Tenth Annual Trail Blazers Coat Drive: Giving back to the community

Tenth Annual Trail Blazers Coat Drive: Giving back to the community

The Portland Trail Blazers and Fred Meyer have teamed up for their tenth annual coat drive this December.

Trail Blazers fans are asked to fill donation bins at all participating Fred Meyers with new or gently used coats which will then be distributed to the Portland-Metro Boys and Girls Clubs.  

Over the weekend, Trail Blazers shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. helped 30 kids from the Portland-Metro Boys and Girls Clubs shop for new winter coats at the Fred Meyer in Beaverton.

We’re here to give back to the community. Fred Meyer, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Portland Trail Blazers’ Boys and Girls Club is here. I had the opportunity to come out with the kids, sign autographs, help them pick out warm coats for the wintertime and it’s a great thing. I’m blessed and I’m fortunate that I’m here.  -- Trail Blazers shooting guard Gary Trent Jr.

Not only did Trent Jr. go shopping with the kids to make sure all thirty kids received a winter coat, he also took time to take photos, shoot hoops, and draw pictures with the youngsters. 

Marlene Ascencio, the Director of the Portland-Metro Boys and Girls Clubs, explained the goal of Saturday's event was for all thirty members to go home with a brand new winter coat.

“Most of the kids that we serve are from low-income households or they just don’t have enough resources to purchase new winter coats… We have been doing this partnership between Fred Meyer and the Portland Trail Blazers for 10 years, we just want to say thank you so much for all of the support,” Ascencio said.  

Instant Analysis: Gary Trent Jr. drops career-high despite flu

Instant Analysis: Gary Trent Jr. drops career-high despite flu

OKLAHOMA CITY – Just four hours before the Trail Blazers and Thunder tipped off from Chesapeake Energy Arena, reports surfaced that Portland had traded Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver to Sacramento.

With the two forwards no longer with the team, along with the recent injury coming Friday night in Dallas keeping CJ McCollum out of Saturday's game due to a left ankle sprain, the Trail Blazers suited up the league minimum eight players versus the Thunder.

And one of those eight players was Gary Trent Jr. who is still dealing with a “flu-like” illness.  
Fortunately for the Blazers, Trent Jr. said before the game he was feeling better and had more energy. 

It showed.

After being down by as many as 13 points in the first quarter, it looked as though the Blazers were going to be able to rally back after outscoring OKC in the second quarter. But, it was apparent the short-handed Blazers ran out of gas by the fourth. 

FINAL BOX SCORE: THUNDER 119, TRAIL BLAZERS 106

Here are three quick takeaways from Saturday's loss:

1.  If you suit up, you had to play for Blazers

Besides Damian Lillard, Gary Trent Jr. was the only other Blazer in double figures midway through the second quarter. Lillard already notched 24 points at the break. But with McCollum out, Lillard was also trying to get his teammates more involved on the offense. He had four of the Blazers’ six assists in the first half. 

It was a night for the young Blazers to show what they got. 

Fighting through a flu bug, Trent Jr. hit his first seven shots. He didn’t miss a shot until the 2:54 mark of the third quarter. The second-year player showed his composure while getting extended minutes. Trent Jr. was Portland’s second-leading scoring on the night with a career-high 30 points.

2. CP3 leads the charge for OKC

Chris Paul was the Thunder's leading scoring at halftime with 21 points, while also being the hype man for OKC fans in attendance. With the trade deadline approaching, Thunder fans are making sure to show their love for the starting point guard. CP3 finished with 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting. 

3.  The battle on the boards

Through three quarters, Oklahoma City was outrebounding Portland, 39-32. Hassan Whiteside had nine of those 32 boards; however, Blazer fans have become accustomed to Whiteside reaching double-digit rebounds by the fourth quarter.

Up Next: The Trail Blazers host the Golden State Warriors on Monday. The Blazers and Warriors tip-off at 7:00pm.

Check back throughout tonight and tomorrow for more articles and videos from the players!

Trail Blazers run out of gas in second half -- but really, what did you expect?

Trail Blazers run out of gas in second half -- but really, what did you expect?

The worn-out and banged-up Trail Blazers ran out of gas after about two and a half quarters Saturday night in a 119-106 loss at Oklahoma City.

And what did you expect?

