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Transcript: Blazers Coach Nate McMillan Talks Training Camp, Roy, Oden

Here's a slightly condensed transcript of Portland Trail Blazers Coach Nate McMillan's comments to reporters during a Friday afternoon media availability that took place well after the team's first day of training camp wrapped up.

Click here for a full transcript of comments made by Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan, who provided a lengthier and more detailed insight on the status of guard Brandon Roy, forward LaMarcus Aldridge and center Greg Oden later Friday evening.


Other Friday posts...

LaMarcus Aldridge Out 1-2 Weeks | Greg Oden suffers "setback" | Blazers confirm Brandon Roy to pursue medical retirement | Roy retirement news breaks


As always, questions are paraphrased and bolded and answers are word-for-word and in blockquote.

Opening remarks

"I know you have a lot of questions about Brandon and Greg and LaMarcus and I've been trying to get information about those guys myself. Until Chad works out the details we really can't say much about that. I know you talked to our guys and I did address that Brandon was planning on retiring but, as I said, until Chad works out the details with Brandon I'm going to leave those questions to him."
Did you speak to Brandon?
"I did. I spoke with Brandon last night."

What did he mean to the Blazers franchise?

"Of course we know what he means to this franchise. He was part of helping bringing it back. Bringing back winning basketball. Unbelievable talent. You're sad to see a situation like this happen. He's special. He's very special to me. We have a close relationship, we'll continue to have that relationship and talking to him last night, we're going to miss him. He played some great basketball for us."

What did he say on the call?

"Well I won't get into our conversation. Of course he is disappointed about it. He felt this was the thing to do."

How surprised were you based on your conversation on Monday?

"I was surprised. I was expecting him to be in practice today."

Depth at shooting guard without Brandon Roy?

"Fortunately we've been in this situation before. For our guys, we talked about that and addressed that. Wesley went back into that lineup at the two-guard position. What we have to do is what we've been doing. It's an opportunity for someone else. I thought Wesley did a nice job last season for us at the two guard position. I thought we had a really good practice today. Our young guys came out very aggressive. Elliot looked really good, Nolan did some nice things. We're going to be young with this group that we currently have but it presents an opportunity for somebody else."

Oden's status?

"Greg -- I expect to be here pretty soon. With Brandon and Greg I'm going to let Chad talk to you guys about those details."

Hard to see Roy not be able to fulfill his goals?

"It's very tough. When you get close with your guys and Brandon, LaMarcus, Greg, those guys have been here with me pretty much throughout and any time you lose a player, whether you have him for a few months or a couple years it's tough. And to see a guy like Brandon go it's definitely tough. That's a tough situation."

How did you address it with the guys?

"I would hope one day I can come into training camp and not say that a guy is going to be out for the season. We've had that dealt to us the last few years. We wanted to let the team know what was going on. I thought with all of that said they came out and they practiced hard."

Best memory of Brandon

"It's amazing. He's had a number of memories as far as things he has done on this floor. That was our go-to guy. Clutch. I think I called him 'Oprah' one time because everything he seemed to touch turned into gold. He goes to the Draft and we get the No. 1 pick. We give him the ball late in quarters, he was making it happen so just a lot of unbelievable memories with Brandon on the floor."

Seen anything like this happen to a star like him?

"What I told the guys last night: the lockout was an opportunity to reflect because it's going to come to that one day. Where you are going to be locked out whether it's due to injury or age, the game is going to be taken away from you. The paychecks are going to stop. For us, we have that opportunity to play again. Most of our guys. You should cherish the moment as long as you have the skill, the ability to play professional basketball. That's one of the things I talked to Brandon last night about. He did some great things for us and we'll always remember that."

How was first practice?

"It was good. I thought it was a good practice. Of course, conditioning. We expected these guys to be in bad shape. We've got some work to do on the conditioning side. The effort was there. We went three hours. Talking to them about Brandon and having to come out and practice I thought they came out and worked hard. I thought it was a pretty good practice."

Hole left by Roy's departure

"I think Nolan, Elliot, Babbitt, all those guys will be competing for those minutes. Nicolas certainly will probably be the first guy off the bench. It's an opportunity for Babbitt and Elliot and Armon to try and get some minutes at that back-up two position."

Lots of inexperience

"Who you telling? (Chuckles) I do know that. Hey, they've got to play. You hope they can develop and learn fast and I thought Nolan had a solid day. He picks up things quickly. We put in a few sets. We put him into defensive schemes today and his basketball IQ seems to be very high."

Expectations for Oden -- will he play for you sometime soon?

"I certainly hope so. Really nothing has changed for me. We didn't anticipate that he would be here in training camp. That he would be coming back possibly sometime in January. You just continue on with the plan trying to develop our guys and hope that he can get back to the floor as soon as possible."

Was he cleared for some activities?

"I haven't talked to [trainer} Jay [Jensen] about if and when Greg comes into camp what we're going to do."

Have you talked to Greg?

"I did speak with Greg about coming into camp but we haven't talked about what the plans are once he gets here."

Roy's state of mind on the phone call

"Yeah, that's a tough situation. I just wanted to be there to listen. Talk to him. We talk about a lot of things. He just felt that it was time."

Would he remain with the team in some capacity?

"We haven't gotten to that. I don't know if Chad has talked with Brandon or his representatives about that but he's going to always be a Blazer and be a part of the family."

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter