04-18-2021  5:51 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • The Rev. Jesse Jackson, center left, walks with supporters during a protest over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by a police officer during a traffic stop, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Saturday, April 17, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    Armed Patrol Group Tries to Keep the Peace in Minneapolis

    Hundreds of people have gathered outside the heavily guarded Brooklyn Center police station every night since Sunday, to protest the police shooting of 20-year-old father Daunte Wright. Despite the mayor's calls for law enforcement and protesters to scale back their tactics, the nights have often ended in objects hurled, tear gas and arrestsRead More
  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sits alone in St. George’s Chapel during the funeral of Prince Philip, the man who had been by her side for 73 years, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. Prince Philip died April 9 at the age of 99 after 73 years of marriage to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. (Jonathan Brady/Pool via AP)

    Prince Philip's Funeral Procession Televised From Windsor

    The coffin emerged from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle as those taking part in the ceremonial procession for his funeral took their places. It was loaded on a specially adapted Land Rover, designed by Philip himself, for the eight-minute journey to St. George’s Chapel. Senior military commanders lined up in front of the vehicle, with members of the royal family following behindRead More
  • Law enforcement personnel work at the scene following a police involved shooting of a man at Lents Park, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Portland, Ore. Police fatally shot a man in the city park Friday morning after responding to reports of a person with a gun, authorities said. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian/The Oregonian via AP)

    Lents Park Scene of Police Shooting During Protests

    Amid protests across Portland against police brutality a man was shot and killed in Lents Park after reports he had a gun. Some protesters described by Mayor Ted Wheeler as a small group of "violent agitators" lit dumpster fires at the ICE and Multnomah County Sheriff's buildings and smashed windows downtown including at the Nike store building and the Oregon History CentreRead More
  • Daunte Wright Jr, center, son of the deceased Daunte Wright, cries in the eyes of his mother Chyna Whitaker, left, alongside his grandmother Erica Whitaker during a news conference, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Minneapolis. Daunte Wright, 20, was shot and killed by police Sunday after a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    Minnesota Mayor Blasts Police Tactics to Control Protesters

    As protesters gather in the suburb where Daunte Wright was shot dead during a traffic stop Mayor Mike Elliott said at a news conference Wednesday that “gassing is not a human way of policing” and he didn’t agree with police using pepper spray, tear gas and paintballs against demonstratorsRead More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Lents Park Scene of Police Shooting During Protests

Amid protests across Portland against police brutality a man was shot and killed in Lents Park after reports he had a gun. Some protesters described by Mayor Ted Wheeler as a small group of "violent agitators" lit dumpster fires at the ICE and Multnomah County Sheriff's buildings and smashed windows downtown including at the Nike store building and the Oregon History Centre

Lawsuit Describes Night of Fear for Wall of Moms Protester

In the lawsuit filed in federal court in Portland, Jennifer Kristiansen also accused a federal agent of groping her as he trapped her against a wall, leading her to fear she would be raped

Oregon Senate Votes to Extend Grace Period for Past-Due Rent

Currently, tenants have until July to pay back rent, but under the proposed bill, tenants would have until Feb. 28, 2022

Black Leaders Respond to City Council Compromise on Gun Violence Prevention

Nearly million will fund community-centered approaches to uptick in shootings.

NEWS BRIEFS

Ageless Awards Honor Older Oregonians Who Redefine Age

Four Oregonians will be honored for their inspiring contributions later in life during a free, public, virtual celebration on April...

Legislators Introduce Bill to Create a Statue of Shirley Chisholm Inside the U.S Capitol

Rep. Yvette D. Clark introduced the bill as part of a larger effort to increase the representation of Black women within the Capitol. ...

Grants Available For Portland Area Black-Led and Serving Organizations

To become a more equitable and just organization, the Providence Portland Service Area Advisory Council seeks to fund community...

WA Black Lives Matter Alliance: Weekend Legislative Wins Mark an Historic Step Toward Police Accountability

The Alliance urged quick reconciliation on the 9 bills passed this weekend and immediate signing by Gov. Jay Inslee. ...

FEMA Trailers Being Used for Oregon Wildfire Survivors

Rumors that the trailers housed unaccompanied immigrant children spurred people with guns to show up at the site ...

