Blazers Training Camp Day 3: Notes From Santa Barbara
Observations and notes on an off day in Southern California
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — This week of Trail Blazers practices is the first time a team I've covered has done the out-of-town training camp thing, and it's always interesting when a team uses a college campus for a practice gym.
In my previous role as a national NBA writer for Bleacher Report, I spent a lot of time going to visiting-team practices and shootarounds when they came through Portland, and many of them would use the rec center at Portland State or University of Portland. It was always entertaining to me to hang out in the lobby waiting for PR to call us in for media availability, and watching college students come in and out with no idea that Stephen Curry is 50 feet away from them in the basketball gym.
The Blazers' first day of practices at UCSB on Tuesday was pretty low-key without a lot of fanfare. But word started to get out, and as the team was leaving the gym following Wednesday's practice, there were a couple dozen students lining up for pictures and autographs, which most of the players were happy to do as they headed to the bus back to the hotel. Being around these guys all the time doing this job, it's easy for me to get desensitized to how cool that has to be for these kids to see an NBA team on their campus and get to meet these guys.
The Blazers didn't practice today. They have two more days down here before traveling to Seattle for Monday's preseason opener against the Clippers. I'm out tomorrow late afternoon, so I'll miss their final practice in Santa Barbara on Saturday. But I'll be there tomorrow before my flight, so there will be one more fresh practice update here for subscribers on this trip.