The Blazers have begun training camp with a familiar face back in the mix as former guard Steve Blake has officially taken up a coaching intern position on the team. Blake voiced that he only desires to have this part-time role at this current juncture: “As a player, I felt like I knew the game well and could do it, but I would only want to have this role that I have,’’ Blake said after the Blazers’ first practice. “As much as I would love to be a full-time coach, I’m just not ready for that commitment, with my kids being so young and having just finished playing’’. This is an opportunity for the 37-year-old to pick up some coaching experience to determine whether this is something he wants to pursue further down the line in a greater capacity when his kids get older. It is the first real go around for him since his career wrapped up. He also has much familiarity with the Blazers having played five of his 13 NBA seasons with the organization where he’s sixth with 492 made 3-pointers and holds the team record with 14 first-half assists. Blake could have much to offer as a coach to the team, in particular, their star backcourt of Lillard and McCollum. He has plenty of experience playing in the league and could offer tidbits of advice to them to help better them on the court this upcoming season.
Zach Randolph says he feels he was “wrongfully arrested” during an August 9 incident in Los Angeles, in which cops initially said the NBA star was in possession of a TON of weed. Randolph was initially arrested for possession with intent to sell because of the large quantity of weed cops say he had. He eventually pled no contest to resisting arrest and the weed charge was dismissed completely. Randolph finally broke his silence, by telling reporters: “I’m not speaking a lot about it but I felt that I was wrongfully arrested. Things that was put out there wasn’t true. But I don’t want to be a distraction to my team, my organization, so I’m just going to move forward and play basketball.” Randolph was sentenced to 150 hours of community service and was ordered to stay away from drug dealers. He’s due back in court in December.
The acquisition of Paul Millsap is expected to strengthen the Denver Nuggets’ chance of becoming a playoff contender in the upcoming 2017-18 NBA season. While most people in Denver are happy with Millsap’s arrival, Kenneth Faried doesn’t look thrilled at all since he may end up losing the role as the Nuggets’ starting power forward. More than two weeks before the start of the regular season, Nuggets’ head coach Michael Malone has already revealed their starting lineup: Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, Wilson Chandler, and Garry Harris. Malone said that their starting point guard will be determined in training camp, with Jamal Murray, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Jameer Nelson battling for the spot. The Nuggets’ starting lineup isn’t surprising at all, especially with Millsap replacing Kenneth Faried as starting PF. Last season, Faried and Chandler served as PF’s. Both offered different skill sets in which Millsap possessed, making him more deserving for the starting role. However, Faried isn’t willing to accept a bench role and has threatened to demand a trade if he will not receive the playing time he deserves. Faried commented: “I’ll just put it out there for everybody. I’m not a bench player. I’ve been saying that for the longest. I’m a starter. I love to hear the crowd (when introduced as), ‘Starting at power forward, No. 35, Kenneth Faried.’ Yes, that’s me. One hundred percent, that’s been my whole life. And I’m going to fight for a starting position. I’m just not going to lay down and let somebody take it.”
Kenneth Faried, whose Nuggets’ contract runs through 2019, said that “there are 29 other teams” and added that all he wants is to play “Manimal basketball” on the court. The arrival of Paul Millsap hinted that the Nuggets are willing to move on from Faried, especially if the right deal comes along. The disgruntled forward only had minimal trade value in July and expected to be worth even less after he expressed his sentiment about his role. So far, Millsap and Nikola Jokic are working on their chemistryas they’re trying to get used to each other. Coach Michael Malone revealed that the two big men are already meshing together nicely. With the current situation, it will not be a surprise fans if Kenneth Faried does not finish the season with the Nuggets. If the Millsap-Jokic frontcourt duo works well, Denver could trade Faried before the February deadline.