Archive for the ‘Portland Trail Blazers’ Category

You guys know the details of Greg Oden’s NBA career, so I’m not going to bore you with them. Basically, No. 1 overall pick and future franchise center is betrayed by his lower legs, thereby ruining his career and running him out of the league by age 24. That’s a one sentence description of the last five years of Oden’s life and it’s depressing enough. If you want the whole story, read his Wikipedia page, put on an Afghan Whigs record and really take yourself to a bad place. Super fun summer activity.

But if you’ve been keeping up with Greg Oden, you know he’s planning to make a comeback to the NBA at some point, with most rumors pointing to the start of the 2013-14 season as Oden’s re-debut. As it turns out, that’s a pretty good idea considering no one wants him right now anyways. From the Terre Haute Tribune-Star:

“It’s not like teams are out there telling people they want me, because they’re not right now,” Oden explained. “And I’m not out there telling people I want to go to a certain team. I want to go to a place where I can get healthy and with somebody who can believe in me and my skills — somewhere it could be a good fit for the both of us.”

That’s equal parts gloomy and sensible, if you ask me. Yeah, it sucks that he’s saying no teams are interested in picking him up, but at least he realizes he needs to chill, get healthy and find a situation where he can succeed, even if succeeding now isn’t defined the same as it was five seasons ago. Being told you’re unfit for your profession at 24 has to be the worst, but it seems like Oden realizes that NBA opinion can change in the blink of an eye. If he gets healthy and proves he can still play, some team will definitely take a chance on him. (Hopefully the Suns, so they can use their magic on his legs.)

Of course, it it doesn’t work out, he’s got a backup plan.

Asked what he’d like his next job to be after he retires from pro basketball — whenever that may be — Oden smiled before giving his answer.

“I actually want to be a [high school or middle school] gym teacher,” he said. “I feel like they have the best job ever. You think about it, they get their weekends off and they get to wear sweats every day to work.”

Considering the one time I’ve seen Greg Oden in person he was wearing sweat pants, coupled with the fact that all the gym teachers I know always brag about how they get to wear basketball shorts to work, this actually seems like a perfect fit. I can’t imagine Greg would be great at teaching the nuances of pickleball and he’s a HUGE target in dodgeball, but if he gets to wear chill clothes to work and hang out with kids that are too young to realize that he never had a Hall of Fame career, then he’d be a great gym teacher.

Besides, if you think regular gym teachers let you get away with anything, imagine having class with a millionaire gym teacher. He’ll let you high-stick in floor hockey all the time. Kids are going to love him.

(via Ball Don’t Lie)

We went over this yesterday. Step one to not punching other players in the junk is simple — don’t punch them in the junk. I guess Nic Batum didn’t get the memo because holy smokes is that a serious nut punch.

Look how angry he looks. I’m on record as being against punching your opponents in the balls, but just let me make sure everyone knows that I am SUPER against looking this ferocious when you do it. It takes a bad situation and makes things way worse. This makes Fecundo Campazzo look gentle.

He had a reason though. From Adrian Wojnarowski:

“I wanted to give him a good reason to flop,” Batum said.

People have said that flopping has gotten out of hand, but I’m not sure they meant for players to take matters in to their own hands, literally. Though I will concede that a rogue nut-puncher traveling throughout the NBA would certainly be an effective policing strategy.

On the plus side, at least the All-Punched in the Nuts team finally has a point guard. Between La Bomba, Julius Hodge, Carmelo Anthony, Channing Frye and Chris Kaman, that’s a pretty solid team in this new world where punching opponents in the genitals is the cool thing to do. Not only are they complete, they’ve also learned to play though a nut punch. Looking forward to them uniting in the 2016 Olympics and taking home gold.

Just make sure to bring cups.

(via BuzzFeed)

Hey, summer league highlights, remember those? Good thing they’re not going to last an extra three months this time around.

Nonetheless, as far as hilariously-soundtracked clips from random gyms go, this is a good start. It’s also the most Jamal Crawford thing possible, dribbling out the clock, shooting a long, contested shot and then just walking off like it’s no big deal. The only thing that could make this more Jamal Crawford is if he got fouled while shooting.

(via House of Highlights)

It’s been nearly 15 years since Dennis Scott freaked out at a basketball camp and told a bunch of kids to ask him about the rage that exists inside him, played them some rap songs filled with swear words and then told America that if they’re scared to say they’re scared because he’s living his life how he wants to. To this day, it remains one of the funniest things in NBA history.

So maybe that’s why Raymond Felton, a free agent this summer, used a little bit of his own basketball camp time to call out all the bloggers and media who badmouthed him during his time with the Trail Blazers. As transcribed by Blazers Edge:

“I’m a free agent so maybe those bloggers and those people who write won’t have to see me again. Maybe they won’t, until I’m coming in on the other end and droppin’ 50 on ‘em. We’ll see what happens. Who knows.”

Not quite 3-D levels of insanity, but it’s still a nice tribute, especially if you read it the way Mike Prada of SB Nation does, which is to interpret this as Felton saying he’d gladly drop 50 points on some hating bloggers. I think it’s more along the lines of Felton saying he’ll score 50 against the Blazers whenever he comes back with his new team, but I’ll admit the “50 on a blogger” method is a lot more fun.

But even if it’s just the boring revenge angle, that’s still funny. Not only is his career-high just 35 points, he’s also coming off a season where he posted his lowest career PER, shot 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from three. Threatening to drop 50 after a season like that is like M. Night Shyamalan bragging that his next twist ending is going to blow your mind after releasing “The Village,” “Lady in the Water” and “The Happening” in consecutive order. We don’t believe you, you need more shots made.

Even if this is a silly way of saying he’ll have his revenge, this is definitive evidence that Raymond Felton does read what us stupid bloggers write. That being case — Hi, Raymond. If you want to play on my men’s league team sometime, just let me know. Email’s over there on the right. Talk to you soon.

Not every player in the NBA can be a superstar. It is literally impossible, because if every player was a superstar than every player would also be a role player, which makes them not a superstar and we’re back to my original statement. That’s all semantics and Communist policy though. What I’m trying to say is that there are very clearly defined hierarchies in the NBA. Some players are superstars, others are garbage time all-stars. “That’s just the way it is.” — hologram 2Pac

But the thing is, some of these scrubs become fan favorites, whether it be due to their silly antics, clutch fast food-winning shots or, most often, pale skin. Think Brians Scalabrine and Cardinal, who are the NBA’s foremost end of the bench luminaries.

However, these guys want to be so much more than just a joke for fans to cheer for when they get put in with 42 seconds remaining in a 26-point game. Just listen to what Luke Babbitt has to say about his role as the Trail Blazers’ designated Chalupa Guy. From the Columbian:

“There are guys like that on every team, where it becomes a joke. That’s what I was, and to some people, I still am. I’m trying to bust out of that,” said Babbitt, 22. “I play to be a winner, to be a contributor, not a guy who comes in and makes Chalupa shots. … Still, we’ve got the best fans, and I can’t really blame them because for a year and a half, I hadn’t really done anything else.”

It’s a tough role to play for these guys. They’re legitimate NBA players but all anyone knows about them is that they’re the guy who hits the three to take things from 97 to 100 and put some food in some hands. They don’t see the practice time they’re putting in or the one-on-one games that these guys are playing to help make their more important teammates better. It’s better to have fans like you than hate you, but it has to be hard for these Chalupa Guys to just be Chalupa Guys when they wish they could be doing more.

And that feeling is probably even more pronounced for someone like Luke Babbitt. At least the Brians are nearing the end of their careers, basically just hanging on to roster spots because they are good professionals who are valuable to their coaches as teachers. Luke Babbitt was the 16th pick just two summers ago, selected ahead of guys like Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford who have had more chances to prove themselves as NBA players. Playing behind the 68 forwards that the Trail Blazers have employed in the past two seasons has made it hard for Babbitt to establish himself on the court, aside from his role as the team’s Chalupa Guy, even though his teammates admit he’s the team’s best shooter.

There are worse things in the world than being your team’s Chalupa Guy. You make millions of dollars, fans love you and sometimes you get hilarious tribute videos. All things considered, it’s a pretty good gig. But no one wants to be the Chalupa Guy. Truth be told, it’s kind of like eating a chalupa. You never really want it, but it still feels pretty good.

(via Blazer’s Edge)

Look, I am not trying to be Reddit.com/tbj here, but I’m just saying that if Ridiculously Photogenic Guy can become a meme — literally the worst meme, but still a meme — then Jamal Crawford skipping down the court can definitely become a meme. You know this is true.

It’s easy. He’s skipping. He’s easily isolated by your favorite photo editing software. Just watch.

See. That’s Jamal Crawford double-dutching when he wasn’t double-dutching before. Total meme.

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“I can’t make wine out of water.”Kurt Thomas, on tutoring Hasheem Thabeet

(via BDL/Clutch Fans)