Author: Kurt Helin

NBA All-Star Game 2015

PBT Extra: One-on-one with LaMarcus Aldridge, talking Blazers’ playoff chances

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NEW YORK — The ultimate sign of how much LaMarcus Aldridge believes in Portland came when he injured his left thumb — he put off needed surgery to keep playing this season.

PBT caught up with Aldridge All-Star Weekend to talk about that belief and what the Blazers need to do in the playoffs. It may come down to the defense the Blazers play, and we talk about that with the All-Star big man as well.

Report: Timberwolves in trade talks with Nets to bring Kevin Garnett back

Minnesota Timbersolves v New York Knicks

Kevin Garnett could end his career where it started.

KG spent the first 12 years of his career in Minnesota, he was a 10-time All-Star in that window and one of the top players in the NBA. He was eventually traded to Boston (where he won a ring) and went on to Brooklyn, now he could come full circle.

The Nets are talking to the Timberwolves about a trade that would bring Garnett back to Minnesota, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

The Minnesota Timberwolves ‎are making an 11th-hour push before Thursday’s trade deadline to try to reacquire Wolves legend Kevin Garnett in a swap that would send Thaddeus Young to Brooklyn, has learned.

Sources told the sides have engaged in serious discussions on the deal, which would ultimately require Garnett’s approval even if the teams agree before Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline, since Garnett possesses one of the NBA’s six full no-trade clauses.

Minnesota has the draw of having KG’s old coach Flip Saunders.

Still, you’d have to think that if one of the league’s most intense competitors was going to leave the struggling Nets it would be for a contender, not a team nowhere near the playoffs in the deep West. Since he has the no-trade clause he gets to decide.

The real loser here? Thaddeus Young. Traded from one bad team to another, once again. He could help a contender in need of wing depth, but he just gets bounced from bad team to bad team.

Portland Trail Blazers legend Jerome Kersey passes away

Oklahoma City Thunder v Portland Trail Blazers

Sad news out of the Portland area, long-time Trail Blazer and fan favorite Jerome Kersey has died. He was just 52.

The news was first reported by Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports but since then it has been confirmed by a Trail Blazers representative. At this time we do not know the cause.

Kersey was a second-round pick out of Div. II Longwood College, a guy who was a longshot to ever make the roster but not only did he outwork everyone to get his chance, he exploded into the consciousness of NBA fans when he came in second to Michael Jordan during the 1987 dunk contest.

Kersey spent 11 years with the Blazers and was more than a dunker; he was a starter on some of the best Blazers teams, ones that made two Finals runs during the Clyde Drexler/Terry Porter era. He was a physically strong, explosive player who averaged 17 points a game as a Blazer. But he’s better remembered as the guy who did the little things, who provided the grit, and made the hustle plays that were key to those Portland teams. Those are the kind of things that made him a fan favorite in Portland, his loyalty to the area kept him as one of the favorites.

Eventually, he was unprotected in the expansion draft, and that led to him playing with the Raptors. After that he bounced around the NBA but in his travels picked up a championship ring playing with the San Antonio Spurs in 1998-99.

After his playing days he remained active in the Portland community. Just one day before he passed Kersey, along with Terry Porter and Brian Grant, were speaking at a school in the Portland area about Black History Month.