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Forbes: Blazers Owner Paul Allen Is NBA's Richest

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Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com breaks down the Forbes 400, a list of the United States' richest people, and notes that -- to no one's surprise -- Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen is the NBA's richest American owner. Allen ranked No. 20 on the list with an estimated net worth of $15 billion. His Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, was No. 1 with an estimated net worth of $66 billion. --------------------------------- Allen was ranked No. 1 among American NBA owners, with Orlando’s Rich DeVos checking in at No. 67, one spot ahead of Heat owner Micky Arison, who has been tweeting pictures from the Mediterranean all summer as he travels aboard one of his cruise ships. Stan Kroenke of the Denver Nuggets is in a tie for No. 92 at $$4B, the Dolan family (Knicks) are at No. 132 – $3B), Tom Gores ($2.5B) of the Detroit Pistons is on the list at No. 179, Mark Cuban ($2.3B) is at #206, Herb Simon of the Indiana Pacers is at No. 218 (($2.2B), Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers are in a tie for 250th place ($1.9B), Glen Taylor of the Minnesota Timberwolves ($1.7B) is 285th, Tom Benson of the New Orleans Hornets is at No. 360 ($1.2B) --------------------------------- -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

Wheeler: Tracking Down My Birth Parents

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Portland Trail Blazers radio play-by-play broadcaster Brian Wheeler tells the story of how he tracked down his birth parents on Blazers.com. --------------------------------- For those who don’t know, I was adopted at birth by a wonderful set of parents that passed away a long time ago… my father when I was a freshman in high school and my mother when I was a sophomore in college. All I ever knew about my birth mother was that she was a teenage girl whose own mother wouldn’t let her keep me because she felt I wouldn’t be properly taken care of. My adopted parents couldn’t have kids naturally as the mother I always knew wasn’t able to bear children. So they were looking to adopt and I became their one and only child. Illinois, where I was born, only became an open adoption state last Fall so I sent away for my original birth certificate in May. The adoption records office was pretty backed up with requests so I didn’t actually receive my birth certificate until about two months ago. And then when I viewed my authentic birth certificate for the first time, I thought I was only going to have the chance to get to know my birth mother. Her name was on the birth certificate, but that of my birth father was legally withheld. I enlisted the help of a private investigator in Long Beach, CA, and she moved very quickly and was able to identify eight possibilities for my birth mother within the first week or so of taking my case. A week later, she told me she was 100 percent sure who my birth mother was and 95 percent certain she was still alive. And then finally this past Monday, the investigator provided me with her full report which had the name of my birth mother as well as that of her husband, their address in Rockford, Illinois and information about two daughters they had within three years of my being born. --------------------------------- -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

Coro: Suns F/C Channing Frye (Heart) Likely Out For Season

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Paul Coro of AZCentral.com reports that former Portland Trail Blazers forward/center Channing Frye, now with the Phoenix Suns, will "likely" miss the entire 2012-13 season after he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. He is officially listed as "out indefinitely." ------------------------------ Suns forward Channing Frye told azcentral sports that he will likely miss the 2012-13 season because of medical concerns. "The good news is it is a virus so it does have a good chance of going away," Frye said. "My heart can be normal again." Frye will be re-evaluated in December with the possibility of resuming basketball activities. Those activities could include anything from individual workouts to a chance at returning to the team. ------------------------------ ed: text edited, bumped to front page

Deveney: Blazers' Nicolas Batum Ranks No. 7 At SF Position

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Sean Deveney of the Sporting News ranks the NBA's top 10 small forwards. Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum checks in at No. 7. ------------------------------- The skinny: Batum’s talent is obvious, but if you watch him enough, you get the sense he should be better than he is. He is long and athletic, with excellent perimeter shooting touch, but he does not like contact. Scouting view: "It would be nice to see him work on a post-up game. He is a good finisher at the rim, he is very good cutting to the basket and finishing. He could create those opportunities in the post. But it is not part of his game and you have to wonder if it ever will be." ------------------------------- Batum trails LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, Rudy Gay and Danny Granger. He is ranked one spot ahead of former Blazers forward Gerald Wallace, now with the Brooklyn Nets. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