Police ask for help identifying Portland, Oregon, rioters

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters who smashed windows, burglarized businesses and set fires during demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, caused significant damage, and authorities urged downtown businesses to review security video to help police apprehend more rioters. Police...

Riot declared in Portland protests after police kill man

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police in Portland, Oregon, said Saturday they arrested four people after declaring a riot Friday night when protesters smashed windows, burglarized businesses and set multiple fires during demonstrations that started after police fatally shot a man while responding to...

OPINION

Portland Commissioners Release Statement on Recent Protests

The murder of Daunte Wright is a reminder that the call for justice for Black lives, accountability, and systemic community safety reform never stops. ...

An Open Letter To the Community From Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese

Sheriff Reese outlines Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office's strategic plan and goals to reinforce equity now and in the future. ...

Candace Avalos On The Right Track With Public Housing

Our unhoused neighbors deserve a safe and clean place to sleep ...

Providence’s Equity Pledge Should Start With Paying Workers a Living Wage

Rep. Mark Meek says Providence’s public commitment to racial equity does not match up with what’s happening inside their hospitals ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ACM Awards to feature (most of) country music's top stars

NEW YORK (AP) — Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards will feature some of the genre's biggest stars, though chart-toppers like Morgan Wallen and Luke Bryan won't be in the building. Wallen, whose latest album and singles have found major success on both the country and pop...

In Minneapolis, armed patrol group tries to keep the peace

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) — As protests intensified in the Minneapolis suburb where a police officer fatally shot Daunte Wright, a group of Black men joined the crowd intent on keeping the peace and preventing protests from escalating into violence. Hundreds of people have...

Black Americans experiencing collective trauma, grief

Carlil Pittman knows trauma firsthand. As the co-founder of the Chicago-based youth organization GoodKidsMadCity-Englewood, he grieved the loss of Delmonte Johnson, a young community activist, more than two years ago to the very thing the teen fought fiercely against: gun...

ENTERTAINMENT

'In the Heights' to open Tribeca Film Festival in June

NEW YORK (AP) — The big-screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's “In the Heights” will kick off the Tribeca Film Festival on June 9, two days before the film opens in theaters and begins streaming. Set in New York's Washington Heights, Jon M. Chu's “In the Heights”...

2 documentaries up for Oscars tell stories of nonagenarians

The Oscar isn’t the only one celebrating its 93rd trip around the sun at the Academy Awards ceremony this year. The shorts category features two documentaries, “ A Concerto is a Conversation ” and “ Colette,” about fellow nonagenarians who have led extraordinary and extraordinarily...

Chicago video tests newsroom handling of graphic footage

NEW YORK (AP) — The image that many Americans have of 13-year-old Adam Toledo is frozen in time: He is standing in an alley with his hands up as the gunshot that killed him is heard. This week's release of Chicago body camera footage of the March 29...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

In Minneapolis, armed patrol group tries to keep the peace

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) — As protests intensified in the Minneapolis suburb where a police officer fatally...

Black Americans experiencing collective trauma, grief

Carlil Pittman knows trauma firsthand. As the co-founder of the Chicago-based youth...

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Members of Indianapolis’ tight-knit Sikh community joined with city officials to call for...

Italy's Salvini to stand trial for 2019 migrant standoff

ROME (AP) — A judge on Saturday ordered former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to stand trial on...

American, 2 Russians return to Earth from space station

MOSCOW (AP) — An American astronaut and two Russians have returned to Earth after six months aboard the...

Myanmar junta pardons prisoners, to attend regional summit

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s junta on Saturday released more than 23,000 prisoners to mark the traditional...

Russel Westbrook throws it down at All-Star weekend
The Black Athlete by Omar Tyree

Each year in mid-February, the NBA All-Star Game plants itself in a different American city and takes over for a weekend’s worth of basketball games, events, after parties and entertaining shows, with plenty of American celebrities in attendance from every walk of life.

 

In 2002, I attended the NBA All-Star game festivities in my hometown of Philadelphia, and enjoyed a Roots concert, while bumping into a dozen of old friends from my high school days. That next year in 2003, I attended All-Star Game events in Atlanta, where I finally had a chance to witness the legend of Allen Iverson and his dozen-man entourage at a hotel restaurant. Both occasions remain eye-popping and memorable, as if they had just happened yesterday.