With only eight players in uniform after trading away Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver earlier in the day and CJ McCollum's ankle sprain Friday night, there just wasn't enough firepower in Portland uniforms to stay with the Thunder. Especially on the second of back-to-back road games.

Damian Lillard, after playing 40 minutes Friday night in Dallas, scored 34 points in 35 minutes, in spite of an 0-for-8 third quarter, to keep his team close for nearly three quarters but this one was never in the cards.

Portland's recent struggles from behind the three-point line weren't as bad against OKC as the rest of the month but they needed more threes to stay in the game. After shooting a remarkably consistent 36.5, 36.8 and 36.3 percent from three over the first three months of the season, the Trail Blazers came into this contest shooting just 32.9 in nine January games. They were better Saturday, thanks in large part to Gary Trent's 5-9 from long distance. Portland's opponents in January were shooting 38.7 percent coming into this game, making an average of four more per game than the Trail Blazers.

Chris Paul was vintage Chris Paul. He scored 30 points in 27 minutes, had seven assists and just one turnover while making 11 of his 15 shots.

"I thought Chris Paul was a really good player tonight," Terry Stotts said. "He's been a really good player for his career but he had a really good game tonight, He really managed the game, scored and when he was on the court they were a much better team. Hats off to him. I was really happy Gary Trent had a good game. Best game of his career, I think."

Trent made his first seven shots of the game and scored 30 points on just 18 shots.

Did Stotts think his team ran out of gas?

"That's possible. we were hanging in there close," Stotts said. "They made some runs, I don't know if we ran out of gas or not. Mostly, Chris Paul's impact on the game more than anything else."

Well, coaches don't like to make excuses, but they ran out of gas. And they have just one day to rest before playing host to the Golden State Warriors Monday night in Moda Center.

Gary Trent, Jr. on the uptick after receiving IV treatment

Gary Trent, Jr. on the uptick after receiving IV treatment

Trail Blazers forward Gary Trent, Jr. is celebrating with a different type of cocktail on his birthday... a medicinal one. 

A day removed from leaving the game vs. the Mavericks early to receive IV treatment, Trent, Jr. is feeling a lot better. 

"Way better," Trent, Jr. said Saturday ahead of the Trail Blazers game vs. OKC. "I got some rest. I wasn’t able to sleep the past couple of days, just from congestion, being tired, sore and achy."

Trent, Jr. said he was diagnosed with flu-like symptoms pregame in Dallas, though he wasn't listed on the Blazers original injury report. 

When Trent, Jr. left the game early in the fourth quarter, it caught many by surprise. To see Dallas Fire & Rescue in the locker room postgame was even more of one. 

"After the IV got into my system, I felt stronger, more energetic," the Blazers second-year forward said. 

Trent, Jr. said he's taking an antiviral medicine for treatment of flu, Tylenol and IBProfen.

He was also given a water bottle, along with the rest of the team, filled with electrolytes to drink pregame. 

"There’s still some congestion there," he said. "Still some weakness."

"But, hey, it’s part of your job. It’s what you signed up for. You’ve got to go ahead and do what you do."

But what will Trent, Jr.'s level of participation be? He is on the active roster and checked in midway through the first quarter. Already down a handful of players, the Blazers reportedly made a trade that sent two more players out of town: Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver. 

It left Terry Stotts, Gary Trent, Jr., and the Trail Blazers in a unique position and GT is playing through it.

"[I'll do] whatever I can do to help this team, whether that’s cheering on the team or playing. I’m all for it."

The Trail Blazers are currently in-action vs. the Thunder on NBCSNW.

Trail Blazers acquire Trevor Ariza from Kings -- remember him, Portland?

Trail Blazers acquire Trevor Ariza from Kings -- remember him, Portland?

The Trail Blazers made a move Saturday and it was all about two things -- a) obtaining a taller small forward in Trevor Ariza, who can shoot threes and b) cutting $12.3 million off their payroll.

Portland got Caleb Swanigan, the former Blazer who has been spending time in the G-League, and Wenyen Gabriel, a rookie power forward. The Blazers sent Anthony Tolliver and Kent Bazemore to Sacramento in the trade.

