The Portland Trail Blazers got an early jump on the Halloween festivities that teams within the NBA take part in every year, with each player on the roster arriving at the Moda Center in costume on Monday, October 22. And of the 13 different characters that showed up, it was without question All-Star Damian Lillard’s representation of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin that came away with the lion’s share of headlines.
CBS Sports tracked the entrances of such standouts as Maurice Harkless who came as Dave Chappelle’s drug addled character “Tyrone Biggums”; Jusuf Nurkic, who was suited up as Beast from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; C.J. McCollum and his Jason Voorhees get-up; and a complementary Freddie Kreuger, as was channeled by Al-Farouq Aminu. In addition, Evan Turner came as a Ferrari-driving chainsaw clown, Jake Layman was a butler penguin, Zach Collins dressed up as Deadpool, and Wade Baldwin IV headed into the locker room with a Seymour Bones outfit on.
The Trail Blazers even got first-year players Gary Trent Jr. and Anifernee Simons in on the action — although rookies don’t get to choose their own ensemble, according to USA Today. So the newbie tandem was forced to waddle behind the procession as a big inflatable kangaroo and a giant inflatable duck, respectively.
Portland figured to usher the holiday in more than a week in advance of Halloween’s October 31 calendar date because their match-up against the Washington Wizards on Monday would make for their final home game of the month. Moving forward, the Trail Blazers’ 2018-19 schedule has them set to take on the Magic in Orlando, the Heat in Miami, the Pacers in Indiana, and then the Rockets in Houston. The team returns for a contest against the New Orleans Pelicans on the first of November.
It proved to be a good thing that the organization could kick the game off with a bit of fun. Those on hand in the arena would eventually have to lean on whatever humor might have carried over, with local fans being subjected to a crushing 125-124 loss. As for Lillard, he’d put on a stellar performance — achieving 29 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.
If nothing else, Lillard did put a smile on at least one man’s face. King of the WWE’s “Attitude Era” himself, Steve Austin, somehow became aware of his return to the spotlight — and he tweeted out his appreciation for it.
“Oh Hell Yeah!!!” the legendary wrestling entertainer wrote.