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Jay Ellis from HBO’s “Insecure” Tells Jimmy Kimmel About PR Work for Trail Blazers: “It Was Crazy”

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In a national interview, the actor lifts the lid on the worst era in Blazers history and the occasional folly of NBA public relations.

2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards - Red Carpet Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers got national airtime this week on the Jimmey Kimmel Show, but probably not in the way they wanted. Actor Jay Ellis, from the HBO series “Insecure” spent his college days in Portland working for the Blazers as a PR Intern. This coincided with the “Jail Blazers” era, which Ellis remembered with a mixture of fondness and horror as Kimmel elicited details in the interview seen here:

Here’s the transcript of the conversation:

Jay Ellis: I interned for the Portland Trail Blazers when i was in college. It was probably the darkest years in NBA history... This was the Jailblazers era. Maurice Cheeks was the head coach; I feel so sorry for this guy. He had Ruben Patterson, who called himself the Kobe Stopper, to which Kobe dropped forty points like every single time we played him. He also had Bonzi Wells, who got suspended for a fight, Damon Stoudamire, Rasheed Wallace...it was a crash course in learning what not to do in life.

Jimmy Kimmel: What was your job with the team?

JE: I was an intern in the PR department.

JK: Oh great

JE: Exactly. Exactly. You can feel my pain. I learned how to write a lot of press releases. Basically every time the players would get in trouble, we would have to spin some story as to why they got in trouble, which usually was just an apology to the fans and to the NBA, because there’s only so many times you can say, “It wasn’t them! No, they weren’t driving from Seattle with a bunch of weed in the car. They’re so sorry; they’ll never do it again...until next week.”

JK: That’s pretty amazing.

JE: Yeah, it was crazy. It was a good time.