Damian Lillard Nominated For Two ESPYS Awards

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 years ago

Fresh on the heels of being named the “Social MVP” in the 2014 NBA Social Media Awards, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has been nominated in two categories for the 2014 ESPYS Awards (hosted by Drake!), which is the yearly award show put on by ESPN that lets the fans vote on achievements in sports.

First, Lillard is up for the “Best Breakthrough Athlete” award for his sophomore year performance in which he was named an All-Star and third-team All-NBA while helping the Trail Blazers win 54 games and advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time in 14 years. Lillard is up against Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman (which means there’s a 50/50 chance someone who works for Paul Allen is going to take home the hardware in this category). Going up against two NFL players and a guy who plays in one of the largest markets in the world for one of the most recognizable sports brands in the world is going to be tough, but Lillard has faced longer odds before.

And speaking of beating the odds, Lillard’s buzzer-beating, game/series-winning three-pointer in Game 6 of the first-round playoff series versus the Houston Rockets is up for consideration in the “Best Play” category.

ESPN runs the “Best Play” category like a tournament bracket, so to advance to the next round, Lillard buzzer-beater, which is seeded as the second best play behind only the 109-year kick return in this year’s Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama, will have to get more votes than the buzzer-beater by Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis versus Pitt.

As mentioned, the ESPYS are decided by fan vote, so if you want to support the work Lillard put in this season, get over to ESPN.com and start voting for him in both the “Best Breakthrough Athlete” and “Best Play” categories. You have through June 29 to vote for Lillard for “Best Play,” after which he’ll either be eliminated or will move on to face the winner of the Robert Van Persie header against Spain at the World Cup versus Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist save of a  Thomas Vanek shot in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals. As for the “Best Breakthrough Athlete” category, you have until July 16 to vote, which is the same day the awards air on ESPN.

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VIDEO: Lillard Cuts Through Crowded Street Market In New Adidas Ad

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
7 hours ago

It’s summer time in Portland (or at least, it’s supposed to be), which means there’s no lack of street fairs, farmers markets, beerfests and art walks to attend. Anyone who frequents such events knows how hard it can be to get from Point A to Point B when there’s thousands of people in between.

But Damian Lillard has you covered. In a new adidas short entitled “Creating Clutch,” the 6-3 point guard out of Weber State traverses a busy street market in China (wearing the “PDX Carpet” colorway of the D Lillard 2, if I’m not mistaken) using an array of moves that you can incorporate into your own crowd-surfing…

Here’s what the folks at adidas have to say about the spot…

In “Creating Clutch,” Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard shows us there is no such thing as downtime if you want to be one of the best clutch players in the NBA. A crowded street market in China during his recent Summer tour became his court, the ultimate opportunity to test his creativity and put his skills to the test.

The spot is one of three released by adidas as a part of the “Here To Create” series, which includes football players chasing rabbits through the Everglades and some kind of soccer/motocross amalgam.

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Podcast: Rip City Report, Post Free Agency Edition

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
8 hours ago

With Portland’s foray into free agency now complete, Joe Freeman, he of The Oregonian/OregonLive.com, and I, Casey Holdahl of ForwardCenter.net/TrailBlazers.com, hit the Moda Center studio to record another edition of the Rip City Report podcast, which you can listen to below…

In this almost all Twitter-submitted questions edition, we discuss the signings of Evan Turner, Festus Ezeli and Meyers Leonard, the decision to match the offer the Brooklyn Nets extended to Allen Crabbe, how the additions and returns could change lineups going forward and the notion that the Trail Blazers need to make a trade. There’s also some hot Pokemon Go and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” talk to start the show, so you might want prepare yourself to fast-forward through the first few minutes.

You can find the Rip City Report on SoundcloudiTunes and Stitcher. And a reminder that the offseason is a great time to leave a review on iTunes!

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Trail Blazers Match Four-Year Offer For Allen Crabbe

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
3 days ago

UPDATE: The team has officially announced that they have matched the Nets’ offer sheet to Allen Crabbe, though a “formal announcement” and Crabbe actually signing the contract will not occur until later in the week.

ORIGINAL POST

After finishing up their pursuit of new free agents, the Trail Blazers have wasted little time in turning their attention to the free agents on their own roster. After reportedly signing restricted free agent power forward Meyers Leonard to a four-year deal, the Trail Blazers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, have matched the four-year, $75 million offer sheet the Brooklyn Nets tendered to third-year guard/forward Allen Crabbe, ensuring that the former Cal Bear will be back in Portland next season…


As is often the case when it comes to restricted free agents, the Nets offer to Crabbe, who has averaged 7.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game through three season, was considerably larger than many assumed the 6-6 wing would receive in an effort to discourage the Trail Blazers from matching. And after the Trail Blazers signed free agent guard/forward Evan Turner to a four-year deal, some assumed that combined with the size of the Nets offer might result in Trail Blazers letting Crabbe walk.

But that would not be the case. Crabbe has been a favorite of the front office and coaching staff since the team acquired former Pac-12 Player of the Year via trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2012 Draft. And though he played sparingly in his first two seasons, he saw his minutes increase dramatically in 2015-16, as he appeared in 81 games and responded with averages of 10.8 points on 44 percent shooting and 39 percent shooting from three, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists while serving as one of the team’s best perimeter defenders.

There were rumors that outside of the money and years, Crabbe, who has typically come off the bench for the Trail Blazers, was intrigued by the opportunity to start and play a larger role with the Nets. But for his part, Crabbe seemed more than satisfied that he would be returning to Portland…

With Crabbe now signed, forward Maurice Harkless is the last Blazer still available on the free agent market. Like Crabbe, Harkless is a restricted free agent, which gives the Trail Blazers the right to match any offer he receives from another team. It is also possible for the Trail Blazers to sign Harkless even if he doesn’t receive an offer sheet from another team, as they have reportedly did Sunday with restricted free agent power forward Meyers Leonard.

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