Trail Mix: The Week In Blazers

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Apologies for not putting up things on the blog lately. I was on vacation and did not take my work with me while I saw Kanye West yell at 80,000 people in rural Tennessee.

But I did see that the Spurs won the title, so we’ll give them their due above.

Since it’s the end of the week, here’s a collection of news and links.

Also, we are announcing a new series for the summer called “Once A Blazer” where we’ll be looking back at some of the popular and cult figures of Trail Blazers past.

Click here for the first installment on one of the original Trail Blazers, power forward Gary Gregor.

The Blazers will be playing in the Las Vegas Summer League this July and they will be broadcasting all of the games on Comcast Sportsnet Northwest.

Here is the schedule which they released for the first three summer league games:


Saturday, July 12    vs. New York           1 p.m.          COX Pavilion

Sunday, July 13      vs. Houston            5:30 p.m.     Thomas & Mack Center

Tuesday, July 15     vs. Atlanta              1 p.m.          COX Pavilion

Multiple reports say that Portland’s scouting director, Chad Buchanan, is being recruited by the Charlotte Hornets for their assistant GM job.

Joe Freeman of The Oregonian writes:

One of the longest-tenured members of the Trail Blazers‘ front office could be on the move.

The Charlotte Hornets have asked — and been granted — permission by the Blazers to interview Chad Buchanan for a vacant assistant general manager opening, Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey confirmed to the The Oregonian.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports was the first to report the news on Buchanan.

Buchanan acted as the interim general manager until the Blazers hired Neil Olshey in 2012 after former Blazers general manager and current Charlotte Hornets GM Rich Cho was fired in 2011.

The Hornets recently changed their name from the Bobcats.

Portland’s front office already went through some changes earlier in the offseason after they decided to part ways with their now former NBA Scouting Director Michael Born.

After not getting together last summer due to schedule conflicts, Chris Haynes of Comcast Sports Net Northwest says that Gary Payton is challenging Damian Lillard to improve his defense and that he will meet up with Lillard and Payton’s son Gary II in Oakland.

And if he is serious about it, Payton suggests that he take the approach of one of Lillard’s rivals, one whom he has some history with, to say the least.

“He can be like Patrick Beverley [of the Houston Rockets] if he wants to, but that’s a mindset,” Payton told Thursday night at American AirlinesArena. “I think Damian has to be willing and ready to play that type of way. Right now, he’s scoring so easily and he’s so good at the offensive end, he doesn’t have to think about defense. He doesn’t have to think about it because he knows he can outscore somebody.

“He can have 35 [points] when he wants to and that’s where the game is going right now. But we have to get that out his mindset. If he wants to be a two-way guard and have his name in a legacy for being that way, he has to step it up on the defensive end.”

Payton says Lillard is actually in the Bay Area working out with his son, Gary Payton II, who will suit up for the Oregon State Beavers next season. As soon as The NBA Finals concludes, Payton will join them and he expects to spend a few days with Lillard in the gym to tighten some things up.

Also, Ben Golliver transcribed Terry Stotts latest appearance on Traill Blazers Courtside at Blazersedge.

And for a non-Blazers link you should read, I highly recommend this Jonathan Abrams piece (or any piece of his for that matter) on San Antonio’s (and Blazer Banter favorite) Boris Diaw and Tony Parker.

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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