Wright to use championship ring to motivate teammates

Wright to use championship ring to motivate teammates
December 23, 2013, 6:45 pm
(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)

TUALATIN -- Portland Trail Blazers Dorell Wright has something in store for his teammates that he wants to share. It’s his 2006 NBA Finals championship ring that he won as a member of the Miami Heat.

It is resting securely in his safe in his Bay Area home. But maybe it’s a little too secure.

“I forgot that damn combination,” Wright told CSNNW.com. “I had some of the guys up at the crib for some catered soul food when we played Golden State and I wanted to show them then, but I forgot that damn number.”

Not to worry, Wright says he’ll figure out a way to get that “bad boy” open when they head to the Bay at the end of January.

Wright is the only Trail Blazer player that owns an NBA championship ring. In showing off his precious ring, Wright says he believes it will serve as an extra incentive for the team to make sure they continue to get after it this season.

“It’s motivation,” Wright said. “I never seen one until I got one. When I got it, I was like, ‘this should have came with a pistol or something. I can’t walk around with this.’ It was ridiculous. Pat [Riley] definitely went over the top with the ring. It’s a huge ring and I think guys will get excited.”

The team’s franchise point guard Damian Lillard agrees.

“I think it would be a huge inspiration,” Lillard said. “I’ve seen one ring before and when I saw it, I wanted it. I think that would give us more purpose going forward. Those things are beautiful. I’ve got to get me one of those one day.”

Coincidentally, the championship ring Lillard had the pleasure of seeing is the exact same one Wright has. Gary Payton played on that 2006 NBA championship team and he allowed Lillard to get a glimpse of what is possible if he puts in the work.

Wright was just a young product two years removed from high school when the Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks to win the title. But he remembers the struggle and team camaraderie that it took to get to that moment.

Portland currently owns the best record in the NBA at 23-5, an impressive feat for a team that was just hoping to sniff the playoffs this season. Great coaching, management, team chemistry and the elevated play of LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard are the primary reasons as to why this squad has shocked the basketball world.

When asked if there are any similarities between that ’06 Heat team and the Trail Blazers, Wright said yes there is: The unselfishness part.

“It’s kind of different because that was an older veteran team and guys were already established,” he said. “Dudes already made their money. One thing I can say is that everybody was buying in and there was one goal. There were no egos.

“I can see that on this team, there are no egos in this locker room,” he said. “Everybody plays with each other and everybody enjoys each other as well. We hang out every time just like we did in Miami. By the way, we were the Heatles before LeBron and them made that up. Shaq used that back in the day when there wasn’t any social media. Bu yeah, I can see a lot of similarities, but we’re still growing and getting better.

 “I know we’re surprising a lot of people but we’re playing good basketball. We got a lot of guys with a high basketball IQ, a lot of unselfish guys. So when you got that many guys that are so unselfish and will make the next pass, you can go a long way with that. That’s what’s going to help us in the playoffs.”

This Portland team is playing some inspired basketball. They have won games in a multitude of ways. As a whole, the organization has been smart to keep the goal of making the playoffs at the forefront despite being on the verge of completely shattering that objective.

Wright says when the playoffs come they’ll shoot for a different goal, but not right now. However, if they continue to keep up this level of play and Wright eventually breaks out with his championship ring, we may start to see a different, hungrier bunch. Only time will tell, though.

In the meantime, we’ll just have to hope that Wright comes up with that combination.

“It’s killing me, man,” Wright said. “I gotta get it.”

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Portland Trail Blazers forward, Dorell Wright, through the D Wright Way Foundation, adopted six Portland-area single-family homes for Christmas.

Wright partnered with Big Brothers and Big Sister Columbia Northwest and asked the family members, including the mothers, to make out a Christmas wish list and his organization went out and purchased the gifts.

“We don’t do it for the pub,” Wright said. “I don’t really care about all that. I’m just in a position where I can take care of people and I’m an inner city kid. One thing I was blessed with was a mom and dad. A lot of my friends were in single-mother homes. That touches you when you get to this level and you’re able to do different things like reach out to the communities and show them that it’s not all about basketball. We do care. We’re icons to people and they really look up to us so I think as much as you can do for the community and the less fortunate is awesome.

Tonight Wright will have dinner with the families at the team’s practice facility before distributing gifts out.

Press Release:

Portland, OR - December 23, 2013 - Portland Trail Blazer rising star Dorell Wright shows that his dedication, commitment and passion goes well beyond shooting his well renowned three-point shot, but extends off the court through his benevolent efforts of improving and impacting the lives of underserved youth.  Wright, who himself faced adversity in his young life, founded the D Wright Way Foundation as a means to evoke change and help others facing financial and societal hardships. The D Wright Way Foundationcontinues its ongoing community initiatives and has proudly partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest to provide holiday warmth and joy to many deserving local Portland families for this year’s D WRIGHT WAY HOLIDAY “ADOPT A FAMILY” EVENT taking place on Monday, December 23rd at 5pm at the Blazers Practice Facility.

To support those in need this holiday season the foundation will play host to families who will join Dorell Wright and Big Brothers Big Sisters for a delightful catered holiday meal followed by family activities and a shoot around at the Trailblazers practice facility, located at 7325 SW Childs Road, Portland Oregon. Throughout the event, single parent families selected by the organizations will be gifted with Christmas wish list items and other festive treats to support their holiday needs. The kindhearted contributions provided by the D Wright Way Foundation will provide these special Big Brothers Big Sisters families with the comfort and cheer of a stress free holiday in times of economic hardship.

“When I step on the court for a big game and look around at the cheering fans, I know that whether I win or lose, I have people rooting and pushing me towards success. In starting, The D Wright Way foundation I set forth to give youth the same support in knowing that we are championing for their success. Through guidance, encouragement, and benevolent acts we can shape the youth of today to excel as our leaders of tomorrow. ”

Chabre Vickers, Director of Community Relations and Diversity Programs for Big Brothers Big Sister shares,  “Just yesterday one of our single mothers of three young children remarked how “this is a huge prayer answered” as she had just been contemplating how to break it to her kids that “Christmas would pass them by this year”. She was so excited to hear that someone like Dorell Wright cared about her kids; “I know now that they will have a smile on their face for Christmas. This is the best gift a Mother could ask for”. Dorell Wright and the D Wright Way Foundation will make Christmas a lot brighter for many families here in the Portland area.