Los Angeles, with its inhabiting hoop masses engulfed in all things Lakers and Blake Griffin, may not be the ideal fan surroundings for a die-hard Portland Trail Blazers supporter. But when you’re making the sort of moves – both on and off the court – that 33-year-old actor and basketball junkie Joel David Moore is making, L.A. is not so bad.
Beyond starring in the upcoming biopic Grassroots with buddy Jason Biggs, Moore is probably best known for his work in Avatar, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and Grandma’s Boy. But one thing you might not know is that he is also an active hooper in L.A.’s Entertainment League, headed up by co-founder Shane Duffy. And to simply say that the Rose City native loves his hometown red and black doesn’t do his fandom justice. He breathes Portland basketball.
So with NBA All-Star Weekend coming to Moore’s sunny abode, we found it only fitting that one of the League’s biggest supporters give us his views on everything roundball.
*** *** ***
Dime: Where does it all begin for you with basketball?
Joel David Moore: Well, I’d like to say that I was part of the reason that Portland got a championship back in 1977. Because right around that time, a guy name Joel David Moore was brought to the scene out of his mother’s womb and that’s when the magic happened. But yeah, I was born and raised in Portland, so I’ve been a Blazers fan my entire life.
Dime: When was your Blazers heyday?
JDM: It was when the Blazers had Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Jerome Kersey and Buck Williams. They went all the way to the Finals against Jordan and the Bulls, and it was a very exciting time for Portland. You got to understand that Portland is a one-pro-team town, so everything – all the sports fanatics in Portland – revolve around the Blazers… And that’s sort of when “Rip City” was started.
Dime: Who are the players that you had to get NBA League Pass for?
JDM: I have League Pass to watch all 82 of the Blazers’ games; I don’t miss one. If I’m on the road shooting for a long time, I’m watching it on DirecTV at 3:00 a.m. I try to watch every game; I’m kind of a nerd about it. Guys that I love, I love Chris Paul. I love the idea of LeBron James. I like the rise of Paul Millsap. I’m kind of bummed that (the Blazers) didn’t get him; I think it would have been a great pick-up.
Dime: So where’s the spot to be in L.A. during All-Star Weekend?
JDM: I’ll tell ya, there is no answer to that question and here’s why: Because hot clubs in L.A. change faster than strippers who are wiping poles down (laughs). Because they can’t stay open… But it’s essentially going to come down to wherever the players go. There will be after-parties, there will be fun places to go, but I’m looking forward to all of it. I played in the celebrity game last year and I think it’s going to be a fun celeb game this year. And we’ll get more celebs because they’re all going to be in town – they don’t have to fly anywhere. It’ll be a little sprint down to Staples Center to play the game, so it should be fun.
Dime: What are your championship predictions?
JDM: Lakers. I think it’s going to be Lakers and Boston. I think that Miami will be far better at the end of the year than they are right now. I think there’s just so much adversity in trying to figure out whose ball it is. Figuring out that there’s only one ball on the court and that’s hard when you have superstar players. And you completely have to take Chris Bosh out of that. Bosh is a great power forward, but he doesn’t need the ball; he’s not like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. So I think that that’s going to continue to be a struggle for them and they may never win a championship. This may only last a year and somebody may have to be traded, you never know. But I don’t feel they’ll put it together in time to beat the Celtics. So I think it’s going to go down to Boston and the Lakers. I think it’s going to go to another Game 7 – my prediction is that the Lakers will end up having the best record, so it’ll be a home game. And it will kind of be like Groundhog Day, just like last year all over again.
Follow Jack on Twitter at @jensenjack.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.