Lillard excited about future in Portland: “The ultimate goal is to win it all, win a championship”

Lillard excited about future in Portland: “The ultimate goal is to win it all, win a championship”

Now that we have all had time to stop and smell the roses in the Rose City this summer, Damian Lillard has had time to digest the Trail Blazers’ offseason moves. 

For Portland, Rodney Hood returns, Al-Farouq Aminu is gone, and there’s a new forward headed to Rip City, Mario Hezonja. And, that all happened in the first day of NBA free agency 2019.

Yes, the Blazers had a lot of roster turnover. Along with the new additions of Hezonja, Kent Bazemore, and Hassan Whiteside, Portland will also be looking to their young guys to step up and make an impact this season.

Zach Collins and Anfernee Simons are two such guys that Lillard feels could help the team make a huge leap this upcoming season.

“I’m excited about Zach. Zach and Ant, I think these guys have a huge summer in front of them,” Lillard told the media at his annual kids basketball camp on Tuesday. “I think if they can have big summers and come back they can really have impact on our team. They can really be what can make us take that next step especially with what’ve added… I’m excited about it.”

[RELATED]: 2019 NBA Free Agency: A recap of everything Trail Blazers from Day 1

Overall, the Trail Blazers All-Star point guard believes this offseason has been a success.

Lillard discussed how he feels “pretty good” about what went down in free agency, and that keeping the core of himself, CJ McCollum and eventually a healthy Jusuf Nurkic along with bringing back Hood are some key ingredients to the Blazers success this season.

After celebrating his 29th birthday this week, Lillard has his eyes on the prize.

“The ultimate goal is to win it all, to win a championship, as a team, as an individual you want to be MVP… I haven’t been either one of those, a champion or an MVP, so there’s a lot that I still got to play for, a lot that keeps me going,” Lillard said.

[RELATED] -- From Damian's Camp: Lillard, now older and wiser, is 'working smarter, not harder' this off-season

The ultimate goal is obviously no easy feat.

There have been several fans and national media members all across the NBA landscape saying that the West is now wide open with the Warriors going down with injuries.

But, Lillard has a different outlook on the future of the Western Conference. He made his point known about the West, saying, “everybody sees it as wide open, but it’s definitely not.”

“The West is still super competitive,” Lillard said. “Everybody has fire power. At first it was like, everybody was calling the Clippers a tough team and they play hard and now they got Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. And now, Anthony Davis plays for the Lakers and New Orleans has all this young talent that’s going to be able to compete. I don’t think people are giving them enough credit.”

“And then, Utah picked up all these guys, so it might look more balanced. But it probably got tougher to win in the West because every team is good now. Sacramento is a year older. Phoenix is a year older. All these teams, they coming.”

Lillard, McCollum, and the rest of the Trail Blazers are coming as well. With the Trail Blazers Vegas wins total set at 44.5, Portland will look to beat their wins total for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.

Trail Blazers rookie Nassir Little enjoying his busy summer in Portland

Trail Blazers rookie Nassir Little enjoying his busy summer in Portland

Trail Blazers rookie Nassir Little surprised 170 young athletes at the Trail Blazers Summer Hoops Camp over the weekend.

The Portland Trail Blazers and Beaverton Hoop YMCA Youth had a total of two five-day Summer Camps at the Beaverton Hoop YMCA this summer. These camps are “for athletes in grades 1-8 and offer a great Trail Blazers Camp experience.”

Camp coaches focus on both introducing and building on fundamentals of the game.

The campers receive a game ticket to a Trail Blazers game, a reversible Nike Dri-Fit Jersey, special guest visits, and of course, five days of basketball fun and fundamentals.

Little helped coach the youngsters who had no idea that the Trail Blazers forward would be in attendance.

The 19-year-old has been spending his August in Portland. He made it known earlier this month that he loves PDX.

As Little gets set for his rookie season, he has already shown in Summer League that he can become a solid wing defender at the NBA level. There’s no doubt he will need to work on developing a consistent three-point shot.

