PORTLAND -- Steve Blake may be a Los Angeles Laker these days, but his heart is firmly planted in Portland, where the the former Blazer continues to make his home.
“It was one of my favorite places to play, but I think people are starting to get used to it. I’ve played for Lakers for three years, going into my fourth year now,” said Blake.
Blake is all about basketball, even during the off season. This week he’s holding his 10th annual Steve Blake Basketball Camp at Lake Oswego High School. And, once again, it’s a major hit for the young campers.
“I like how Steve comes around and helps people fix what they are doing wrong,” said 14-year-old David Vasquez.
Steve’s father Richard is there every step of the way too. He moved from Florida to be closer to his son and grandchildren.
“He works with kids, interacts with them and plays," he said of his son. " Often he will jump in on pickup games. It’s really neat to see, as a father. It’s really, really cool."
Blake is like many current and former professional basketball players who hold summer camps. But it’s how he approaches this one that is a tad different than some of the others.
Steve is there from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. all five days.
“I just finished up my 10th season in the NBA, but best part of game is being able to share your knowledge. This is where it began for me, at basketball camps. Growing up as a kid, my dad always took me to camps. And I learned a lot that way. So if I can give back in that way, I’d love to do it.”
Blake still has some tread on his NBA tires, and hasn’t considered retirement at this point. But he did admit that coaching will likely be part of his future.
“With three young boys, I think that’s a given,” said Blake.
What does he make of the changes that have happened with the Lakers this past week?
“It’s fun, but things are always changing. It keeps you on your toes, but I look forward to having a great year. Disappointing that Dwight [Howard] left, but it could be a good thing for us.”