May 21, 2013 10:27 AM EDT
Damian Lillard is being accused of standing by while his entourage beat up two brothers in Portland's Old Town district on Saturday morning.
Jermaine Ulinwa said that he took a photo of Lillard with his cell phone after he spotted him walking toward a parking lot.
“So I took a picture. And so Damian Lillard was upset that I took his picture, so when he turned around he's like, "Did you just take my picture?" said Ulinwa.
“And his entourage just turned around too and they're like, ‘Did you just take a picture of Damian Lillard?’ ... and I said 'Yeah, I did.' And so I saw that he was clearly upset, they were upset and I was like, 'Can I apologize to him? I'll go up right now and apologize to him,'” the brother said.
Philip Ulinwa says he was punched and kicked repeatedly, enough to break his nose and require stitches in his lip.
"I'm getting hit from behind, I'm trying to fight the guy in front, trying to defend myself and there's guys trying to hold me down," said Ulinwa.
Lillard was recently named the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year.
“Damian Lillard basically instigated it, because he actually looked like he was going to go up to my brother and start fighting him. And since he did that, the rest of the guys started getting riled up too and like they thought it was okay to just start fighting out of nowhere,” said Phil Ulinwa.
Police confirmed they are investigating the incident.
“What we do know for certain at this point is Damian Lillard is not a suspect in this incident at all," said Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson. "Police did talk to him there. He remained at the scene. What we don’t know is if these people were actually associated with him or people standing in a group or hangers on. We're not really sure yet."
May 18, 2013 10:40 AM EDT
The Portland Trail Blazers “really like” Victor Oladipo and are considering moving up in the draft to get him, according to a source close to the prospect.
Oladipo expressed interest in playing for the Blazers.
“I would really love to go to Portland, and I'm not just saying that,” Oladipo said. “I hope, and I don't think I'm dropping that far, but if they decided to move up somehow, I think that would be a great situation for me. It's a place where you can just concentrate on basketball.”
Oladipo is projected to go in the top five of the upcoming draft.
May 14, 2013 5:49 PM EDT
The Portland Trail Blazers have hired Nate Tibbetts as an assistant coach on Terry Stotts' staff.
Tibbetts had been with the Cleveland Cavaliers since 2011.
May 14, 2013 2:39 PM EDT
Damian Lillard headlines the 2013 NBA All-Rookie Team as a unanimous selection.
Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Dion Waiters and Harrison Barnes joined Lillard on the All-Rookie First Team.
On the All-Rookie Second Team is Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kyle Singler and Tyler Zeller.
May 11, 2013 11:26 AM EDT
The Portland Trail Blazers have parted ways with longtime athletic trainer Jay Jensen.
Jensen served as the Blazers’ trainer for 19 years.
Jensen came under scrutiny in recent years after Greg Oden and Brandon Roy had their careers compromised because of knee injuries.
May 03, 2013 1:42 PM EDT
Kaleb Canales is leaving the Portland Trail Blazers to take an assistant coaching position with the Dallas Mavericks.
Canales, a finalist for the Blazers' coaching vacancy last offseason that ultimately went to Terry Stotts, served as a defensive coordinator on Portland's staff this season.
Stotts had said he wanted to remove the "coordinator" label and make both ends of the court a team effort from the coaches.
Canales was the Blazers' interim coach in 2012, when the organization fired Nate McMillan.
May 02, 2013 11:59 AM EDT
Damian Lillard has heard the criticism of his defense and took time during Wednesday’s Rookie of the Year presentation to answer his critics.
“When people say stuff about my defense, it bothers me,’’ Lillard said. “And I’m aware of it. It drives me. It lights a fire under me.’’
Lillard plans to study defense this summer under the direction of Gary Payton, who won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 1995-96.
Payton reached out to Lillard watching the rookie point guard score 37 points at Golden State.
“He said ‘I want to help you,’ ’’ Lillard said. “He said it would take time for me to become a defender, but he said I have everything to become one. So this will be the summer where I get in the gym with him and try to learn from him.’’