Schuhmann: Blazers Could Have NBA's Worst Defense Next Year

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John Schuhmann of NBA.com has his 2012-13 Northwest Division preview, including a look at the Portland Trail Blazers' defensive struggles towards the end of last season. ------------------------------ Like the Timberwolves, the Blazers fell off defensively late in the season. In fact, in March and April, Portland was the worst defensive team in the league. That's quite an accomplishment, considering how awful the Bobcats and Nets were defensively all season. Though the slide began before he was traded, the departure of Gerald Wallace really hurt the Blazers defensively. Before the deadline deal, they allowed just 97.1 points per 100 possessions with Wallace on the floor and 108.3 with him on the bench. Nicolas Batum may be the younger small forward, but he's not the defender that Wallace is. ... Portland is rebuilding, of course. And they'll likely have four rookies in their rotation (though two are European vets). That typically doesn't bode well for team defense, so don't be shocked if the Blazers are the league's worst defensive team for the whole season this time. ------------------------------ ed: text edited, bumped to front page

Brandon Roy interview for GameTime on NBATV

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Brandon did a little interview about coming back to the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Murphy: Blazers G Damian Lillard One Of 10 To Shape Future

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Dylan Murphy of DimeMag.com writes that Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is one of 10 people who will "shape the future generation of basketball." ------------------------------ One and done is the name of the game. Damian Lillard didn’t play that game. He spent four full years at Weber State, a small college that fit his needs. He tore it up there, averaging 24.5 points per game last season, good for second in all of Division I. In summer league, Lillard didn’t stop. All the talk about the weak competition he faced in college dissipated as he absolutely destroyed his NBA opponents, dropping 23 points and seven assists in his debut, followed by 31 and seven, 27 and three, and 25 and four. But Lillard’s place on this list isn’t so much about his basketball potential as it is his path to the NBA. It’s been a while since a truly small school produced such a high-caliber player, and nowadays it’s rare to see top players stay in school for more than two seasons. If Lillard does succeed in the league, he may give confidence and assurance to prospects considering smaller schools outside of the Big Six conferences, and let them know that staying for a few years of college doesn’t hurt either. ------------------------------ -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

Herper: Deep Look Into Paul Allen's Brain Research

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Matthew Herper has a lengthy story about Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen's brain science research in an upcoming issue of Forbes Magazine. -------------------------------------- Behind a black curtain in a small room a titanium sapphire laser is prepared to fire at a tiny and very surprising target: a half-centimeter glass window surgically implanted into the skull of a live mouse. If all goes right the laser will fire for a quadrillionth of a second while the mouse runs on a white, treadmill-like ball and watches a computer screen. Thanks to special dyes, certain brain cells will glow green if the mouse is using them, their image captured by cameras capable of detecting a single photon. ... Looking over the contraption puts a big–and pretty rare–smile on the face of Paul Allen, the 59-year-old Microsoft cofounder who has plowed $500 million into the Allen Institute for Brain Science, a medical Manhattan Project that he hopes will dwarf his contribution as one of the founding fathers of software. The institute, scattered through three buildings in Seattle‘s hip Fremont neighborhood, is primarily focused on creating tools, such as the mouse laser, which is technically a new type of microscope, that will allow scientists to understand how the soft, fleshy matter inside the human skull can give rise to the wondrous, mysterious creative power of the human mind. "As an ex-programmer I’m still just curious about how the brain functions, how that flow of information really happens," says Allen in a rare interview, in a conference room overlooking an active ship canal. "The thing you realize when you get into studying neuroscience, even a little bit, is that everything is connected to everything else. So it’s as if the brain is trying to use everything at its disposal–what it is seeing, what it is hearing, what is the temperature, past experience. It’s using all of this to try to compute what the animal should do next, whether that animal is a mouse or human being." -------------------------------------- -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

Raffo: ClipsNation Reacts To Blazers Inviting Adam Morrison To Camp

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John Raffo of ClipsNation.com reacts to the Portland Trail Blazers inviting free agent forward Adam Morrison to training camp. Morrison started on the Los Angeles Clippers' 2012 Las Vegas Summer League team. ------------------------------- There were quite a few people around here who wanted the Clips to sign Adam Morrison back in July after his hot summer league performance. Hearts swelled as my colleague LJ Hann brashly sub-titled his Adam Morrison love letter, "Pay the Man". (That thread garnered 400 comments... a remarkable feat in the middle of the NBA winter.) Of course "AmMo" was inarguably on fire in July, as he led the Clippers in scoring with 20 points a game, shooting 55% from the field and a torrid 62% from the 3 point line. Of course, it was July, which isn't a month where professional basketball matters much. The subsequent lack of interest in Morrison is a perfect illustration of how little NBA teams value summer league. ------------------------------- -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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