Posts Tagged ‘Portland Trail Blazers’

NBA Musicians

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Finals are over. The draft is over. Most of the free agents have agreed to terms. Summer League is over.

And now, before the FIBA Basketball World Cup gets going in September, we have a little bit of NBA down time. Which doesn’t mean the NBA talk stops — instead, it just takes a turn toward the…strange.

For instance, last night on Twitter, somehow the hashtag #NBAmusicians started trending. What was this hashtag? Basically, people took NBA player’s names and mashed them up with band names. And it’s still going this morning!

How did all this start? That’s not important. What’s important is that it did start, and then the Twitter accounts of actual NBA teams started playing along, and next thing you know you’ve got a trending topic. Here are some of the greatest hits…

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All-Access at 2014 Summer League

By Jeff Case

NBA Summer League is well underway in Las Vegas — in fact, we’re already in the tournament stage of the competition. As you’d expect, there have been a bunch of youngsters who have surprised (our Scott Howard-Cooper is all over it on the Rookie Ladder) and we’ve even had a couple of shots that nearly made us fire up the Horry Scale.

The other part of the fun of Summer League is seeing how the NBA’s youngsters learns on the job — and on the bench. Not only do rookies get more playing time than they might get on their team come the regular season, but assistant coaches (often the men who lead Summer League teams) get to try their hand at their craft, too.

With that all being said, here’s a look at some different folks participating in Summer League, courtesy of their respective team websites …


VIDEO: Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova takes part in Summer League


VIDEO: Listen in as Knicks swingman Cleanthony Early participates in the Las Vegas Summer League


VIDEO: Wolves rookie Zach LaVine gets ready for his Summer League experience


VIDEO: Blazers assistant coach David Vanterpool coaches up the team during Summer League


VIDEO: Kings assistant coach Chris Jent leads the team through a Summer League practice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A big week for birthday cakes and the NBA

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — This is apparently a great week to be an NBA player having a birthday, or even if you’re just an NBA player who enjoys eating birthday cake.

Just one day ago we saw Danté Exum presented with a birthday cake. Little did we know it would mark the start of a trend.

Two nights ago, “The Starters” presented Bucks rookie Jabari Parker with this cake.

Last night, after Trey Burke visited “The Starters” on NBA TV, he was presented with a cake, which he promptly smashed into the face of my main man Trey Kerby.

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(gif via @CJZero)

Meanwhile, out in Portland, Damian Lillard got a birthday cake from a camper at his basketball camp featuring a photo of his Horry Scale shot against Houston from the playoffs.

If that wasn’t enough, Lillard also got a cake with an adidas shoe in the middle of it…

CJ sits down with the deputy commish

There have been a lot of personnel changes at NBA headquarters, most notably Adam Silver being promoted to NBA Commissioner. So who filled in his spot as NBA deputy commissioner, and what exactly does that job entail?

Meet Mark Tatum.

Portland Trail Blazer guard CJ McCollum spent a few minutes with Tatum backstage at the NBA Draft last month at Barclays Center in Brooklyn as the deputy commissioner was preparing to announce the Second Round for the first time.

Mark Tatum (left) and CJ McCollum

Mark Tatum (left) and CJ McCollum

CJ McCollum: As NBA deputy commissioner, a lot of people are not familiar with the responsibilities of that position. What are some of those?

Mark Tatum: In my position as deputy commissioner I’m largely responsible for the business of the NBA. It includes the sponsorship group, the global merchandise group, international business, events and marketing of the NBA, the communications department, as well as the WNBA and NBA D-League. The last area is our team marketing and business operations. So, it’s all the business operations of the league.

CJ: So you’re the guy to talk to for my endorsement opportunities?

MT: Absolutely. In my previous role as the head of global sponsorship, I spent a lot of time working with players and facilitating discussions between them and corporate sponsors. The Kia/Blake Griffin deal was a result of discussions I had with Blake’s representatives.

Prior to the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk contest in L.A., they called me and said, “Blake wants to jump over a car,” and I said, “That’s great. You know he has to jump over a Kia car, right?” That led to a longer term relationship with Blake. So, yes, we can talk. I can help facilitate the right introductions.

