Veterans Memorial Coliseum re-energized Trail Blazers Fan Fest

Jamie Hudson
NBC Sports Northwest

‘Hey Rodney Hood! Rodney!!'

CJ McCollum! Over here, CJ!'

The sound of young Trail Blazers fans yelling to get their favorite players' attention, echoed all around the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Sunday night.

It was a night to tip-off the Trail Blazers 50th Anniversary as the Blazers welcomed in fans for free at the 15th annual Fan Fest.

"It was definitely a different feeling," Damian Lillard said postgame.

"It was cool," Lillard continued. "Like the last few years in the Moda has been like, ‘alright, we back again, Fan Fest -- play hard, don't try to do too much, try to be injury free,' but tonight I think this building is a little bit brighter than the Moda. It seems like it was just a little brighter, the echo in the gym was a little different."

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There was a distinct feeling in the air, a certain vibe. Basically, there was a lot of excitement at this year's Fan Fest.

Maybe it was because of the seven new additions to the roster, maybe it's the high expectations that have been made of this team, or maybe it was the arena itself that made this Fan Fest extra special.

Whatever it was, the Blazers All-Star point guard was all about playing at the Coliseum.

"The energy just felt like more lively… It was more intimate. People were on top of you. And, right away when I came out it felt like college or something. Where everybody seemed like a little more excited. The gym seemed a little bit louder," Lillard said.

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Lillard admitted he didn't believe the additional enthusiasm this year was all about where they played.

"I think part of that was because there has been change, and fans are curious, they want to see, they want to know," Lillard said.

One thing is certain, the old and the new meshed well together on Sunday night.

Veterans Memorial Coliseum re-energized Trail Blazers Fan Fest originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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