Ariza, a 34-year-old, 15-year veteran, has not seen a lot of action this season for the Kings, who are in the midst of a youth movement. He has played 32 games, averaging six points and shooting 35.2 percent from three-point range, just a tenth of a point above his career average. For Portland, he's a better fit than Bazemore at small forward at 6-8 and the Blazers are going to cut their tax bill approximately in half with the trade.

Ariza has not been a popular player in Portland since his hit on Rudy Fernandez, which got him ejected from a game in Moda Center in 2009.

Not a major deal for sure, but if Ariza can make some three-point field goals and improve the team's defense, it will be an upgrade. And Portland fans have always had short memories, right?

BREAKING: Blazers trade Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver to Sacramento

BREAKING: Blazers trade Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver to Sacramento

Breaking news in Rip City.

According to multiple reports, the Trail Blazers have agreed to trade Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver to the Sacramento Kings for Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel, and Caleb Swanigan. 

According to the reports, the trade saves Portland $12.3 million, cutting the luxury tax bill in half. 

Tolliver signed with the Blazers this past offseason, while Bazemore came over in an offseason trade with the Atlanta Hawks. 

Tolliver played in 33 games for the Blazers, starting nine of them. He averaged 3.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 0.9 rebounds per game. 

As for Bazemore, he was meant to be a key bench contributor for the Blazers, but was thrust into the starting role when Rodney Hood went down with an Achilles injury.

Bazemore played in 43 games for the Blazers, starting 21 of them.

He averaged 7.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. 

The key return here for the Blazers is Trevor Ariza. The 34-year-old has made his career on the defensive side of the ball, which is where the Blazers need the most help. Ariza has played in 32 games this season, averaging 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. He is set to make $12.2 million this year and is under contract through 2021. 

With all the injuries up front, the Blazers need bigs, and they got two of them in Gabriel and Swanigan. Gabriel is a 6'9", 220lb forward in his first season in the NBA. He has played in just 11 games for the Kings, averaging 1.7. points, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.3 assists.

As for Swanigan, he is someone Blazers fans know well. He was drafted by Portland in 2017 26th overall and played parts of two seasons with the Blazers before being traded to the Kings for Skal Labissiere. In seven games with the Kings this season he averaged 0.7 points, 1.0 rebound, and 0.3 assists. 

The Blazers are already depleted by injuries, and may not get the reinforcements before tipoff tonight in OKC. If Gary Trent (illness) is unable to play tonight, Portland would have just seven players available against the Thunder. 

Be sure to stay tuned to NBC Sports Northwest as we get more information on this breaking news. 

After trade with Kings: Will Blazers have enough players required to suit up vs. Thunder?

After trade with Kings: Will Blazers have enough players required to suit up vs. Thunder?

OKLAHOMA CITY – Just before 1:00pm CT, the Portland Trail Blazers announced their injury report, which included the status of CJ McCollum, who is out dealing with his left ankle sprain.

But, the injury report did not include Gary Trent Jr., even though the back-up shooting guard left Friday night’s game in Dallas in the final period due to an illness. He even received an IV after the game.

It seemed crazy to think that someone that ill could turn 180 degrees and be feeling so much better that he'd able to suit up and play the following day in Oklahoma City.

But, then the reports of a trade involving the Trail Blazers surfaced just before 4:00pm CT.

And then, it made so much more sense why Trent Jr. was not listed on the injury report.

The Blazers are reportedly trading Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver and two second-round picks to the Sacramento Kings for Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan, leaving Portland with just eight players who are still with the team and "healthy" enough to suit up.

Since the trade hasn’t even been made official yet and the players will still have to pass physicals, the newest Trail Blazers will most likely not be with the team until the Blazers get back to Portland, Sunday at the earliest.

Eight players suiting up is the league minimum.

And that's where the Blazers are at, exactly. 

The eight players currently available on the Blazers active roster who are on this trip:

  • Damian Lillard
  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Hassan Whiteside
  • Anfernee Simons
  • Nassir Little
  • Gary Trent Jr.
  • Mario Hezonja  
  • Jaylen Hoard (two-way player who is currently with the team)

The Trail Blazers have not called up their second two-way player Moses Brown, who is still with the Texas Legends.

Portland has already been short-handed this season, but Saturday night in OKC will be the absolute minimum.  

Wouldn't it be crazy if they were forced to put Jusuf Nurkic in uniform? It almost certainly won't happen. But, that's where things are at. 

 

Even at 2AM, Damian Lillard finds time for the fans

Even at 2AM, Damian Lillard finds time for the fans

Portland lost a tough game to the Mavericks on Friday in Dallas. They were injured, beat, and some of them were severely sick, but still, they pressed on. 

The team loaded the buses, left the American Airlines Center and headed straight to the airport. From there, they loaded the plane to head to the next road stop — Oklahoma City.

Once the team landed in OKC, it was a straight line to yet another night in a hotel. Business as usual, right? We've all traveled before, we know the drill. But for NBA stars, it's anything but normal.

Upon arriving at the hotel they were greeted by dozens of fans itching to meet their favorite NBA stars... Oh, I forgot to mention, it was two o'clock in the morning!

2AM, and there the fans were. Damian Lillard was tired and ready to rest up for the Thunder, but he had other business to tend to first. 

You see, Lillard is a special breed. Rather than shuffle past the throng of fans and sneak into his hotel room, he stopped to sign autographs and meet with the fans.

Every one of them. 

The moment was caught by Amara Baptist, Digital Content Manager for the Trail Blazers. 

This is just another moment on a long list that reminds us all that Rip City is lucky to have Lillard representing this town.

Dame is a perfect ambassador for the Trail Blazers and the NBA.

CJ McCollum OUT vs OKC

CJ McCollum OUT vs OKC

Back-to-backs are always tough in the NBA, but this one just got tougher for the Blazers - Star shooting guard CJ McCollum will not play tonight against Oklahoma City after suffering a left ankle sprain in Friday's game against the Mavericks.

With about eight minutes left in the second quarter, McCollum drove to the basket for a layup attempt. Everything played out as normal until McCollum came down for the landing. 

McCollum's left foot came down on the right foot of Maxi Kleber, rolling in the process. He immediately went to the locker room and did not return.

McCollum played just 12 minutes of action, scoring four points and dishing out two assists.

On the season, McCollum is averaging 21.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. 

It is not yet known who will start in McCollum's place. McCollum missed a game a few weeks ago while dealing with an upper respiratory ailment and Gary Trent Jr. got the starting nod.  

However, Trent Jr. left Friday's game with as well and his status is currently unknown, though he was not listed on today's injury report.  

Should Trent Jr. be unable to go, it is likely the Anfernee Simons will get the start. 

Stayed tuned to NBC Sports Northwest for the latest updates from OKC. 

 

 

Setting the record straight on some Trail Blazer misinformation

Setting the record straight on some Trail Blazer misinformation

Setting the record straight on some Trail Blazer misinformation that is on the verge of becoming fact to people who weren't there.

  • The whole idea that Trail Blazer fans quit going to games because they didn't like the "Jail Blazers" is not true. In fact, many times I watched those fans give standing ovations to J.R. Rider, Ruben Patterson and the rest -- as long as they were winning. There was no rebellion at all during those times -- as long as the team was playing well. The revolt came when it became obvious that the team, as it was assembled, was not going to win. Then, and only then, did the behavior became an issue.
  • Brandon Roy was a terrific Trail Blazer and it was a shame his career was cut short. But to give him credit for somehow changing the culture here is going a little too far. Paul Allen, and only Paul Allen, could do that. And he did, by parting ways with Bob Whitsitt in 2003 and putting a new emphasis on obtaining players of character.
  • I've never cared much about whose number hangs in the rafters of Moda Center. Retire Roy's number? Fine. But the whole idea that Carmelo Anthony couldn't wear Roy's No. 7 was silly. That's a Hall of Fame player, right there. And No. 7 has still not been retired. Melo should have been, out of respect, handed that number when he walked in the door -- and if they wanted to retire it later, fine. Bob Gross wore No 30 and so did Terry Porter. Both of them have their number retired.
  • Once and for all, and I think all the local fans seem to understand this, but the national media doesn't -- do not expect Portland to make a major trade strictly to save this season. Anything this franchise does will be with the future in mind. As it should.
  • "Recency bias" rears its ugly head on things like retired numbers. I hear people talk about who they think are worthy and they are usually only players they've seen play -- with the exception of Bill Walton and Maurice Lucas. Barely anyone mentions Geoff Petrie, the original Trail Blazer and a man who would average more than 30 points a game with the three-point line and today's defensive rules. I understand the bias, but really --history is your friend, even in sports.