Posts Tagged ‘Portland Trail Blazers’

Damian Lillard celebrates the return of Madden

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We’re still a few weeks away from the start of the NBA season, but we’re just days away from football returning. Which of course means the return of the great football video game Madden, which dropped yesterday. In this new commercial from EA Sports, Portland guard Damian Lillard sits down with Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller to play a game of Madden, only to find Miller has an edge that will be hard for Lillard to top.


VIDEO: Carroting

Throwback Thursday: Best teams of the 1990s


VIDEO: Relive the top 10 plays from the 1993 Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball.

Today’s Topic: Best Teams of 1990s

This week we continue our Throwback Thursday: Best Teams of Each Decade series by looking at the best teams to play in the 1990s.

Make sure to check back next week for our look at the best teams of the 2000s!

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: TBT: Best Teams of the 1990s

Previous weeks:

Best Teams of 1940-50s
Best Teams of 1960s
Best Teams of 1970s
Best Teams of the 1980s

Which of these teams do you think would do best in today’s NBA? Leave your comments below!

Blazers take to the diamond

By Jeff Case

The Portland Trail Blazers enjoy one of the most fervent fan bases in all of the NBA, mostly because they were the only professional sports league in town for many, many years. While that has changed of late with the Portland Timbers being a part of Major League Soccer, Blazermania is still alive and well in the Rose City.

While Portland can claim an NBA and MLS team, it doesn’t boast a Major League Baseball team. That leaves Portlanders to scratch that diamond itch another way and the Blazers’ players and coaches prove no exception to that rule. During the last few weeks, the Blazers have had a presence on the baseball field, though, as fans (and coach Terry Stotts) took in a minor league game in Oregon.

And out in Seattle, avowed Mariners fan (and starting center) Robin Lopez threw out the first pitch before a game.


VIDEO: Terry Stotts and Blazers fans watch a minor-league baseball game in Oregon


VIDEO: Robin Lopez tosses out the first pitch at a Mariners game

 

Throwback Thursday: Best teams of the 1980s


VIDEO: Relive the top moments from The 1983 Finals between the Sixers and Lakers

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball.

Today’s Topic: Best Teams of 1980s

This week we continue our Throwback Thursday: Best Teams of Each Decade series by looking at the best teams to play in the 1980s.

Make sure to check back next week for our look at the best teams of the 1990s!

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: TBT: Best Teams of the 1980s

Previous weeks:

Best Teams of 1940-50s
Best Teams of 1960s
Best Teams of 1970s

Which of these teams do you think would do best in today’s NBA? Leave your comments below!

What if Damian Lillard was a bust?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — In this latest spot from adidas, we catch up with Portland’s Damian Lillard. His latest shoe is the Crazylight Boost, which features adidas’ new Boost cushioning technology. From the press release…

In the video, Damian Lillard shows us he would be great at anything in life by portraying a popcorn-slinging, movie theater employee serving customers before show time. In a dramatized portrayal of the world without Boost, Lillard is interviewed by Turner Sports sideline reporter Rachel Nichols after completing an intense session of serving concessions. Following his interview, the world of “Bust” transforms into the world of “Boost,” where Damian is back to All-Star form on the court.

Have to admit, he’s pretty quick on the popcorn…


VIDEO: Boost or bust

Throwback Thursday: Best teams of the 1970s


VIDEO: Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dominated during the 1970s

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball.

Today’s Topic: Best Teams of 1970s

This week we continue our Throwback Thursday: Best Teams of Each Decade series by looking at the best teams to play in the 1970s.

Make sure to check back next week for our look at the best teams of the 1980s!

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: TBT: Best Teams of 1970s

Previous weeks:

Best Teams of 1940-50s
Best Teams of 1960s

Which of these teams do you think would do best in today’s NBA? Leave your comments below!

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…

(more…)

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.