Well, not a whole lot.
Keep in mind that the players' Media Day is scheduled for Monday and promises to be a bit more interesting. Today was just management and coaching staff.
But without further ado, here's what I learned...
From Kevin Pritchard
- We should not be expecting any statement of substance regarding the referees to come from the Blazers organization. Asked three different ways about the league's recent lockout of its referees, Pritchard would only express full confidence in David Stern. Nothing more. Literally nothing at all. The gag order is in full effect.
- During Monday's Practice Facility Tour, Pritchard was full of praise for Rudy Fernandez and mentioned that he believes Rudy could start for a number of teams in the league. When asked about Jerryd Bayless today, Pritchard admitted that Rex was "anxious" to see some playing time but that he was handling the minutes crunch that accompanied the Andre Miller signing "like a pro." Asked if he thought Bayless was "frustrated" Pritchard said that was going too far. Asked if he thought there were situations around the league where Jerryd could possibly start, Pritchard didn't disagree.
- Pritchard called Andre Miller "the director" and has been impressed with the intensity of the competition of workouts that Miller has helped establish.
- Filling the 15th roster spot, Pritchard told the crowd that he would look for someone who is "high energy" but also someone "that can play." Later he pointed towards defense as an area that needed improvement and I asked him whether filling the last spot with a big man could help reach that goal. "They say you can never have too many big men in this league," Pritchard told me, "But I'm also a former point guard. And you can never have too many point guards." Wrap your head around that quote.
- When asked about his team's offensive efficiency, Pritchard smiled and pointed at ESPN's John Hollinger, stating that Hollinger was "the expert in the world" when it came to efficiency. In my opinion, not enough reporters chuckled knowingly in appreciation at this insider hat tip. Somewhere in a cubicle, Kevin Pelton glares while reading this bullet point.
- Defense is important. Very important.
- Many different lineups will be utilized during the preseason.
- The players will determine who earns starting spots during training camp.
- Getting out of the first round of the playoffs is the goal.
- The burden for the team's improvement does not fall exclusively on Greg Oden's shoulders.
- We already knew or could safely assume all of these things. I guess I didn't actually learn anything from Nate today.
From Everyone Else
- Twitter is being inundated. Follow Brian T. Smith here. Follow Joe Freeman here.
- And check out some quick thoughts and notes from Brian T. Smith here.
- Maurice Lucas does indeed look very, very healthy. As did Bill Bayno.
- Members of the Blazers organization enjoyed a quiet joke that referenced Da_Real_Canzano, which was awesome.
- A bunch of new faces at Media Day this year including the good folks over at OregonSportsLive.com and Robert Runyon from Trail Post, who was with Portland Monthly. Young blood is a good thing!
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)