But, one thing is for sure, Little is already winning over the hearts of Rip City youngsters.

Check out more pictures from this weekend’s Trail Blazers Summer Hoops Camp right here.

Can we have Bill Walton broadcast baseball games all the time?

Can we have Bill Walton broadcast baseball games all the time?

Former NBA and Trail Blazers star Bill Walton took over social media when he took over the broadcast booth on Friday night while working as a special guest analyst for the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels game in Anaheim.

Friday's game was broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago as Walton joined NBCS Chicago’s play-by-play host Jason Benetti.

The 1977 Trail Blazers champion was a fill-in for regular White Sox analyst Steve Stone.

The broadcast went just as you would imagine it to would.

SO MANY GREAT QUOTES.

Here are just a few of the top quotes of the night from Walton:

“Is that the catcher? I tell you I’m not a very good catcher…”

“Putting all the powers together of the rare Earth minerals, you’ve just come up with this incredible computer generated stud for the future.”

“Rainbow is my favorite color.”

“Good eye, good patience… You tell that pitcher to bring it right in here.”

“GO! GO! This is gonna be a run… Here we go Sox. Take me out to the ball game, I don’t care if I never come back!”

In the fifth inning, when Mike Trout hit his 41st home run of the season, Walton analyzed it as so:

"That's Trout? Swimming upstream, avoiding all the flies, and sending one ricocheting through the universe."

MLB fans took to Twitter to express their love of Walton’s calls. There's no doubt fans want Walton to be in the broadcast booth for more MLB games.

The Scoop: Is this the year CJ McCollum becomes an All-Star?

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USA Today Images

The Scoop: Is this the year CJ McCollum becomes an All-Star?

The latest Scoop livestream is brought you by Toyota of Portland.

This week on The Scoop, our Trail Blazers reporter Jamie Hudson and host of ‘The Bridge’ Justin Meyers take you around the NBA, and get you caught up on all things Trail Blazers as we get closer and closer to training camp!

Of course, with the NBA releasing the 2019-20 regular season schedules earlier this week that means it’s time to look ahead! The Blazers tip-off the regular season at home against the Denver Nuggets on October 23rd and all of Rip City is counting down…

Here’s a quick rundown of Thursday’s show:

Jamie and Justin find out Trail Blazers fans initial thoughts on this year’s regular season schedule. Also, they discuss the Blazers 50th anniversary court unveiling that happened earlier this week. 

Plus, the two debate --

Will CJ McCollum make the All-Star team this year?

In 2016, McCollum singed his first $100 million dollar contract. At that point, he was the fourth non-All-Star to have signed that large of a contract.

But, is this the season for CJ?

Of course, being an All-Star depends a lot on your team’s success. The Blazers are coming off a season in which they made it to the Western Conference Finals and McCollum showcased his consistency throughout that postseason run.

Injuries to other stellar backcourt players could also help McCollum on receiving his first All-Star nod this season.

Watch the FULL EPISODE of The Scoop right here:

Summer Scoop

Is this the year CJ McCollum becomes an All-Star? Let’s discuss! The Scoop brought to you by Toyota of Portland starts now 😎

Posted by NBC Sports Northwest on Thursday, August 15, 2019

The offseason work doesn’t stop for Anthony Tolliver

The offseason work doesn’t stop for Anthony Tolliver

On July 1, 2019, the Trail Blazers signed free agent Anthony Tolliver on a one-year, $2.6 million dollar deal. Tolliver provides depth at the power forward position, which was a bit thin heading into this upcoming season. 

Looks like he is eager to begin his journey in a Trail Blazers jersey. Tolliver posted a highlight video to his personal instagram account from a run the other day:

Tolliver is hitting from all over the court: taking his man down the baseline, smooth step backs, three-pointers. This was a great pickup for the Portland Trail Blazers. The 34-year-old shows leadership, experience and skill in this short 55 second highlight clip.

