It's a new era for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2012-13, with a new GM, new coaches, new players, a new communications executive and a new, more restrictive media policy. On Thursday, one long-standing practice was restored after it appeared earlier in the week that it too would go by the wayside following the regime change.
The Blazers reversed course on Thursday, granting an interview with assistant coach David Vanterpool. On Wednesday, the team had flatly denied such interview requests and indicated that such requests for assistant coaches and basketball operations executives may not be fulfilled. Later Wednesday, a team official had indicated that a firm policy concerning the availability of assistant coaches and basketball operations executives had not yet been instated.
Per the team's new post-practice guidelines, assistant coaches and basketball operations staffers are still physically off-limits for conversations to media members following practices unless an interview request has been formally made and granted.
This development is obviously welcome news for media members, as assistant coaches are a vital source of information regarding players. At least one NBA team, the Boston Celtics, keeps its coaching staff under a gag order so such a move by the Blazers wouldn't have been unprecedented. Still, it would have been a big departure from the Blazers' previous practices.
Coming shortly: an extended interview with Vanterpool regarding his career and his work with Blazers rookie point guard Damian Lillard.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter