We have Allen Iverson to thank for the Damian Lillard and Pusha T collab

We have Allen Iverson to thank for the Damian Lillard and Pusha T collab

The NBA All-Star events are underway in Chicago.

Friday afternoon, Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard made an Adidas Basketball appearance while in Chi-Town for the release of the latest colorway of his Dame 6 signature shoe.

Despite not participating in Sunday’s All-Star game or Saturday’s 3-point contest due to suffering a right groin strain, Lillard is still making the most of the weekend.

The 29-year-old teamed up with longtime rapper Pusha T for this latest Adidas Dame colorway.

Lillard, Pusha-T and Pharrell were all part of the promotional launch.

 

With the release date coinciding with NBA All-Star Weekend, Lillard met with fans to autograph his new sneaks at Friday’s Adidas event.

To promote the new show Adidas put together a short music video with Pusha T rapping about Lillard featuring Pharrell.

There are plenty of lyrics that will put a smile on Trail Blazers fans faces.  

“Because he will hit the game winner. Bye-bye, it was nice to know ya.”

“My handles can’t be trusted.”

“No playin' kicks, in my Dame 6, I showed them all what they wasn't.”

At Friday’s event in Chicago, Pusha T explained how the collab all began.

It was a commercial that I saw years ago with Allen Iverson… It was Allen Iverson and Jadakiss and I was like, ‘man, I want to redo that, but I want to do it with Dame. -- Pusha T on the newest Dame 6 collaboration  

If you’re looking to go down memory lane, here’s the IA and Jadakiss commercial:

The Lillard collabs continue this weekend in Chicago.

The five-time All-Star will still perform as scheduled during All-Star Saturday night despite his strained groin.

Dame D.O.L.L.A will be joined on stage by Lil Wayne and Jeremih.  

Keeps those star-studded collaborations coming. 

CJ McCollum reveals how long it'd take to be ready to play in games again

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USA Today Images

CJ McCollum reveals how long it'd take to be ready to play in games again

It's been exactly 20 days since the NBA shutdown teams' training facilities and it's been nearly a month since the league was suspended. 

The only Trail Blazers currently allowed to enter the practice facility are those still receiving treatment during their rehab-- Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins, Rodney Hood. 

As players do their at home workouts and continue to try their best to stay in shape, it’s not the same as being able to go to team’s training facilities and get in their typical workouts.

During a Trail Blazers video conference Wednesday, shooting guard CJ McCollum described what he thinks the process would look like if in fact they are cleared to resume play this summer.

I think the first thing we would have to do is get in shape. Game shape -- obviously, we are all trying to workout. We’re trying to do what we can at home. Some people are going on runs, maybe riding bikes. I have a stationary bike… But, it’s not the same as physically getting up and down and playing on the basketball court so I think you have to take some time to kind of go through that process, that period of one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three, five-on-five -- getting up and down full court, that’ll be very helpful. -- CJ McCollum

From playing one-on-one to three-on-three, McCollum believes that teams would then be able to transition that to getting back and competing in full court scrimmages.

But that’s thing -- it will be a process.

It’s not as if NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is going clear players to return to their practice facilities and then bam!! -- We’ve got NBA games that week or even that following week or two.

There are players out there who have discussed how fortunate they are to have a nice home gym, like Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard, and how they are still able to get in somewhat normal workouts. But, that’s not the case for many of the players, especially the younger ones.

“I think it would take us some time to say the least, especially depending on when we would end up starting,” McCollum said.  “This is like day 28, so that’s 28 days for most guys that haven’t shot a basketball, most guys haven’t, been on a court in general unless you have one or are going outside, but it’s still not the same as playing an actual game or an actual practice.”

The 28-year-old also mentioned that it is his rhythm that he is more concerned about at this point.

McCollum and his teammates are in constant communication with Trail Blazers Sports Performance Specialist Todd Forcier.

“I told Todd the other day, I’ll stay close. I’m like a week away” of being in game shape.

Forcier has been assembling stationary bikes for a few of the players including Nassir Little and Zach Collins, who have limited workout access in their current living situations.

The Trail Blazers are doing their best to stay connected and stay in shape with Zoom video conferencing.  

A few of the players have been doing Zoom yoga classes that McCollum said he was missing Wednesday's class because of the Zoom press conference, but he’ll catch up on the workout later.

The Trail Blazers starting shooting guard reiterated that he knows he needs to stay within striking distance of being able to play an NBA game. That is why he is staying “at least one week away” from being able to get up and down the court effectively.

If we were to come back we wouldn’t be able to play a game for at least a few weeks, is my guess -- Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum

McCollum does not have a basketball court at his home, but this quarantine has made him rethink that.

“It’s hard to train in a way that’s effective when you don’t have all the resources, and I’m not complaining about it, like this is the situation that I’m in, I’m cool with it, but to actually be able to shoot would be great. I thought about buying a court.”

Former Blazers big man Meyers Leonard is helping out his former teammate, though. The Leonards still own their house in West Linn and have already reached out to McCollum about him using their court.

“I’m actually thinking about going to Meyers’ house. Meyers has a court that they said I could use their little basketball court. So I’d be able to go get some shots up… Even if you go buy a court or whatever the case may be, it’s not the same as like the normal workouts you’ll go through, the normal stuff that I’ll be doing to kind of prepare for the season and for games,” McCollum said.  

“I haven’t shot a basketball in at least two weeks,” McCollum added.

Being able to get shots up for McCollum and the rest of the Blazers who don't have a basketball court at home would probably be more of a positive thing mentally than physically at this point in the hiatus. 

CJ McCollum on gathering teams in Vegas to play: 'You'd have to shut down the strip'

CJ McCollum on gathering teams in Vegas to play: 'You'd have to shut down the strip'

Major League Baseball is working on a plan to bring all its teams to the Phoenix area to begin a season in late May or June and the NBA is rumored to be thinking about doing something similar, perhaps in Las Vegas.

But would that work? Would it be safe?

CJ McCollum was asked about it Wednesday during an online news conference coordinated by the Trail Blazers. And he seemed to have some doubts about just how such a plan could be executed.

“I’m sure if there is a way to do it, they’ll figure it out,” he said. “I’m not sure if there is a way. But what I’m hearing is MLB is looking at certain cities, certain locations. Probably target cities that don’t have a stay-at-home ordinance. There’s probably seven to ten places left in the United States that don’t have a stay-at-home ordinance.”

But it would probably be a very large-scale operation for the city playing host to such an event.

“I think if you did it in Las Vegas you’d have to shut down the strip,” McCollum said. “I don’t know where you could find an area that’s completely isolated from outsiders. And that’s the problem that I think MLB and most sports are facing.”

And putting all those players in one spot for an extended period of time and expecting them to be alone?

“If you quarantine the players individually, you have to make sure they have interactions with no one, right?” he said.  “In a sense, family -- you don’t know where they would be traveling from.

“You’re basically isolating them because they could be asymptomatic carriers. Which could kind of disturb things and kind of throw off the balance of what you’re trying to accomplish.”

At this point, such a plan seems to require so much planning, followed by impeccable execution, it’s hard to imagine that it's workable.

“I don’t know how you do it, personally,” McCollum said. “I think we have people smart enough to figure things out if there is a way.

“I think one of these major sports organizations is going to figure it out.”

But what a puzzle it’s going to be.

Re-living Damian Lillard’s shot still gives us goosebumps

Re-living Damian Lillard’s shot still gives us goosebumps

During the Portland-Houston first round playoff series in 2014, three of the six games went to overtime.

The entire series was a classic in its own right, let alone adding in Damian Lillard’s incredible Game 6 buzzer-beater.

The Rockets had won the regular season series, 3-1 that year. Both teams scored over 100 points in each of the four games.

The big question is: How was this almost six years ago?

Game Summaries heading into Game 6:

GAME 1 - Portland 122, Houston 120 (OT)

GAME 2 - Portland 112, Houston 10

GAME 3 - Houston 121, Portland 116 (OT)

GAME 4 - Portland 123, Houston 120 (OT)

GAME 5 - Houston 108, Portland

One thing is certain: Rip City Faithful misses this 2013-14 team.

Whether it was LaMarcus Aldridge, Nic Batum, Wesley Matthews, Robin Lopez or Thomas Robinson, Blazers fans shared their thoughts on how much fun it was to watch this squad.


Lillard, along with Aldridge, helped guide the Blazers to the Western Conference semifinals for the first time in 14 years.

Aldridge had a career season, winning three Western Conference Player of the Week honors, while also putting up career highs in several statistical categories including:

  • Points per game
  • Rebounds per game,
  • Free-throw percentage
  • Defensive rebounds
  • Double-doubles

Rewatching this game had Trail Blazers fans thinking about the what ifs.

What if Aldridge had stayed and not left for San Antonio in the summer of 2015?

What if…

But then, of course, there were all the feels once again with Lillard draining the three-point over Chandler Parsons with nine tenths remaining on the clock.

Lillard finished with 25 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Aldridge added 30 points and 13 rebounds.

Damian Lillard also gave Rip City their first taste of a game-winning three that nobody will ever forget.