CJ: OK, great, that’s something we’ll save for later. A lot of people may not know you played a little bit of baseball back in the day, and you also worked for Major League Baseball, as well.

MT: That’s right I did. I see you did your research. I love it.

CJ: Tell me a little bit about your baseball experience and what you did for MLB.

MT: I grew up right here in Brooklyn, New York, not too far from here, in East Flatbush. I went to high school around the corner from the Barclays Center, Brooklyn Tech, and we won a New York City Public High School Championship. I played in the parade grounds, played my whole life and played in college as well at Cornell.

I ended up going to work for Major League Baseball after I graduated from business school and worked in their Corporate Sponsorship group. I thought that was going to be the dream job for me because I played baseball growing up. When the NBA was coming out of the lockout in 1998-99, I received a call. I had always been fascinated by the branding and marketing of the NBA, the globality of the NBA, and when they called me and said that they were interested in talking about positions, I decided to have that conversation.

I just loved the proposition that the NBA had. I loved the idea that the NBA was going to continue to grow on a global basis and they were going to continue to do great marketing. Joining the NBA was one of the best decisions I ever made.

CJ: Well, I’m glad you made that transition. For selfish reasons, I appreciate it! Just two more questions before I let you go. Obviously technology is big in the NBA now. What do you think the status is with technology integrating into the game, and where do you see it fitting in and advancing?

MT: It will be a big part of the game, technology, and particularly with the NBA, because our players and fans are early adapters of technology. We as a league have to be on the cutting edge of that technology and we are looking at all kinds of ways to continue to incorporate technology into our game.

Whether it’s tablets courtside or more sophisticated instant replay capability, technology can be used to speed up decisions on the court and provide data and analysis to help our players improve their game, to help our coaches and general managers and the entire NBA family improve. We view technology as an enabler to the game. It will continue to be a big part of it.

CJ: Lastly, I asked Adam how he felt about announcing the first round of the Draft and maybe not hearing as many boos. However, you may be the one on the receiving end of the those boos, so he told me to give you advice. You know he supports you no matter what, whether you get booed or not, and if you need a shoulder to lean on he’ll be there for you.

What advice do you have for the rookies?

MT: Well, my advice for the rookies is to, one, enjoy this night. All of our players who are here tonight have dreamed of this moment. They had a dream of growing up and making it to the NBA, and to have that dream fully realized is an amazing thing so appreciate that, put that in perspective, and then work hard. This is a league that values hard work, and if you work hard and invest time in your game and in getting better and improving, you will reap the rewards on the court and off the court.

CJ: I appreciate you taking the time to do this, I have to leave you with this last question. What is your favorite book? You know I was a guy who was into magazines growing up. My mom told me, “You need to expand your knowledge a little bit, you need to step outside your realm.”

What is your favorite book to read or do you have one that you can recommend?

MT: I like business books. I also like books that just kind of take you out of the realm of reality. I enjoy Malcolm Gladwell’s work, I think he’s an amazing writer. He wrote Outliers and Tipping Point. Those are some of the more recent books that I’ve enjoyed because he frames things in a very interesting way and I think that it’s a very provocative way of thinking about things. Gladwell makes you think about a different perspective, and so that would be one of the writers I would recommend.

Don’t call Damian Lillard a lizard

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It seems like we’re constantly trying to come up with cool nicknames for NBA players. Some of them stick — one of my favorites was “B-Diddy” for Baron Davis — and some of them don’t — “Slim Reaper” for Kevin Durant.

Recently, an artist did a drawing of Portland’s Damian Lillard represented as a lizard. This was a nod to Lillard’s slithery game, but also a bit of wordplay — “Lillard” sounds a bit like “lizard.”

