• Greg Oden is back in Indiana, and he's brought his workout regiment with him.
What he craves is to get back on the court. Surgery on his right knee that wiped out what would have been his rookie season is now eight months in the rearview mirror.
"I've got a long summer ahead of me. I've got to take it slow to make sure nothing happens so I'm ready for next season," he said.
"Portland's been awesome with the support they've shown me. Even knowing I wasn't going to play this year, they've been there for me every step of the way."
Oden was visibly bigger and stronger from his college days, partly because he became addicted to lifting weights, one of the few things he could do. Every time his teammates practiced, he hit the weights, eventually being told by the Blazers to back off for fear of bulking up too much.
"I was doing it just to do it. It got to a point I'd be in the weight room doing hard lifts five days a week. That's where I had a chance to get some of the stress out of me," he said.
Here's a slideshow of some locals who won the chance to spend some court time with Greg. Insert 24-Hour Fitness joke here.
• Mike Barrett is back to blogging.
• The Columbian's Brian Hendrickson catches up with James Jones regarding his impending player option. Long story short: nothing new to report.
• More Jones. James gives his opinion on what New York Knicks fans (assuming they still exist) can expect from Mike D'Antoni.
Blazers forward James Jones, who played for D'Antoni in Phoenix (2005-07), thinks his ex-coach can make it work.
"Mike should be able to make them a much faster team," said Jones. "He's going to let the players play and let those guys dictate play on the floor. Players like to play like that."
Team president Donnie Walsh, who chose D'Antoni to rebuild the Knicks, will play a role in personnel moves.
"I know that they'll be able to co-exist and work well together," said Jones, who was drafted by the Indiana Pacers when Walsh was president. "Donnie has a history of being successful and putting together great teams and getting an organization back on the right track."
Jones said D'Antoni's coaching experience in Europe (D'Antoni coached in Italy for eight seasons) will serve him well in dealing with the fickle New York media and fans.
"Some of the European fans and the situations that he has been in -- those fans can be really tough," Jones said. "Knowing his philosophy and personality, I think he'll be able to cope."
• Ben at Blazer's Edge, who has taken up the cause of having Terry Porter's number retired, has come up with a formula for determining which players should have their numbers in the rafters.
• Speaking of players whose numbers reside in the Rose Garden, Lionel Hollins has accepted an assistant coaching job on Scott Skiles' staff in Milwaukee. Jim Boylan, Kelvin Sampson and Joe Wolf will also be on the Bucks' bench.
• Usually people compare LaMarcus Aldridge to Rasheed Wallace. Dime flips it a bit, comparing Rasheed to LaMarcus.
But like Prince, (Rasheed Wallace) realistically tops out as the second-best scorer on an on-the-cusp team; like David West with the Hornets or LaMarcus Aldridge with the Blazers.
• Here's the audio from Jack Ramsay's appearance yesterday on The Bald Faced Truth.
• Chris Reina at RealGM audits the Portland's 2007-2008 season.