Neil Olshey is thrilled at the prospect of Lillard working out with Payton.
“The more time Dame spends with Gary this offseason, the more I know Dame will respect that he has to give an incredible effort on the defensive end,’’ Olshey said. “Because if Gary is going to invest time in him talking about defense, Damian is the type of kid who will feel like he has to deliver.’’
May 01, 2013 7:28 PM EDT
Damian Lillard unanimously won the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Lillard was selected sixth overall by the Portland Trail Blazers with a draft pick acquired from the Brooklyn Nets for Gerald Wallace.
Lillard averaged 19.0 points and 6.5 assists per game.
Anthony Davis and Bradley Beal finished second and third respectively.
Andre Drummond, Dion Waiters, Harrison Barnes, Chris Copeland, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jonas Valanciunas and John Jenkins also received votes.
Apr 29, 2013 10:35 AM EDT
Jermaine O'Neal openly talked about returning to the Portland Trail Blazers this offseason as a free agent.
O'Neal was a first round pick by the Blazers in the 1996 NBA Draft straight out of high school.
“I'm very open to Portland. They're definitely a team I'm looking forward to having talks with this summer,” O'Neal said. “LaMarcus [Aldridge] and Damian [Lillard] along with [Nicolas] Batum are some great pieces to build around. All they need to do is shore up the bench and add a paint presence on defense and they'll be right there. It's hard to put that type of stress on your starting five and I know I can help ease some of that stress.”
O'Neal played for the Phoenix Suns this past season.
“Portland is a team I have to look at this summer. That city has always been in my heart because one: Mr. [Paul] Allen gave me my opportunity, and two: that city took me in as their second child,” he explained. “I didn't play for two or three years but you couldn't tell. The organization and the fans really allowed me to grow at my own pace. It's a special place to me. I met my wife in Portland. At this point for me, it's all about competing and winning and the Blazers are doing those things.”
Apr 24, 2013 11:10 AM EDT
The Cleveland Cavaliers have held internal discussions of pursuing a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers for LaMarcus Aldridge, according to sources.
The Cavaliers have enough assets in the form of young players and picks to acquire a player of Aldridge's caliber, but the front office is said to value Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters higher than the rest of the NBA.
Portland Trail Blazers Archives
The Blazers want to upgrade at center from J.J. Hickson.
Portland drafted Nolan Smith one pick ahead of Kenneth Faried two years ago.
J.J. Hickson will become an unrestricted on July 1.
Damian Lillard won his fifth consecutive NBA Rookie of the Month award.
The Blazers could have $13 million in salary cap space to spend this offseason.
Damian Lillard is No. 1 in total minutes played.
Damian Lillard is the front-runner for the Rookie of the Year award this season.
Tom Thibodeau acknowledged similarities between Damian Lillard and Derrick Rose.
John Wall and LaMarcus Aldridge have been named the NBA's Players of the Week.
Damian Lillard has taken pressure off Anthony Davis, allowing him to develop without shouldering expectations to potentially win the Rookie of the Year.
Monty Williams was an assistant coach with the Blazers when LaMarcus Aldridge came into the NBA.
Meyers Leonard has bloomed of late, averaging 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds while shooting 73 percent from the field over a three-game stretch.
Dion Waiters played in 12 games during February and averaged 15.8 points on .514 shooting, 2.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 28.2 minutes per game.
Damian Lillard could be selected to play for Team USA at the 2014 World Championships.
Eric Maynor will backup Damian Lillard at point guard for the Blazers.
J.J. Hickson has had a productive season for the Blazers, increasing trade speculation that has left the forward unfazed.
Greg Oden had been in talks with the Cavaliers and Heat.
Damian Lillard dropped 33 points in a road loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday.
J.J. Hickson has 27 double-doubles so far this season.
Older Wiretap Articles »
Both Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal also won the award in December.
Basketball Wiretap Headlines