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Even when Greg Oden was out of the picture last season, recovering from microfracture knee surgery, the Blazers were one of the NBA's happiest stories.
The two big stars of the team's resurrection have been Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Who knew that off the court, there was a chill between those two? Jason Quick of the Oregonian reports that a perceived slight over a barbecue dinner, and two young men who are reluctant to make the first move led to an uninspiring relationship.
Now, however, things have changed, thanks in no small part to the tedium of hanging around a Hollywood set, and the warped blessing of poor cell phone networks. Quick writes:
Early in September, Nike flew Aldridge, Roy and Greg Oden to Los Angeles to shoot a commercial featuring LeBron James.
But the day didn't go as planned. There were delays.
Postponements. More delays.
Aldridge and Roy have both long been close to Travis Outlaw, who played the role of middle man. Now, Outlaw jokes, he's no longer needed and has been kicked aside.
(Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images)
The three Blazers were housed in a trailer. Oden, a notorious sleeper, spent most of the day napping in the back.
Aldridge and Roy watched "New Jack City," and found out they both revered the movie as a classic and that both could recite lines at a moment's notice. But after the movie was over, they were left with just themselves. Neither of their cell phones got reception.
"That was the first time we had been together that long, in one spot, without being able to leave or talk to other people," Aldridge said. "We didn't have any outside contact. We were isolated."
They had nothing else to do but talk.
And so it began.
They talked about their parents. Their girlfriends. Cars. Money. Family.
"I mean, we talked about EVERYthing," Roy said. "That's what really broke it down. At one point, he was like, 'You don't have to keep listening to me,' and I was like, 'No. Keep talking. I'm listening.' Because we are in the same situation in a lot of things, and he said some of the same things I had been thinking."