Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Press Clippings: August 18

Trail Blazers news gets a little scarce in the dog days leading up to training camp. I've gt some stories in the hopper that will hopefully combat that problem, but I'm also going to put out a daily post of links which will help pass the time.

"Cheers To 40 Years" Announcement

Since it was less than 24 hours ago, the kickoff to the 40th anniversary season seems like a god place to get started. Here's the press release, pictures from the event
and every team photo from the past 40 seasons.

Jason Quick of The Oregonian:
The upcoming Trail Blazers season will be marked by new jerseys, special visits from former players and coaches, and even a guest radio appearance by broadcaster Bill Schonely during a preseason game.

Why all the hullabaloo about this season?

It will mark the 40th in team history, which the Blazers will celebrate with a "Cheers to 40 years" campaign that kicked off Monday at the site of the team's first exhibition game - Mark Morris High School in Longview, Wash.

Brian Smith of the Columbian:
The old became new again as the Portland Trail Blazers used the site of the franchise's first-ever preseason game at Mark Morris High School to announce details of how the organization plans to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Former Blazers greats Terry Porter and Jerome Kersey were among those who participated in a press conference Monday inside a small gymnasium that is now more associated with the Mark Morris Monarchs than it is the beginning of Blazermania.

But the message was clear: The Blazers are eager to celebrate 40 years of Rip City, and the organization plans to spend the upcoming season painting the regional area in black and red.

Dwight Jaynes of DwightJaynes.com:
Pretty cool stuff announced up in Longview, Wash., today at a news conference in the Mark Morris High School gym, the site of Portland’s first-ever exhibition game.

Portland’s exhibition game this Oct. 14 will be in Memorial Coliseum, as you all know, with Bill Schonely sharing play-by-play duties with Brian Wheeler. I was actually kind of hoping for a reappearance of either Dave Twardzik or Geoff Petrie alongside The Schonz, but hey — just happy to see Bill get one more game, just a couple of days before he turns 80 years old.

They’re already apparently selling tickets for that game at $19.70 — reflecting, of course, 1970, Portland’s first NBA season. Just remember to bring your radio

Ben Golliver of Blazersedge:
I'm not going to lie to you: it was a strange event. Let's invite the entire Portland media and bring together multiple generations of Blazers personalities in a mostly empty Longview, Washington, high school gynasium to celebrate a rich tradition hawk throwback jerseys. Alright then.

I guess that's life these days; business is business.

New Jerseys

To help celebrate the 40th anniversary, the team released yesterday two alternate jerseys to be worn at select games throughout the season. One is a throwback, the other a new design featuring the phrase "Rip City," both of which you probably saw first via our Twitter page. Reaction to the jerseys has been mixed, with almost everyone loving the red throwback and about 60 percent (that's my rough, ultra non-scientific guess) liking the "Rip City" design.

Sean Meagher of OregonLive.com:
Hardwood classic from the '70s and a new "Rip City" jersey will be worn in honor of the Trail Blazers' 40th anniversary year.

It appears they will be used on a limited basis.

Like 'em? Dislike 'em? Personally I love the reds
J.E. Skeets of Yahoo! Sports Ball Don't Lie:
Two new Portland Trail Blazers jerseys were announced today in celebration of their 40th Anniversary Season — a red Hardwood Classics from the 70's and a new "Rip City" jersey, which sort of looks like something Ron Artest or Vince Vaughn would play slow-pitch softball in.

Hank Stern of Willamette Week:
OK, I get that throwback jerseys are a total marketing stunt designed to part a fool (uh, me) from my money.

But as a Trail Blazer fan who gets teary remembering the mid-1970s when Blazer stalwarts like Leroy Ellis sent me a letter or when Barry Clemens rallied Portland back from a 26-point deficit against the Lakers circa 1974, I think bringing back the red jersey from that era on the left is a total plus.

Dime Magazine:
Blazers uniforms with the words “Rip City” on the chest is either the best thing or the worst thing ever. We can’t decide how we feel about it. And if these are official, are we looking at “Motor City” Pistons and “Clutch City” Rockets unis (among others) shortly? (click on the headline for a larger look)

Slam Magazine Online:
Putting nicknames on jerseys is never a good look

SJ of Rip City Project:
The first is a Hardwood Classic throwback to a uniform I believe the Blazers first busted out in 1975. A year I know they wore it in? 1977. Coincidence? I think not. I believe everyone is in agreement that this uni is pretty sick. The second is a brand spankin’ new white uniform with ‘Rip City’ across the front in that classy lower case Blazer font. This one….this one I’m not so sure about. As I tweeted earlier, I’m more in love with the idea of the Rip City uniform than the execution. I’m still torn about it to be honest. For one, I know for a fact that if they wear this on a nationally televised game, I’ll be asked ‘Hey, what’s Rip City?’ about a gajillion times. And then I’ll get the obligatory Rip City jokes. It will be annoying. I can’t be the only one who would have rather seen them just make a white version of the 70’s throwback or maybe even a white version of those early 90’s jerseys.

Dustin of Holy Backboard (and former PTB intern):
I have a few problems with the Rip City alternate. First, there shouldn't be that much silver involved, if any. Rip City was a saying by the Schonz long before any thought of silver being an accent color on the color scheme for the Blazers, especially when Rip City is written in the original font the team adopted back in 1970. I love that Rip City is in orginal font, but then make the pinwheel upright to match the era. The side paneling is very plain as well, not bad for NBA standards, but when the Blazers have the best jerseys in the NBA, my expectations for new alternates are high. Overall Grade. 6/10.

Rudy Fernandez

Everyone's favorite Mallorcan has been popping up in a few places on the web over the last few days. Fernandez, logged 10 points, four rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes as Team EspaƱa rolled through Cuba 94-57 in a Eurobasket 2009 tuneup. 2009 Trail Blazers draft pick Victor Claver pitched in eight points and four rebounds. You can download the PDF of the box score if you're so inclined.

Rudy made two appearances, at the No. 5 and No. 1 spots, in this Top Rookie Plays Of The Season clip. Excellent find by Skeets.


On the topic of Europeans on video, check out this BBC interview with Joel Freeland talking about Team England's quest to make the London Olympics. Tip of the hat to Stephen "The Moon Man" Moon, who does video production work for us here at Trail Blazers HQ.

Brian T. Smith peppers team president Larry Miller with a few questions regarding the ongoing negotiations with LaMarcus Aldridge:
"We're going through the process," Miller said. "It's just a process and it takes time."

However, Miller was more direct when asked if the Blazers have an ideal timeline for signing Aldridge to an extension.

"We're ready," Miller said. "We'd do it right now if we could."

Portland must reach an agreement with Aldridge before Oct. 31 or he will become a free agent following the 2009-10 season.

NBA.com, turning a deaf ear to calls that you can't put out a power ranking in August, picks the Trail Blazers as the No. 9 team in the league:
Andre Miller is an upgrade at the point, but the Portland offense was already very efficient. In order to take the next step they need to improve defensively. So if Greg Oden can stay healthy and out of foul trouble, they're in great shape.

Brian T. Smith again with a Q&A with Terry Porter:
Porter analyzes what the Blazers are building:

"There's no doubt about it, they have the personnel right now. And they're obviously slowly having success, which is so critical in the growth part. The ability to have success, build on that confidence. And when you talk about the NBA, you talk about having core players. And obviously they have some core players that they think are very important for this franchise going forward. And so you have to keep those pieces together, make sure they continue to grow and develop as players get better, and add pieces here and there each year as you think is needed and then go from there.

1 comment:

hg said...

An exellent piece of news baggaged up in one.

The dog days are coming to an end.