When Gerald Wallace ambled onto the court Tuesday, it was the first time a Trail Blazer stepped between the lines wearing a headband in years.
But there was a much grander head-band-wearing entrance that same morning.
Two days after Wallace played without the headwear because he thought Nate McMillan discouraged them, McMillan walked into shootaround donning a headband of his own — greenlighting Wallace to sport one himself.
“I got one some for everyone,” McMillan said, who threw a spare headband to a reporter.
McMillan said his aversion toward headbands began when he was coaching the Sonics, and an array of players wore them on “retro night.”
Feeling like his players were focused more on fashion than the game itself, he had the team stop ordering them. That carried over to Portland.
However, for medical reasons, the Blazers had to have some headbands in stock, which is why McMillan was able to deliver one to Wallace Tuesday.
McMillan doesn’t think the attire will be a distraction, but he is glad that one other fad seems to be dying down.
If you’ve noticed, when Wesley Matthews or Rudy Fernandez or Nicolas Batum knock down a 3-pointer these days, they don’t flash the “3 Goggles” with the frequency of days past.
Was this an order from up high?
“I hadn’t said anything. But I wish they would get back in transition,” McMillan said. “Get back in transition.
Blazers sign Collins
The Blazers signed center Jarron Collins to a 10-day contract Tuesday.
Collins, a 10-year veteran who spent eight years with the Jazz, played 18 games with the Clippers this year and had been working out in Los Angeles before getting the call from Portland.
When asked what his role would be, the 32-year-old chuckled and said “just go hit somebody.”
Collins was invited to Blazers training camp last season but was beaten out by point guard Patty Mills for a roster spot. Even so, he said he remembered the energy and fan support the Rose Garden provided, and is excited by the prospect of returning.
The Blazers have been aching for a big man since trading away center Joel Przybilla, forward Dante Cunningham (who often played center) and center Sean Marks to the Bobcats last week. Starting center Marcus Camby, meanwhile, has been placed on a 20-minute limit.
Collins admitted that it was hard for him to follow the Blazers too closely this season, but was aware of their recent trades and the void they had at the center position. He added he’d like to parlay his 10-day contract into a full-time roster spot.
But did Collins know if he would play Tuesday night?
“In all my years, I’ve never asked the coach if I’m going to play,” Collins said. “That doesn’t usually turn out well.”