In his introductory press conference, Tolliver said to the media, “I was really looking for an opportunity to go to a team where I was valued and wanted. They made that very clear. I haven’t had free agency go this quickly in my entire career. But I couldn’t really pass up the opportunity to play for a contender and play with guys like Dame and CJ and there are a lot of great players on this team… And also, kind of watching the playoffs last year, how they got double-teamed a lot and that’s literally how guys like myself can excel.”

We are just 69 days out from the debut of Tolliver and the Portland Trail Blazers’ season-opener at home vs. the Denver Nuggets. 

You can view the full Trail Blazers 2019-2020 season here.

How the DeMarcus Cousins injury affects the Trail Blazers' chances in the Western Conference

How the DeMarcus Cousins injury affects the Trail Blazers' chances in the Western Conference

News broke today that newly acquired Lakers big man, DeMarcus Cousins, tore his ACL in a workout in Las Vegas.

Video of the injury has been acquired by TMZ:

This is just another in a string of terrible injuries Cousins has suffered in a short time span:

The league, and certainly LeBron James and the Lakers, will not be the same without Cousins in the mix. In a revamped West, any injury has a ripple effect across the Conference where just a few wins can mean the difference between home court advantage, the right match-up or a deep playoff run. 

The Blazers are scheduled to take on the Lakers 3 times this season. The first coming on Friday, December 6th at Moda Center. Another home game follows on Saturday, December 28th and finally a single road game at Staples Center on Friday, January 31st. Yes, they still have LeBron and Anthony Davis, but the loss of Cousins shouldn't be overlooked. Prior to the Cousins injury, the Lakers were sitting at about 4 to 1 to win the NBA Title making them one of the Top 3 teams along with the Clippers and Bucks. The Blazers come in at around 33 to 1 depending on where you pull the odds from. 

In the end, the Lakers odds in the West probably won't significantly change because of this. It makes three games on the Trail Blazers schedule just a little bit easier and with two games vs. LA being at home a chance to take the season series is certainly possible. It will make life for the Blazers front court in Hassan Whiteside, Zach Collins, and Pau Gasol a little bit more manageable in those games vs. LA, as they will already have their hands full with Davis.

All that said, the Trail Blazers are still projected at about a #7 seed, but we know how Damian Lillard and company like to prove people wrong.

You can check out the entire Trail Blazers schedule here. 

It’s Jerseyyyyy Tiiiiiiime with DJ Pauly D

It’s Jerseyyyyy Tiiiiiiime with DJ Pauly D

Star of the hit MTV show Jersey Shore, DJ Pauly D was caught sporting a Portland Trail Blazers jersey on his personal Instagram account…

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💦💦

A post shared by DJ Pauly D (@djpaulyd) on

Known for not just his music but his iconic sayings on Jersey Shore “It’s t shirt time!”, “Cabs are here!”, and "GTL: Gym, Tan, Laundry", DJ Pauly D is quite the sports fan. He can also be seen sporting other NBA jerseys: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, L.A. Lakers as well as NFL’s Patrick Mahomes and Beast Mode when he performs his music. 

Add the Portland Trail Blazers to that list.

Will we eventually see DJ Pauly D at Moda Center? One can only hope so.

2009-10 Portland Trail Blazers one of six legendary teams coming to NBA2K20

2009-10 Portland Trail Blazers one of six legendary teams coming to NBA2K20

The 2009-10 Portland Trail Blazers squad was epic.

Steve Blake, Andre Miller and Jerryd Bayless ran the point. “The Natural” started at shooting guard with Rudy Fernandez coming off the bench. Nicolas Batum and Travis Outlaw checked in at small forward. A young LaMarcus Aldridge started at power forward with Dante Cunningham coming off the bench. And there was former No. 1 pick Greg Oden and the Gorilla “Joel” Pryzbilla at center.

This team was supposed to start the initial process of turning back the clock to 1977. But as all Trail Blazers fans now know, the roster didn’t stay that way.

Oden went down with a season-ending knee injury on the Rose Garden hardwood, Rudy Fernandez later went under the knife and Joel Pryzbilla ruptured his right patella tendon and missed the remainder of the season.

When all odds were stacked against Portland, the Trail Blazers battled through the cold, hard winter into the first round of the playoffs, where the short-handed Blazers lost to the Suns in six games. The Trail Blazers didn't have the success they had outlined for the season, but their resilency is why they will go down as one of the most memorable teams in NBA history. 

NBA2K announced Tuesday that six legendary teams would be coming to NBA2K20 and the Trail Blazers 2009-10 squad has made the list.

Gamers will get to re-live B-Roy's explosive play that earned him All-Star honors, LA's fourth year in a Trail Blazers uniform and Oden at full health. NBA2K20 will be released on September 6. 

BlazerDancers announce 2019-2020 team

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Trail Blazers

BlazerDancers announce 2019-2020 team

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2019-2020 BlazerDancers. 

After weeks of tryouts and multiple rounds of cuts, the team finally was finally able to decide who had what it takes to be a member of the BlazerDancers.

On Tuesday the team announced the 17 lucky individuals who will make up this season's squad.

Back on June 28th dozens of ladies showed up to PCC Sylvania for the first round of tryouts. During that day of dancing our Jamie Hudson was able to catch up with two of the girls aspiring to make the team. BlazerDancers veteran Ericka and rookie hopeful Malia. Both ladies were announced as members of the team on Tuesday and in the video below you can see part of their journey and understand what it takes to become a BlazerDancer.

After multiple rounds of cuts, 39 of those dancers were announced as the finalists. Those finalists met at Winningstad Theatre on August 4th for one final round of dancing and a chance to impress the judges. Two of the dancers that day, Sabri and Taylor, were coming off their rookie seasons as BlazerDancers and trying to make the squad again. Taylor made the cut and will return for her second season on the team. Unfortunately, Sabri didn't make the final list.  Jamie Hudson had a chance to talk to both of them and their families that day. You can hear what they had to say about their experience in the video below.

 

 

Sneaker Week: Bringing Portland artists and Blazers fans together

Sneaker Week: Bringing Portland artists and Blazers fans together

As the Trail Blazers begin to celebrate 50 years in the NBA, sneakerheads and local Portland artists are also celebrating.

The third annual ‘Sneaker Week PDX’ runs from August 10th through August 17th this year. Sneaker Week gatherings and workshops include the Portland Bridge Pedal, Brew and Shoes, Sneaker Fashion Show, and more.

This year, President of Sneaker Week, Herbert Beauclere, teamed up with the Trail Blazers for a very special event.

On Monday night, the Trail Blazers 50th anniversary court was revealed in the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.

The court unveiling also featured ‘Sneaker Week Blazers Shoecase’ as well as a competition between 50 local Portland artists designing sneakers live at the Coliseum.

Beauclere explained that, “sneaker Week PDX is a platform for the community to connect with the footwear industry... The community exists of sneaker enthusiasts, people that love footwear.”

[RELATED]: Rip City, it’s time to pause and reflect on the last 50 years

Being part of the Trail Blazers 50th anniversary court unveiling was “huge” for Beauclere and the local artists.

“A huge part of sneaker design is storytelling. So to be able to tell the story of five decades of excellence of, you know, hard work, of a great organization, it was good for us as a platform -- to share talent, to be able to make that connection between storytelling, sports, sneakers and community,” Beauclere said.

The ‘Sneaker Week Blazers Shoecase’ consisted of 10 pre-designed sneakers on display at the Coliseum. The designs represented all five decades of the Trail Blazers as an organization.   

As for the live competition on Monday, Trail Blazers fans in attendance voted on the first round of shoe designs. The field of 50 artists went down to 18. The finalists then moved on for a final round of design. ‘Quinn The Artist’ won the contest after a pane on industry experts voted on all the second round designs. 

“It’s super entertaining, everybody loves the competition, and it brings the best out of all the artists. I’m excited to see what they can do in such a short amount of time,” Beauclere said.

“To share the platform with the Blazers is almost the same as working at a brand,” Beauclere added.