After four years of work as the Portland Trail Blazers play-by-play announcer, Kevin Calabro said he is stepping down. “This was a very difficult decision to make and I want to thank the Allen family and Chris McGowan for their support and understanding,” said Calabro in a statement Wednesday. “I’ll always be grateful to the Rip City fans for welcoming me into the family.”
Damian Lillard: “My motivation is to get in the playoffs. For one, we want to play for a chance at a championship. I think everybody’s coming back with some rust on ’em. Some teams gonna have guys that choose not to play. Some guys gonna be disinterested, wanting to go about their summer. Some guys gonna be out of shape…It’s gonna be a lot of factors that give a lot of teams a chance to actually come in here and win it. I think that’s part of my motivation, is knowing there is a legit chance… We got our starting power forward and center back. We’re a healthier team. That’s motivation.”

Storyline: Orlando Bubble
The league spent $3.75 billion on player salaries this year, and a replacement-level player would command the veteran’s minimum of $1,618,520. Work backward and overall, a player who was 1 point per 100 possessions above replacement level (say, Landry Shamet or Langston Galloway) was worth $3,183 more than the minimum for every minute he played. Such a player playing 1,000 minutes over the course of the season was worth just less than $5 million. The most valuable player based on this was (duh) Giannis Antetokounmpo, whose production this year was worth $63.75 million in my methodology. I didn’t use negative values for players — the vast majority of the most terrible players are rookies or developmental players who are holding down roster spots for future purposes. For the curious, the two least valuable by this metric were both 20-year-old guards — Cleveland’s Darius Garland and Portland’s Anfernee Simons.
That’s a byproduct of a super long stay in the league that spanned four different decades and him changing teams way more often than your typical big-name player. The All-Star swingman shared the floor with 261 different teammates through 21 seasons, which puts him way ahead of Juwan Howard and, for now, also Tyson Chandler and Trevor Ariza.
He’s an NBPA vice president, but he’s also one of the players who has to figure out personal logistics of getting ready to play and stay in Orlando, for what the Blazers hope will be a long time. “You’re trying to get your life in order while still working out, while still training, and figuring out like what do I pack? Despite all the logistics, McCollum feels confident the NBA is trying to do everything they can to protect players as they return to play. “I think the NBA is trying to make it as safe as possible, trying to cross their t’s and dot their i’s and this is as smooth as it can be.”
McCollum believes the impact the NBA and it’s players, about 70% of whom are black or people of color, can return to play and create the change they want to see in the world. “I think there’s a way in which we go about it that we can impact society, more specifically black people and people of color in a positive light,” McCollum said. “Being able to use our platform, understanding there’s going to be millions and millions of people watching and that’s going to give us a great opportunity to put light on things, like voter suppression, like the inequality a lot of blacks are facing right now.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Teammates have come and gone in McCollum’s seven years in Portland, but having wine together on the road has been so constant, CJ is the one most responsible for which bottles the team orders at dinner. “Typically I get the menu I get to pick it out,” McCollum said. “Coach Terry [Stotts] likes a lot of different cabs, so he orders the cabs, I order the different Oregon Pinots, then Geoff Clark, the head trainer, he orders a lot of different wines so we have a nice little system going.” And McCollum isn’t shy about trying to convince his teammates to get on his wine level. “It’s been cool to see how people have kind of evolved, [Damian Lillard] specifically he’s more of a white wine guy and I was like, ‘bro, you gotta stop drinking that stuff and move over to the red.’ Now he’s slowly started drinking red wine.”
Shams Charania: Sources: Travel dates for 22 NBA teams to Orlando: – July 7: Nets, Nuggets, Magic, Suns, Jazz, Wizards – July 8: Celtics, Mavericks, Clippers, Grizzlies, Heat, Pelicans, Thunder, Kings – July 9: Rockets, Pacers, Lakers, Bucks, 76ers, Trail Blazers, Spurs, Raptors
Storyline: NBA Schedule
The worst could be yet to come because it’s unclear how long the threat of the coronavirus will persist and keep large crowds away from arenas. “We don’t know when we’re going to be able to return,” McGowan told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “If I could say, ‘Hey, by November, we’ll be back up and running,’ that would be one thing. But we have no live events and we don’t know when they’re going to resume.”
In addition to Silver, Tatum, Stuart, Roberts, Paul and Iguodala, attendees for yesterday’s meeting included NBA President of Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens, NBA Senior Vice President of Player Development Greg Taylor, NBA Senior Vice President of Content Business Operations Kori Davis Porter, NBPA Foundation Executive Director Sherrie Deans, Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers, CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks. In addition to Silver, Tatum, Stuart, Roberts, Paul and Iguodala, attendees for yesterday’s meeting included NBA President of Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens, NBA Senior Vice President of Player Development Greg Taylor, NBA Senior Vice President of Content Business Operations Kori Davis Porter, NBPA Foundation Executive Director Sherrie Deans, Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers, CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Shaquille O’Neal — guest verse on “What’s Up Doc (Can We Rock?)” by Fu-Schnickens Shaq has made his fair share of missteps in the music world — his ill-advised beef with Damian Lillard was a master class in coming for the wrong guy — but back in 1993, a much younger Shaq was at the forefront of the sports/music crossover game. His verse (starting at 3:07 in the below video) isn’t the best one in the song, but the trick here was accepting a supporting role and letting the professionals shine. Has this song aged well? Not really. Was it kind of a rip-off of House of Pain’s “Jump Around”? Yeah, that’s fair. But by 1993 standards, it wasn’t half bad. Shaq’s willingness to let the stronger rappers do the heavy lifting is enough to just sneak him into this class.
Damian Lillard (aka Dame D.O.L.L.A.) — “Dre Grant” (feat. Brookfield Duece) We could have picked a few different tracks to highlight from Lillard — his All-Star weekend performance took a minute to find its feet, but ramped up considerably, culminating in a guest appearance from Lil Wayne — but this video feels like the most personal of them all, featuring his cousin Brookfield Duece and showcasing Dame’s very modern sound, one that stands toe-to-toe with other successful artists in the genre. The video is artistic, as well: It provides an insightful look at where Lillard grew up in the East Bay, even going so far as to feature a dozen or so locals wearing “I am Nia Wilson” T-shirts.
CJ McCollum and Trap Kitchen PDX are teaming up to serve free meals to Black Portlanders this Saturday. “Free food on me,” the Trail Blazers star wrote on his Instagram story. “Pull up Saturday before it’s gone.” McCollum will host the event at black-owned eatery, Trap Kitchen PDX, from 1 p.m. until “all food is gone.” The food truck specializes in Southern dishes like jambalaya, gumbo, and chicken and waffles.
A previous event sponsored by Portland-born rapper Aminé drew more than 300 people to the cart at 3137 N.E. 82nd Ave. on June 6. This time around, Trap Kitchen PDX, rapper Kool Nutz and McCollum are teaming up to host the event from 1 p.m. until “all food is gone.” “Free food on me,” McCollum wrote in his Instagram stories. “Pull up Saturday before it’s gone.”
The Portland Trail Blazers (+56) crew of Kevin Calabro and Lamar Hurd came in third among all broadcast teams. Back in 2016, the Blazers had some controversy firing the locally beloved crew of Mike Barrett and Mike Rice. They were homers and their broadcasts were a bit zanier than you might hope for if you were an outsider looking in. But the Blazers fans seemed to love them. That made the entrance of Calabro and Hurd pretty rocky and not totally welcome. But Calabro has been one of the best in the business for a long time, going from Seattle SuperSonics broadcasts with Steve “Snapper” Jones to national games with ESPN. Hurd joined the team after years of PAC-12 broadcasts. You also can’t forget sideline reporter Brooke Olzendam, who brings a lot of information, energy, and fun into the mix.