“I think Vanterpool will be good if he gets an opportunity,” one former NBA executive told HoopsHype. “He’s a high-level player relator, which has been a piece they’re missing there.” Vanterpool was an assistant coach with the Blazers for six seasons while Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum emerged as one of the league’s premier backcourts. “Keep an eye on Ime Udoka,” an NBA scout told HoopsHype. “He’s a bright, young up and coming head coach candidate. It’s only a matter of time before he’s hired.”
For those with access to NBC Sports Northwest, it wasn’t a big deal. They simply flipped channels and tuned in to the local broadcast, enjoying two dramatic and entertaining Blazers victories. But for those without access to the regional network, it was a crushing reality. So what the heck was going on? It turns out, according to a team source, the rare blackout was the result of broadcast negotiations that preceded the return of the NBA in the bubble and contractual obligations with NBC Sports Northwest.
Tolliver had some advice for the Grizzlies rookie. I actually told Ja [Morant], I said, ‘the way that Damian Lillard responds after failing — that should be your goal and it’s not necessary that you need to go score 60.’ But just responding. I think that’s what makes Damian as great as he is — is he responds. When he fails, he responds, and so everybody is going to fail. And so, I just told Ja, I said, ‘you know that has to be in your DNA in this league. If you want to be the best guard in this league, which you have the potential to be, that has to be in your DNA and learn how to respond, and learn how to lead your team whenever they need it.’
Justin Kubatko: Most points scored by a player over the final three games of a regular season: 154 – Damian Lillard, 2019-20 128 – Dominique Wilkins, 1985-86 128 – Michael Jordan, 1986-87 128 – Kobe Bryant, 2005-06 127 – David Thompson, 1977-78 127 – Russell Westbrook, 2014-15

In partnership with When We All Vote and RISE, the Sacramento Kings announced the relaunch of Rally the Vote, a coalition made of 20 teams across the NBA, NFL, MLB, WNBA, MLS and NWSL aimed at getting unregistered voters to the polls. The coalition, which nonpartisan, includes the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Sky, Chicago White Sox, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and Fever, Los Angeles Football Club, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, New York Giants, Phoenix Mercury, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Storm, Washington Wizards and Mystics and Washington Spirit.
“Let’s make voting as easy as ordering an Uber,” Ranadive told ESPN in a phone interview this week. “We’re kind of in the digital era right now. I call it Civilization 3.0. You know, 1.0 was kind of the agricultural era. It was the start of civilization and people were farmers and land was the raw material. And the industrial revolution was 2.0. It was all about the factories and it was about efficiency and energy and steel were the raw materials.
In partnership with When We All Vote and RISE, the Sacramento Kings announced the relaunch of Rally the Vote, a coalition made of 20 teams across the NBA, NFL, MLB, WNBA, MLS and NWSL aimed at getting unregistered voters to the polls. The coalition, which nonpartisan, includes the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Sky, Chicago White Sox, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and Fever, Los Angeles Football Club, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, New York Giants, Phoenix Mercury, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Storm, Washington Wizards and Mystics and Washington Spirit.
“Let’s make voting as easy as ordering an Uber,” Ranadive told ESPN in a phone interview this week. “We’re kind of in the digital era right now. I call it Civilization 3.0. You know, 1.0 was kind of the agricultural era. It was the start of civilization and people were farmers and land was the raw material. And the industrial revolution was 2.0. It was all about the factories and it was about efficiency and energy and steel were the raw materials.
Earl Watson: So to the media, stop the bullshit analytics on why @Dame_Lillard is not a superstar in playoffs wins, point minus etc… if not you’ll drive top players to link up just to shut you up & kill the game! Dame doesn’t control FA,draft or attractiveness to the city he was drafted to! Lastly, whether he does it this season or next whenever… Thank you for pissing off the wrong one! @Dame_Lillard feeds on the doubters, haters, attention seeking whatever! True Oakland & True Warrior! Portland has a Real 0ne! ???#familia
“I wouldn’t even say it was somebody offering me to go to another team,” Lillard said. “It was just something that was constantly being mentioned to me, like ‘You should do this, you should go here.’ And I just said, ‘That’s not what I wish to do.’ Where I was drafted, I live there comfortably, my family is comfortable, it’s a great organization. … The grass ain’t always greener. For me, I feel like we can build something and get it done in Portland. And I really believe that. I don’t just say it to say it.”
Storyline: Damian Lillard Trade?
Portland Trail Blazers: Dame is the first Blazer and 12th player in NBA history with back-to-back 50-point games: Bradley Beal James Harden Devin Booker Kobe Bryant Allen Iverson Antawn Jamison Michael Jordan Bernard King Rick Barry Wilt Chamberlain Elgin Baylor
“I think that was my cousin. Rest in peace, Chef B,” Lillard said. “I think that was him dropping that in for me.” Lillard revealed during his postgame press conference that his cousin, Brandon, died when he was quarantined in Portland after the NBA suspended the season in mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak. He had planned to stop by Lillard’s house to make breakfast, but he passed out. Once Lillard arrived at his cousin’s place, he had already died.
That pain has stayed with Lillard amid his quest to help the Blazers appear in the postseason for a seventh consecutive career, as well as clap back at opponents and media members that have not accepted he has become the NBA’s best player during the restarted season. “It was tough,” LIllard said. “I just try to continue what I feel like he would want me to do, and I just been dealing with it that way. Just try to continue on the path I know he was proud of.”
Lillard credited his cousin significantly for ensuring he would play at his best. As Lillard’s personal chef, Brandon would constantly remind him, “you got to eat healthy food.” So Brandon would remind Lillard to eat breakfast and stay hydrated. He would bring enough water to his room. He would help Lillard train during the summer. No wonder Lillard called Brandon his “right-hand man.” “He was the one person I was with every day,” Lillard said. “He was encouraging me.”