Nicolas Batum Talks Soccer On ‘Men In Blazers’ Podcast

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 years ago

Listen to Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum on Grantland’s soccer podcast “Men In Blazers” with Michael Davies and Roger Bennett. In the interview, Batum talks about which players in the “Nicolas Batum” of European soccer, the upcoming Champions League quarterfinal between his favorite team, Paris Saint-Germain (also known as PSG), and Chelsea, which soccer player he enjoys watching the most, who would win an arm wrestling match between PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and LaMarcus Aldridge, taking his teammates to Timbers games, the difference in atmosphere between soccer games in Europe

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and the United States and his thoughts on France’s prospects

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in the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.

Batum’s segment starts just before the 35 minute mark.

 

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VIDEO: Baby Dame DOLLA, Kevin Love Collaborate On New ‘Droppin’ Dimes’ Track

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
1 day ago

Neither Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard nor Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love were selected to participate in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game taking place Sunday night in Toronto. But instead of spending their time sulking, the point guard who plays in Portland and the power forward who grew up just down the road in Lake Oswego, aka The Brothers Hooper, hit the studio to collaborate on the new “Droppin’ Dimes” track for State Farm…

Baby Dame DOLLA carries the lyrical load here, spitting hot fire like “I’m a buzzer-beater, Mile High Nugget eater. Droppin’ dimes in the potty and the shower, on top of Kevin’s books and momma’s flowers,” while Love is mostly relegated to rapping the hook, but everybody has to start somewhere. Kevin Garnett, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul all make appearances as their alter “Hooper” egos, but for the most part, it’s Baby Dame and pubescent Kevin flexing on camera while extolling the virtues of dime dropping.

It’s not nearly as serious as Lillard’s “Bigger Than Us” video, but every discography needs some good party tracks.

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Podcast: Rip City Report, Episode 56

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
3 days ago

Howdy kind listeners. Before we all take some much needed respite before the start of a brutal March schedule, Joe Freeman, he of The Oregonian/OregonLive.com, and I, Casey Holdahl of ForwardCenter.net/TrailBlazers.com, hit the studios at the Moda Center to record an All-Star break edition of the Rip City Report podcast, which you can listen to below…

On this week’s episode we marvel at the Trail Blazers being 27-27, good for seventh in the Western Conference, and how that’s going to cost Freeman some money/beer at some point, the emergence of Maurice Harkless since joining the starting lineup, Portland rising while other teams in their general range struggle, discuss how we’ll be spending our respective All-Star breaks and answer a host of questions pertaining to the upcoming trade deadline, Gerald Henderson’s tenure in Portland, Damian Lillard passing Brandon Roy and a bunch of other stuff that I’ve already since forgotten. As I noted during the show, my brain is already on vacation.

You can find the Rip City Report on SoundcloudiTunes and Stitcher. And consider using a small portion of the time you would usually spend watching the Blazers to give us a review on iTunes! You can be as mean as you want!

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Damian Lillard Passes His Buddy Brandon Roy In Scoring

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
4 days ago

Though they were never teammates, Damian Lillard and Brandon Roy manage to talk from time to time. Their relationship started not long after Lillard was selected by the Trail Blazers with the sixth overall pick of the 2012 Draft and they’ve stayed in contact ever since over the years. During those somewhat regular chats, the current and former faces of the Trail Blazers’ franchise sometimes discuss the responsibility that comes with that title, especially at a relatively young age, and what could have been if the 6-3 guard out of Weber State and the now-retired 6-6 guard out of Washington ever had the opportunity to play alongside each other in Rip City.

And the next time they talk, they’ll have something new to discuss. With his 31-point performance in Tuesday night’s victory versus the Rockets, Lillard passed Roy for 15th in franchise history in points. Lillard now has 6,119 in less than four seasons in Portland, surpassing the the 6,107 points that Roy scored in five seasons before knee injuries ended his career far too prematurely.

“I mean, that’s an honor,” said Lillard of passing Roy. “Just to be moving up on that list period, but I mean, if Brandon Roy got to play as long as he should have played and people would have liked to have seen him play, I probably would never pass him, so it’s a great accomplishment. It’s an honor you know, but the more important thing is just continuing to be myself and continuing to win games.”

Which Lillard has done an excellent job of his season. He’s the only player to rank in the top-6 in both scoring (24.3 points per game) and assists (7.3 assist per game) this season and has led the Trail Blazers to a 27-27 record this season, vastly outperforming preseason expectations, despite being the only holdover from last season’s starting five.

Though he’s had plenty of help this season from the likes of CJ McCollum, Allen Crabbe, Mason Plumlee and Ed Davis, Lillard’s performance through 54 games is the the primary reason that the Trail Blazers enter the All-Star break in seventh place in the Western Conference. Roy, a three-time All-Star, was a fantastic player in his own right, a player whose peak performances are still the stuff of legend in Portland, but even he never carried the load that Lillard has this season. And of course, Lillard has already helped the Trail Blazer win a playoff series in his first four season in Portland, something Roy never accomplished.

“He’s been pretty good in a short amount of time,” said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts of Lillard. “I mean, Brandon Roy, I wasn’t here for that, but I know what an imprint he made on the city and the franchise and how important he was to the Blazers. The fact that Damian has passed him this early in his career really says something because I know how good Brandon was. I know his career was cut short but everybody here holds him in high regard.”

Assuming Lillard experiences relatively good health  — the seven games he missed this season due to plantar fascitiis are the only games he’s missed in his profession career thus far — there’s no reason to think that he won’t replace Roy as the best guard to play in Portland since Clyde Drexler, if he hasn’t taken that mantel already. But Roy can take some satisfaction in knowing that at least some of the success Lillard has had as a Trail Blazer was accomplished in part due to emulating the example he set on and off the court.

“When (Roy) got to Portland, a lot of the stuff he did, it brought excitement,” said Lillard. “I think the city really embraced him, they liked who he was as a person along with what he did as a player, obviously. I think because I kind of came and did the same thing, did some of the same things he did, I think he respects that… He was well respected, people appreciated the kind of person he was and he got it done on the floor. I think I can say the same for myself.”

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