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Blazers Training Camp Day 1: News And Notes

A busy, crowded day over at the Portland Trail Blazers Practice Facility. I'll round it up as best I can using bullet points.

  • Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez attended training camp today but did not participate in contact drills because of blurry vision.  He participated in shooting drills during the portion of practice open to the media and seemed fine. His mood was flat: he wasn't sky-high but he wasn't dragging either.
  • Scott Schroeder reports on NBA Fanhouse that Portland's D-League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, are holding an open tryout in Tualatin with "Portland Trail Blazers executives Rich Cho, Bill Branch, and Michael Born [expected] to be in attendance." Full details about the tryout can be found here.
  • Nate McMillan: "defense, defense, defense, defense, defense."
  • The most interesting portion of camp today was Brandon Roy and Nicolas Batum going through some pretty serious paces in the post.  They mostly worked from the left block with assistant coach Bill Bayno beating on them with the giant pads. Roy was fine-tuning a quick turnaround jumper off the entry pass from Hersey Hawkins while Batum was focusing on absorbing contact and driving into the middle of the court. Both were instructed to keep their heads up to read the defense and look for imaginary cutters with the ball in their hands. Switching to the right block, Batum had a little more trouble coming into the key with his left hand while Roy worked almost exclusively on the fallaway to the baseline.  Roy also had the patented Michael Jordan leanback going on, which you can kind of see in this picture. Roy and Batum have always gotten along but there seemed to be an added degree of closeness today. You can see some of that camaraderie here.
  • Andre Miller's braids are back and they are totally out of control.
  • Although it's not officially official, sources at Comcast Sports Northwest say the Blazers do not currently expect to replace Rebecca Haarlow with an outside hire. Mike Barrett, Mike Rice, Terry Porter (Broadcast Analyst/Ambassador) and Michael Holton (Television Studio Analyst) are listed as the on-air television portion of the announcing team in the Blazers media guide.  Rumors are that either Porter or Holton (or both) will handle sideline reporting duties. It's not clear yet whether Porter and/or Holton will travel on road trips. 
  • Lindsay McCormick will be working the sidelines for Comcast Sports Northwest during Friday's Fan Fest. Follow her on Twitter here. Ian Furness and Dwight Jaynes will be doing commentary as well.
  • The Blazers would neither confirm nor deny whether any of the team's preseason games will be available for widespread viewing on television or on the team's website.  That hesitancy should qualify as a glimmer of hope!
  • A Portland Trail Blazers spokesperson confirmed that former Director of Corporate Communications Bill Evans was let go as part of a departmental restructuring. The team has merged its Corporate Communications and Community Relations departments with its Basketball Communications department to make a singular "Communications & Community Relations" department. The new department's plan is to avoid firing any more GMs on draft night. (Kidding.)

Here are some pictures from Portland Trail Blazers Training Camp Day 1.  You can see Nate McMillan looking the same as always, Brandon Roy and Nicolas Batum working on their post moves, Rudy Fernandez present (but practicing left-handed free throws), Andre Miller's braids, Roy's Nikes and Batum's wild Adidas sneakers.

View below or click here for the full-size slideshow.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter