Gadgets the Portland Trail Blazers can’t live without

damian-lillardAlthough Digital Trends has an office in New York and we employ writers that are literally all around the world, the city of our birth was Portland, Oregon. So when the opportunity arose to briefly speak with some of the Trail Blazers about what tech they are into, we couldn’t pass it up even though the conversation was brief as the team was preparing for what is essentially a three week road trip. 

NBA players have a unique vantage point when it comes to technology. They are in the position most of us aspire to when it comes to finances, so the players have the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of technology if they choose. They can select their gear based on what works for them without having to be hemmed in by the cost. There is a flip side to that though.

As they occupy the spotlight, professional athletes are forced to live under the near constant eye of fans. They live under a microscope, and technology for all the good it may bring, has also made the lives of players more open to the public, and more guarded as a result. It’s tough to go out and have dinner with friends when a single tweet can notify thousands of people to every detail of your night out. 

So while our time was limited, we asked four of the Blazers what they thought of tech, and what gadgets they are most into at the moment. 

Damian Lillard

Lillard

Lillard was the first player taken by the Blazers in the 2012 draft, and the sixth overall pick.  After growing up in Oakland, CA, Lillard attended Weber State, where he finished as the number two overall scorer in school history despite playing in only three full seasons.  He has since gone on to become the second highest scorer on the team, averaging 18.4 points per game for the Blazers, and he’s vying for rookie of the year honors.  He plays in the number 0 to honor his hometown of Oakland.

What’s your favorite gadget/tech that you use on a daily basis?  My iPhone 4

What (if any) video games are you into and why?   Fight Night

Is there any particular gadget or tech coming out in the near future (or in the distant for that matter) that you are interested in? Nah, not really

With all the attention you get as a pro athlete, has technology made your life easier or harder? It makes it harder, because it seems like everyone has easy access to you.

J.J. Hickson

Sacramento Kings Media Day

Hickson is a fourth year starter originally hailing from Georgia. He spent one year at North Carolina State where he went 12 for 12 in his first game and set an NCAA Division 1 record for field goal percentage. Hickson is currently averaging a double double in both scoring and rebounding as a starter. 

What’s your favorite gadget/tech that you use on a daily basis?  My old school iPod. It’s like 82 gigs, or something like that. You can’t buy those anymore.

What (if any) video games are you into and why?  None

Is there any particular gadget or tech coming out in the near future (or in the distant for that matter) that you are interested in?  The iPhone 6 – I heard they’re starting to leak pictures of it on the internet!

With all the attention you get as a pro athlete, has technology made your life easier or harder?  It makes life easier, not just as an athlete, but as a human being. Almost all the information you need is right at your fingertips.

Wesley Matthews 

Portland Trail Blazers

The 26-year old Matthews has played in the NBA for three years, and been a Blazer for two. Matthews attended Marquette University and entered the NBA as an undrafted free agent. After impressing scouts at the NBA Summer League, he joined the Utah Jazz and soon became a starter.  He signed a 5 year deal with the Blazers and starts at the Shooting Guard position.

What’s your favorite gadget/tech that you use on a daily basis?  iPhone 5

What (if any) video games are you into and why?  I play Xbox. No game in particular, I like them all and I play them all.

Is there any particular gadget or tech coming out in the near future (or in the distant for that matter) that you are interested in?  The iPhone 6 and the new BlackBerry.

With all the attention you get as a pro athlete, has technology made your life easier or harder?  Both. It’s easier to connect with fans and people who want to communicate with you. But it’s also harder because you have to protect yourself from certain people.

Will Barton

Barton

After spending two seasons at the University of Memphis where he won the Conference USA Player of the Year award, the Baltimore native ended his collegiate career with over 1,000 career points in just two years. Barton was then drafted as a Shooting Guard by the Blazers with the 40th overall pick.

What’s your favorite gadget/tech that you use on a daily basis?  iPhone 5

What (if any) video games are you into and why?  I don’t play video games too often, but when I do it’s NBA2K. I don’t just play with the Blazers, either. I play with all of the teams.

Is there any particular gadget or tech coming out in the near future (or in the distant for that matter) that you are interested in?  No, not really.

With all the attention you get as a pro athlete, has technology made your life easier or harder?  It makes it easier to access the things you need in life, like phone numbers to restaurants, etc. No different from any other person.

Emerging Tech

Earth’s magnetic field is shifting, vital map can’t be updated due to shutdown

The Earth's magnetic field is moving, effecting navigation systems of all kinds. A model of the field should have been good until its scheduled update in 2020, however, it has moved so quickly that an update is required much sooner.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Gaming

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Gaming

These are the classic NES games that helped redefine gaming

The NES left an indelible mark on pop culture and revolutionized the gaming industry. Check out our picks for the best NES games, whether you prefer an immersive RPG, side-scrolling brawler, or something else entirely.
Gaming

Still have holiday cash to blow? Grab one of these awesome Xbox One games

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Emerging Tech

Scientists debate mysterious flash of light in space, known as ‘The Cow’

On June 16, 2018 there was an unusual flash in the sky which puzzled astronomers around the world. NASA researchers have been collecting data on the event and have shared two competing theories for what could have caused it.
Emerging Tech

Brightest quasar ever seen discovered by Hubble, may be star-producing machine

The brightest quasar even seen has been observed with the Hubble Space Telescope using a technique called strong gravitational lensing. The quasar is enormously energetic and may be producing thousands of stars per year.
Emerging Tech

Watch China’s moon mission touch down on the planet’s far side

Video has been shared of a lander's-eye view of China's Chang'e 4 mission touching down in the Von Kármán Crater on the far side of the moon. The craft captured footage of the descent with a camera which was attached to the probe.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX nails its first launch and landing of 2019, but job cuts loom

SpaceX has nailed its first launch and landing of 2019 with a mission that deployed more satellites for Virginia-based Iridium Communications. But the success was soured somewhat by reports of upcoming job losses at the company.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers for 2019

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.