of his career. 

It should. "The shot" changed his life forever. 

On the latest episode of the Ledlow & Parker Podcast, Damian Lillard played a game called "Game Time: Dame Time" where hosts Candance Parker and Kristen Ledlow quizzed him on how well he remembers the best game-winners of his career, including his shot in Game 6 against the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs.

He (nearly) got a perfect score knowing all of his teammates on the floor, who was guarding him, who hugged him first when the shot went through the net, and what he yelled into the mic in the post-series celebration. His only miss was how much time was on the clock when the ball left his hand, and he was only a tenth of a second off. 

After playing the game, Lillard spoke about why that shot brings chills every time he watches it. 

I just get chills now when I see that one because that was my second year and that was like my first playoff series. And I just remember the play was for us to just spring towards half court and we'd try to lob it over the top so LA could get a tip in to force overtime. But when I was walking on the court Mo Williams was like 'F- that, go get the ball. You go to the ball. Just run to the ball.' and I was walking to my spot and I just wasn't worried... If we would have lost that game we was going back to Houston for Game 7...and I wasn't worried about that. I was just like 'we ain't going back.' Like, I never felt like we was going back so when I see it now I'm like 'how was I not like more concerned?' It's werid. 

The hosts went on to quiz him about his game-winner against the Oklahoma City Thunder as well in Game 5 from this past postseason.

As you can see, Lillard has made a career out of being the calm in the storm, the stone cold assassin. 

Because when the clock is winding down, we all know what time it is: Dame Time.