But as it turns out, Damian Lillard himself hopes this is a nickname that doesn’t stick. In a chat yesterday on ESPN’s SportsNation, someone asked Lillard about being called “Lizard.” And, well, he wasn’t really into it…

Damian Lillard shows off dunking ability at basketball camp

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the surprise standouts at All Star Weekend a few months back was Portland’s Damian Lillard, who threw down one of the most memorable dunks of the weekend. That dunk was commemorated with a GIF…

lillard

Yesterday, at his basketball camp in Portland, Lillard recreated that dunk, and threw down a nasty windmill off the bounce. As he wrote in the caption on Instagram, “Tried to get them to work on fundamentals first, but they wanted to dunk lol. #LillardCamp

Robin Lopez finally meets Sideshow Bob

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of Robin Lopez‘s most memorable features has always been his hair — big and bold and, if we’re being perfectly honest, a lot like the hair of Sideshow Bob on “The Simpsons.” The Lopez/Sideshow Bob comparison is nothing new — people have been pointing this out for a while. But Robin Lopez took things a step further yesterday by posting a photo of himself next to a banner of Sideshow Bob. As Lopez noted in the caption, “Robert Terwilliger and yours truly #SideshowToSideshow #ILoveYouKelseyGrammer”…

(via TNLP)

No. 13 – Champs aplenty in this class

The84Draft
The countdown is on! We’re offering 84 facts on the ’84 Draft – one every hour — in advance of the June 9 premiere of “The84Draft” on NBA TV.

Otis Thorpe and Hakeem Olajuwon

Otis Thorpe (left) and Hakeem Olajuwon won a title together in 1994.

Names: Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Otis Thorpe, Kevin Willis, Tony Campbell, Jerome Kersey, Rick Carlisle

Colleges: Houston (Olajuwon), North Carolina (Jordan), Providence (Thorpe), Michigan State (Willis), Ohio State (Campbell), Longwood (Kersey), Virginia (Carlisle)

Drafted in 1984: 1st overall by Houston Rockets (Olajuwon), 3rd overall by Chicago Bulls (Jordan), 9th overall by Kansas City Kings (Thorpe), 11th overall by Atlanta Hawks (Willis), 20th overall by Detroit Pistons (Campbell), 46th overall by Portland Trail Blazers (Kersey), 70th overall by Boston Celtics (Carlisle)

Draft fact: Players from the 1984 Draft combined to win 13 NBA championships. Here’s the breakdown: Michael Jordan (six championships), Hakeem Olajuwon (two), Otis Thorpe (one), Kevin Willis (one), Tony Campbell (one), Jerome Kersey (one) and Rick Carlisle (one).


VIDEO: Hakeem Olajuwon guides the Houston Rockets to the 1995 championship

We’re just 13 hours away from “The84Draft” on NBA TV! Tune in for the captivating story on one of the NBA’s most talent-filled and unique classes ever.

No. 17 – Kersey carves out an NBA niche

The84Draft

The countdown is on! We’re offering 84 facts on the ’84 Draft – one every hour — in advance of the June 9 premiere of “The84Draft” on NBA TV.

Jerome Kersey

In his career, Jerome Kersey appeared in more than 1,100 games.

Name: Jerome Kersey

Position: Forward

Vitals: 6-foot-7, 215 pounds

Birthday: June 26, 1962

College: Longwood University

Drafted in 1984: 46th overall (No. 22 in second round) by Portland Trail Blazers

Draft fact: Although Jerome Kersey was not selected until Portland used the 46th pick of the 1984 Draft, he would play 17 seasons in the NBA and appear in 1,153 regular-season games.


VIDEO: Jerome Kersey throws a beautiful pass to Clyde Drexler during the 1990 West finals

We’re just 17 hours away from “The84Draft” on NBA TV! Tune in for the captivating story on one of the NBA’s most talent-filled and unique classes ever.

No. 27 – Thorpe quite the marksman

The84Draft

The countdown is on! We’re offering 84 facts on the ’84 Draft – one every hour — in advance of the June 9 premiere of “The84Draft” on NBA TV.

Otis Thorpe

Otis Thorpe seemed to specialize in high-percentage shots.

Name: Otis Thorpe

Position: Forward

Vitals: 6-foot-9, 225

Birthday: Aug. 5, 1962

College: Providence

Drafted in 1984: 9th overall by Kansas City Kings

Draft fact: Otis Thorpe, the ninth overall pick of the 1984 Draft, shot 54.8 percent from the field during his 17-season NBA career, which ranks 27th on the all-time list.

We’re just 27 hours away from “The84Draft” on NBA TV! Tune in for the captivating story on one of the NBA’s most talent-filled and unique classes ever.