This is the defender Carmelo Anthony "couldn't f*** around with"

This is the defender Carmelo Anthony "couldn't f*** around with"

Everyone is doing what they can to pass the time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Carmelo Anthony is no different. And while being stuck at home is less than ideal, Carmelo has been using his Instagram influence to kick back and drink wine with close friends.

In his latest Instagram live session, which he calls “#WhatsInYourGlass”, Carmelo was joined by entrepreneur, author, speaker, wine critic and Internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk aka “Garyvee”.

During this hour-long conversation filled mostly with talking about win and drinking it, too, Garyvee asked Melo a question that made him stop and think: “Who was the toughest defender you ever faced?”

His answer? Metta World Peace.

You could’t f*** around with him. You had to GO! You wasn’t-- like imma take time my time imma get into the game.. no. It become, for me, more mental than physical on how to beat him.

Melo also explained how he had problems with “smaller” guys on the court, too, and that the referees wouldn't call some flops that were going on in the game when he was trying to gain a position in the low post. Melo also revealed that ultimately the way to stopping a great player is team defense.

If you want the latest in Melo #WhatsInYourGlass content, head over to his Instagram page and give him a follow.

Anfernee Simons joins Jr. NBA at Home initiative

Anfernee Simons joins Jr. NBA at Home initiative

Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons is the latest NBA player to get involved with Jr. NBA at Home.

The program is a free interactive digital content series that provides basketball drills featuring both NBA and WNBA players that can be completed individually as well as in limited space. The series looks to inspire youth around the world to stay active in a healthy and safe way.  

Simons demonstrated a seated dribbling drill for kids to do at home in their own living room.

With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping families at home and kids unable to play with their friends and teammates, Jr. NBA at Home is hoping these videos will inspire youngsters to continue to work on their game and connect with the NBA.

So far, the NBA has published dozens of Jr. NBA at Home videos. Current NBA and WNBA players have rallied behind the initiative including Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari, Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd, NBA legend Muggsy Bogues, and now Simons is the latest player to get involved. 

Memories from Damian Lillard's "The Shot" game winner vs. Houston

Memories from Damian Lillard's "The Shot" game winner vs. Houston

Everybody remembers Damian Lillard’s “.9” shot. Just say “point-nine” to a Trail Blazer fan and you get a smile.

It was Damian Lillard taking “Dame Time” or “Lillard Time” (whichever you prefer) to a national level. And it was his first big moment on a truly national stage -- the clinching game of a playoff series.

But it’s difficult to understand the true dramatic impact of that shot without watching the entire rollercoaster of a game. And that opportunity will come tonight (6 o’clock) on NBC Sports Northwest.

It was May 2, 2014 and the Trail Blazers had been eliminated from the playoffs in the first round six straight times and hadn’t advanced to the second round in 14 years. The Rockets, with Dwight Howard and James Harden, were heavily favored to win the series.

But the Trail Blazers stunned everyone by going into Houston and capturing the first two games of the series on the road. But when the best-of-seven affair returned to Portland, the Rockets got a split in two games that went into overtime. Then Houston won a home game to send the series back to Portland.

For Trail Blazer fans, accustomed to seeing their team lose in the first round, the situation was dire. If their team couldn’t win a Game 6 at home to close out the series, could it possibly win a Game 7 in Houston?

Lillard made sure it didn’t go that far with his long three-pointer off an in-bounds pass with less than a second to play -- a dramatic moment that turned Moda Center into a cauldron of ecstatic emotion made only louder after Lillard grabbed the PA microphone and shouted “Rip City!”

Just prior to that, Chandler Parsons had put the Rockets up 98-96 with a reverse layup that froze the clock at “.9.”

And at that point, to all the world, the Trail Blazers seemed destined to make a trip back to Houston to fritter away what was once a 3-1 series lead and lose another first-round series.

But as he has done since his arrival in Portland, Damian Lillard made a difference -- as the horn went off ending the game.

It was the first time we’d seen such a thing in the playoffs. But it wouldn’t be the last.

Why resuming NBA play soon creates a logistical nightmare

Why resuming NBA play soon creates a logistical nightmare

Ever since Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, the NBA has not been the same.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver suspended the 2019-2020 season until further notice and has been seeking out any viable solution to get the NBA back on our television screens as soon as possible. 

One leading idea being tossed around league circles is having the entirety of the NBA postseason be held in Vegas with no fans in attendance but make the games available to watch on national broadcasts. This route would necessitate all NBA players and staff to self-quarantine for two to three weeks before entering the Las Vegas bubble to create a safe zone from the pandemic. 

On the latest Talkin' Blazers podcast, hosts Dan Sheldon and Channing Frye were joined by NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh to speculate on the logistical nightmare created by the need for players to self-quarantine. 

