PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Coming off their most successful playoff run in nearly 20 years, the Portland Trail Blazers kicked off the team’s 50th season on Monday with a media day at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Rip City is hoping to keep the momentum of the last season into the 2019-2020 season. Although the roster underwent some changes as the team lost seven players, including fan-favorite Meyers Leonard, they gained six fresh faces — including NBA vet Pau Gasol.
Gasol, who was apart of two championships as a member of the Lost Angeles Lakers, said he wants to “add leadership, experience, and be a sense of guidance for the young guys on the team.”
All the players and head coach Terry Stotts were in attendance, along with Neil Olshey, president of basketball operations, and team president and CEO Chris McGowan.
Stotts told media he is “excited to see how the pieces fit” when asked about the new roster additions. General Manager Neil Olshey said he thinks this team is “the deepest, most experienced, talented team we’ve had.”
Other new faces like Hassan Whiteside and Anthony Tolliver are excited to be apart of the Trail Blazers organization.
“This is the first time I have gone into a season expecting to win a championship,” said Tolliver.
Whiteside added that he knew he wanted to come to Portland for years now.
“It don’t matter where you live, if you aren’t happy on the court, and this is the place I wanted to come,” he said.
The Trail Blazers host the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, Oct. 8 for their first game of the preseason.Remember to follow KOIN 6 News on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Download our free news and weather apps for the latest headlines and forecast information.