Chandler Parsons got into a funny Twitter spat with the Portland Trail Blazers after his opponents trolled him for throwing up an airball during Friday’s game.
Portland beat Parsons’ Grizzlies 112-109 and provided running commentary for the game on Twitter. That included mocking him for his airball, to which he later responded with a blast about Portland ending up in the draft lottery.
A winter storm has dumped a historic amount of snow on Portland and its surrounding areas this week, and the inclement weather has created some travel complications for two NBA teams who are scheduled to square off on Wednesday night.
For whatever reason, the Cavaliers were able to land their plane at Portland International Airport late Tuesday night. ESPN’s Rachel Nichols reports that the Trail Blazers had their team plane in the air around the same time, but they were diverted to Seattle.
Both teams had planes in the air at around the same time. Not sure why Cavaliers' plane got to land in POR and the Blazers had to go to SEA.
Blazers players were originally told they would have to take a bus from Seattle to their home arena in Portland. Nichols reports that the team will instead fly from Seattle to Portland on Wednesday before the game. Some of the players expressed their frustrations with the travel mess on Twitter.
They really got us trying to fly into a city that has canceled all incoming and outgoing flights smh. What's wrong with flying out tom AM?
With the Blazers expected to take another plane from Seattle to Portland, you can understand why the players would have rather just spent another night in Los Angeles and flown directly to Portland on Wednesday.
Portland typically gets only a few days a year with measurable snow, and the amounts are hardly ever substantial. There was roughly six inches of snow at the airport as of Wednesday morning and some surrounding areas reported snow totals of 8-12 inches.
The struggling Trail Blazers are 15-21 after a summer of high hopes and expectations, and that frustration has spilled over into the locker room.
Center Festus Ezeli has been something of a focal point. Ezeli was signed for two years and $15.2 million in the offseason, but knee problems have prevented him from playing a single game for the team. His attempts to take an active role in the locker room have not gone down well.
According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, on Dec. 7, after a 115-107 loss to Milwaukee, Ezeli addressed the team in street clothes about playing with added urgency. Another loss the next night to Memphis prompted another attempt at an Ezeli speech, but he was cut off by C.J. McCollum. Blazers players were frustrated with losing despite their efforts, and were not receptive to motivational speeches from someone who wasn’t even playing.
The frustration has been obvious, and players have not been afraid to voice it publicly. They have such talent, particularly in the backcourt, but a lack of quality frontcourt players has been a huge problem. Things don’t seem to be going much better behind closed doors.
The Portland Trail Blazers lost to the Golden State Warriors by 45 points on Saturday night, their sixth defeat in seven games. That was more than guard Damian Lillard could take.
A frustrated Lillard called out the entire team after the blowout loss, essentially saying they played with no heart.
“Man, it’s OK to turn the ball over, it’s OK to make mistakes, but we have to play with some damn heart and compete out there,” Lillard said, via Chris Haynes of ESPN.
Lillard called out the team directly, repeating his points for the assembled media.
“This isn’t about what the coaches are doing, this is on us,” Lillard said. “We have to take responsibility for what’s going on. This s— is ridiculous. We’ve got the talent; we’ve just got to put it together consistently.”
It doesn’t sound like Lillard’s teammates disagreed, as several of them said they felt they’d disrespected the game with their performance.
That said, this is a flawed roster. Even though they’re not playing well, the construction of the team isn’t ideal, and they may be trying to fix that going forward.
Interior D is one of the major issues plaguing the 8-8 Portland Trail Blazers this season, and they may turn to the trade market in an attempt to remedy it.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on Wednesday that “Portland looks ripe for a trade,” noting general manager Neil Olshey’s pursuit of Hassan Whiteside this past offseason as well as his “well-documented fondness” for classic post-up centers like Brook Lopez, Greg Monroe, and Nikola Vucevic.
It’s an idea that makes a lot of sense considering that the Blazers rank 16th in the league in defensive rebounding and 28th in points allowed in the paint (per NBA.com). Mason Plumlee and Meyers Leonard are getting the majority of the minutes at center for Portland right now, and, though talented, neither is a legitimate rim protector or a particularly strong rebounder.
We’ve heard that at least one of those potential Olshey targets (and maybe even two) could be available, so the Blazers do have some options if shoring up their frontcourt is indeed a path they want to pursue.
The Blazers have reportedly offered Parsons a max deal, which adds another dimension to this pursuit. Parsons and Howard are friends and former teammates, and if Parsons elects to join the Blazers, you can bet he’ll be lobbying Howard to join him there.
The Blazers not only get a top-shelf small forward if they beat out Memphis for Chandler Parsons but also a proven Dwight Howard recruiter.
Howard will have his share of options. He was already slated to meet with two teams, and you can bet there will be more to come. Still, the Blazers could be an intriguing option, particularly if they land Parsons, who has tried to recruit Howard before.
The Memphis Grizzlies have also emerged as a potential suitor for Parsons, as MacMahon has heard Parsons and Mike Conley — also a free agent — have had conversations about playing with one another. While Conley has multiple teams after him, it appears a return to Memphis is the most likely scenario for him.
Those tweets would be a bit funnier if the Blazers weren’t getting dominated. Plenty of teams have exchanged Twitter barbs in the past, but we usually don’t see a team that is getting stomped on talk that much smack.
ESPN’s “30 for 30” films have highlighted some of the more memorable athletes, moments, and controversies since they began in 2009. The upcoming multi-part one on OJ Simpson is being lauded as perhaps the best one yet, and it very well may be. However, there is apparently another documentary in the works that, based on the subject matter, has the potential to be excellent as well.
The Portland Trail Blazers boast a history that contains Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Lenny Wilkins, and Jack Ramsay. A less celebrated portion of the team’s past is a period during the early 2000s when the team was known as the “Jail Blazers.”
During a radio interview on Wednesday, Damon Stoudemire, who played in Portland from 1998 through 2005, said a “30 for 30” is in production on those Blazers teams.
From Damon Stoudamire on our show just now – The 30/30 Portland has longed wanted on the Jailblazers is currently being made.
Portland’s rosters during that time were filled with players who were talented on the court. Unfortunately, away from it, legal trouble was a common theme.
Shawn Kemp’s first season with the Blazers ended prematurely when he entered rehab for substance abuse problem. Rasheed Wallace and Stoudamire were charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession after a traffic stop. Zach Randolph was cited for underage drinking. Charges were later dropped, but Ruben Patterson was arrested on domestic abuse charges. Qyntel Woods was also cited with marijuana possession, along with driving without a driver’s license. Woods also plead guilty to misdemeanor animal abuse in a dog fighting case at a later date. That’s just to name a few. There was also a reported incident during a practice where Randolph punched Patterson in the face.
That period in Blazers history is one that certainly has not been forgotten by fans of the team and NBA who are old enough to remember it. Combine the personalities and stories involved and you have the ingredients for what should make for an fascinating documentary.
UPDATE: An ESPN spokesperson says there is no 30 for 30 on the subject in the works. They believe Stoudamire misspoke.
Our Take: Maybe a “Jail Blazers” documentary is being made, with hopes of it being similar to a 30 for 30 one.