 

I never even thought about attending the actual games. I was fine with watching it all on TV; the sophomore and rookie challenge, the celebrity charity game, the 3-point contest, guard skills performances, the slam dunk contest, an army of fun interviews, and the All-Star game itself.

 

With the NBA All-Stars, their peers and families all sitting at courtside, we get a chance to witness them return to being oversized kids, who once dreamed about being professional athletes and making an All-Star game appearance in a number of capacities themselves. These happy ballers then receive an overflow of validation from the excited movie stars, musicians, politicians, popular businessmen, supermodels and comedians, who all sit at courtside with them and whoop it up for the big show, while thousands of fans sit and enjoy it right behind them.

 

Each year I sat at home and watched as a kid myself, and as an adult with my two sons, while only imagining what it felt like to be: Dr. J; George Gervin; Michael Jordan; Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille Oneal, Kobe Bryant and now Lebron James: Dirk Nowitzki: Stephen Curry: James Harden: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. What does it feel like to be celebrated by so many American citizens and superstars in their own light, who all come out and sit still to be amazed by you?

 

For those few hours in time, the world seems to stop and stand still for superstar basketball players; or at least it felt that way to me. The validation of skills was the reason why we all wanted to become professional athletes in the first place, not just to play the game and to live comfortably with million-dollar contracts; but to be celebrated for adding something special to the world--whether it be in football, boxing, baseball, hockey, track and field, World Cup soccer, or the Olympic Games.

 

With as much glitter, star-power and fashion statements that are made each year during the Academy Awards, The Grammys, The ESPYs, American Music, MTV, Soul Train, BET and NAACP Image Awards, nothing seems as fun or as natural as the NBA All-Star Game. There’s no fake adoration or bitten tongues, while dressed in thousand-dollar designer gowns and penguin suits from athletes who celebrate their game, themselves and each other. It’s all real excitement and jubilation, while dressed in warm-up, sneakers, blue jeans, jackets, shades, baseball caps and jewelry.

 

I watched it all again this weekend from New York City, where a Muggsy Bogues-sized comedian Kevin Hart—who has become a staple at NBA events—won another celebrity game becoming MVP, while playing against 13-year-old phenom, Mo’ne Davis, who is now transitioning from Little League Baseball, to her first love of basketball.

 

I watched Steph Curry and his gray-headed dad, Dell, lose in a team shoot-out against a current NBA player, a retired NBA veteran and a current WNBA player, before Steph went on to later swish 21 of 25 shots for a record 27 points to win the 3-point shooting contest. Zach LaVine, a 19-year-old leaper, who was a UCLA freshman last year this time, scored a perfect 100 points after two incredible back-to-back dunks, with legendary leaper, Dr. J, taking his sweet old time as the fifth and final decision-making judge.

 

Then we watched the marquee game, where Oklahoma Thunder’s fireball of energy, Russell Westbrook, scored 41 points for the MVP Award--one shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 42 in 1962. The teams also scored a combined record of 321 total points in a 163-158 win for the Western Conference over the East.

 

That’s 321 points with no overtime minutes, and a new record of 48 3-pointers. You talk about going all out to excite the fans; that’s what the NBA All-Star Game is all about—FANtastic!

 

No wonder my two sons dreamed so hard of outgrowing their dad for dunking height. They dreamed of joining Victor Olapido, the Maryland-born son of Nigerian and Sierra Leone immigrant parents, who came in second to LaVine in the Slam Dunk Contest, while the world stood still to watch, along with young professional basketball hopeful from more than twenty-five different countries around the world, now from Brazil to Russia.

 

Sometimes I wish the NBA All-Star Game and events could last for a whole week instead of a mere weekend. If only the rest of us could have a weekend of celebration like they do for what we do, we could all feel reenergized each year to continue loving the jobs and careers that we engage in and celebrate each other. Wouldn’t that be nice? It would make us all feel like All-Stars.

 

Omar Tyree is a New York Times bestselling author, an NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Fiction, and a professional journalist, who has published 27 books, including co-authoring Mayor For Life; The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr. View more of his career and work @ www.OmarTyree.com

 

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