Trail Mix: Robin Lopez ranks Simpsons episodes, Wesley Matthews approves of Rain Bros. nickname

(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Friday night the Portland Trail Blazers take on the San Antonio Spurs. There’s a lot of Blazers content for you eat up before the game tonight. It’s now donning on me the missed opportunity to call this the charcuterie board.

Robin Lopez ranked his top 10 Simpsons episodes in an article by Steve McPherson for Rolling Stone. Here’s Lopez describing one of his favorites to McPherson. Lopez is a great quote but he really loves talking about anything that ISN’T basketball. So this is him at his best.

‘Lemon of Troy’
“When I was younger,” Lopez says, “the first one that appealed to me was ‘Lemon of Troy.’ My favorite thing about that episode was seeing the world of Shelbyville for the first time, and then seeing the kids’ world. It was kind of what it was like to be a kid, but in Springfield.”

Bart’s big lesson in civic pride is awash in subtle visual gags (the slightly different shade of grass in Shelbyville) and literary references (Springfield’s Trojan Horse plot to get their stolen lemon tree back). But as is the case with most episodes from the show’s generally acknowledged peak, the humor in “Lemon” is not limited to individual jokes or one-liners, but rather enmeshed in the DNA of every line. Lopez fires off the ones he remembers best: “Stupid like a fox,” “Rocky VII: Adrian’s Revenge,” “You Shelbyville kids can’t wear your backpack over one shoulder, us Springfield kids invented that.”

Read the rest of a vintage Robin Lopez interview over at Rolling Stone. 

ESPN insider Kevin Pelton reviewed his top MVP candidates so far this season. Portland guard Damian Lillard isn’t his top-five but is worth considering in the conversation.

WARP: 4.5 (6th) | RPM WAR: 3.3 (6th)

LaMarcus Aldridge is still thought of as the most valuable Blazer, but Lillard’s strong start demands recognition. He’s a top-10 player in most value measures, and the Blazers have missed Lillard more than Aldridge when they’ve been on the bench.

Always insightful stuff from Pelton.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews was on the Dan Patrick Show. He gave DP and the boys a seal of approval for their “Rain Bros.'” nickname and t-shirt. Patrick also assured Matthews he would pay for his fine if the league had problems with him wearing the shirt.


There’s a new episode of our Blazer Banter podcast available with Spurs writer Matthew Tynan from ESPN TrueHoop’s 48 Minutes of Hell. We had about a good hour of hoops discussion which didn’t focus too much on the Spurs. Because well, they’re a little boring even though they are really good. We recorded while the Rondo-to-Dallas trade went down and we discussed its implications. Matt also lives in Houston and we got a little update on the Houston Rockets. You can also find the podcast on iTunes. reporter Casey Holdahl and Oregonian beat reporter Joe Freeman have a new episode of the Rip City Report.

Evans Clinchy addressed what impact the Robin Lopez injury will have in a contract year for He looked at how much his production might be worth to others potential suitors around the league if he comes back and continues to be the anchor he has been for Portland’s defense.

The additional problem is that given the current climate, the race to re-sign Lopez is bound to be extremely competitive. Think of the potential suitors:

  • There are a handful of teams that may lose their starting centers to free agency this summer. Memphis (Marc Gasol) and the L.A. Clippers (DeAndre Jordan) are the two big ones here. If either player walks away, expect the team losing him to make a serious run at a replacement. This could be Lopez.

  • The Spurs have to be nervous that Tim Duncan may retire soon. Who’s the heir to that throne?

  • The Lakers are in rebuilding mode and have a ton of gaping holes. Center is one of them. Can you see Lopez next to Kobe BryantJulius Randle and a 2015 lottery pick TBA?

  • The Knicks have been desperate for a strong defensive anchor since they traded Tyson Chandler away. Wouldn’t they love RoLo?

  • Boston just traded Rajon Rondo for expiring contracts and picks, so Danny Ainge will have plenty of cap space. The Celtics could also really use a strong defensive center. Is that a fit?


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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