Candace Buckner of The Columbian has 18 facts about the background of Portland Trail Blazers guard Eric Maynor, who was acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a trade deadline move back in February.
No. 2: Maynor is a country boy, and you might have only heard of his hometown, Raeford, N.C., around Thanksgiving. House of Raeford Farms, Inc. ranks as the ninth largest turkey producer in America and it just so happens to hail from Maynor's backyard. Turkeys are the town business and many of the 5,000 residents clock in every day at that slaughterhouse since House of Raeford is Raeford's largest employer.
No. 3: George Maynor never worked there. But he wasn't expecting to return to Raeford so soon after his basketball career anyway. George played point guard at the local Hoke County High in Raeford before following the bouncing ball to a junior college and finally East Carolina University. Then in 1979, with the 72nd pick of the NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls selected the pass-first point guard out of East Carolina. George lasted close to two weeks in training camp then on a Friday night before an exhibition game, reality caught up with the fourth-round draft pick. The head coach, Jerry Sloan, requested to see George in his office. The meeting was brief and Sloan told George that he had been released.
"I shared that with (my sons) Tony, Rodney and Eric about my experience going through things," George said. "That was the first time I've ever been cut from a team or released from a team, and I tell ya, it leaves an empty spot in your stomach. But you got to keep on, you've got to have a back-up plan."
George Maynor returned to Raeford, found work as a corrections officer and had five children. When they started playing basketball, he raised his boys as point guards.
Definitely weird seeing Maynor. Here's how minimal the reaction was for him though: He was in the game two minutes and I didn't even notice him. Maynor noticed it though: "It felt good for the crowd to clap for me when I checked in and all that stuff. I had some good memories here."
Maynor looked fantastic though. Looked like the guy that established himself as maybe the top backup point guard in basketball. He moved well, splashed 3s, set people up. He finished with 10 points and four assists in 25 minutes. Great to see.
Ibaka blocked a Maynor floater and late in the fourth, Maynor walked over to Ibaka and said, "Serge! That was goaltending, [expletive]." All in good fun, of course.
It was also reported this week that Maynor is "unlikely" to receive a qualifying offer this summer, which would make him an unrestricted free agent.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter