As one of the coastal NBA teams, located in a region apart from their fellow franchises, the Portland Trail Blazers routinely experience one of the most travel-intense schedules in the league. Though it’s a matter of course, it also becomes reality in the lives (and bodies) of players and coaches who experience it.
In his latest Stein Line substack [subscription required], NBA writer Marc Stein chatted with Blazers Head Coach Chauncey Billups about the schedule. Stein was doing some mild complaining about the flights out of his home base, Dallas, and Billups reminded him about Portland’s perpetually-tough itineraries.
I also had a chance to catch up briefly with Blazers coach Chauncey Billups and trade some travel tales with him. Billups said he’s a fan of the NBA’s new baseball-style series because “anything to cut down the travel coming from Portland, bro, I’m all for it.”
In Dallas, of course, we’re blessed with a direct flight out of DFW pretty much anywhere, but the flight from DFW to PDX has long been regarded locally as the longest on the NBA map.
“It’s four hours and it feels like six,” I told Billups.
“Everywhere’s our longest flight,” he joked in reply.
The Blazers face the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday at noon, Pacific, having left Dallas on Friday night following a pair of blowout losses.