The idea of quaratining an NBA player in self-isolation for two to three weeks before entering the so-called 'bubble', that would take every NBA player [to] not get the Amazon delivery that comes to your door. It means not going to the grocery. It means not anyone in your house, your family, cannot go to the grocery [and] can't go outside and interact with anyone for two to three weeks ...It would take so much more than I think we realize. - Tom Haberstroh

Channing Frye shared his own take on the situation as a former NBA player himself.

What I've been hearing is that we are not going be able to watch basketball the same. Let's say it did go to Vegas, let's say they got all this done... What is your opinion on how many reporters will be able to come in? Like how are we even gonna watch it because then those people have to be quarantined. - Channing Frye

The former NBA Champion then brought up how many people the elite players come into contact with that will also need to be quarantined.

Let's say a guy like me who's just me as a player... I don't have a personal trainer. I don't have a nutritionist. I don't have a chef. I don't have a bodywork guy. You're talking about a guy like LeBron who has a chef, a bodywork guy, a trainer, a somebody else person. He has like four or five people just for basketball not including his publicist. Not including his day-to-day person so even you're relying on these guys to not [contract the virus]. The security would be unbeliveable. 

Adam Silver has stated that a decision will not be made until May at the earliest, but the NBA and NBAPA are assessing multiple coronavirus testing options that may make playing again a reality. 

You can listen to the full episode below.

How Carmelo Anthony stays prepared amidst uncertainty of the NBA season

How Carmelo Anthony stays prepared amidst uncertainty of the NBA season

With the NBA season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and NBA commissioner Adam Silver saying a decision won't be made until May 1 at the absolute earliest, many questions linger about the rest of the year.

Most of all, when and if the 2019-20 NBA season will be returning. The uncertainty has caused personnel around the league to be patient while the NBA and NBAPA gather all the information they can. But unlike coaches and front office personnel, players need to stay in shape without access to their normal athletic training equipment and a target date on when they'll resume play on the basketball court. 

One of these players is Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony, who knows a thing or two about waiting around for an opportunity to get back on the court. He sat out of the NBA for nearly a calendar year after being let go by Houston early in the 2018-19 season.

On an Instagram Live with his Banana Boat buddy Chris Paul, Melo was asked how he is staying mentally prepared for the rest of the current season. 

First of all, it's very hard...due to the unknown. We don't know if what's going to happen. We don't know when it's going to happen. We don't know how it's going to happen. So that's the hard part is dealing with the unknown. You don't know how hard to go. You don't know how many days a week to go, it's just different things and different ways that you got to play with. But you also got to stay on point, you got to stay sharp.

However, with the country in necessary quarantine, Melo cannot go to the gym so he brought the gym to him. 

We done turned the house into a... gym. We got bikes, we got all the weights...kettlebells, dumbells that you can imagine. Stretching machines... everything that you could possibly need here. So I've been keeping up to speed with that.

Whether he has his trademark workout hoodies isn't confirmed, but should be a given. 

In his first season as a Blazer, Melo has averaged 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and started in each appearance. 

When the season was suspended, the Trail Blazers were 3.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. If the league decides to head straight into the postseason, Portland's season could be over, but some are in favor of a play-in tournament for the final playoff spot, including Damian Lillard. 

[RELATED: Damian Lillard suggests NCAA Tournament format if NBA play resumes]

On this day in sports history, Carmelo Anthony leads Syracuse to a National Championship

On this day in sports history, Carmelo Anthony leads Syracuse to a National Championship

The date is April 7, 2003.

The Syracuse Orange (30-5) lead by 6-foot-8 freshman sensation Carmelo Anthony, sporting a thick orange head band, have a date with the Kansas Jayhawks (30-8) in the NCAA National Championship in New Orleans, Louisiana.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Syracuse - Carmelo Anthony, Gerry McNamara, Hakim Warrick, Craig Forth and Kueth Duany.

Kansas - Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich, Jeff Graves, Aaron Miles and Keith Langford.

There were no freshman jitters for the young star from Baltimore, Maryland. 

The Cuse jumped out to an early 53-42 halftime lead. However, the hot shooting did not carry over into the second half with Kansas outscoring Syracuse in the second half. But in the end, Melo pulled through for his team. He lead all scorers with 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in an 81-78 National Championship win. 

During his one and only season at Syracuse, Melo averaged 22.2 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game and was later selected as the No. 3 overall draft pick in the 2003 NBA Draft to the Denver Nuggets. 

The rest is history.

New Orleans will always hold a special place in Melo's heart. A National Championship and an (second) NBA debut.

[RELATED]: Carmelo Anthony reminisces on 'special' Trail Blazers debut