09-21-2019  10:59 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon is One of 23 States to Sue Trump on Air Quality Rules

The Trump administration has revoked California's right to set auto emission rules: let battle commence...

New Treasurer Steps In At Multnomah Dems

Self-described ‘boring guy’ Dean Price steps in amid party tensions

Governor's Lawyer Declines Court Nod Amid Uproar

Misha Isaak has declined his appointment by Gov. Kate Brown to the Court of Appeals after the state's public records advocate accused him of unethical behavior

NEWS BRIEFS

Mac Group Returns to GFO Sept. 25

User group to cover email, iCloud and more ...

Johnell Bell Named to National Small Business Leadership Council

Portland small business owner joins National Economic Development Association ...

Buffalo Soldier Dedication to Be Held at Fort Vancouver on Saturday, Sept. 21

The installation will be the first African-American memorial in the city of Vancouver ...

Africa-America Institute Set to Honor Angola, New York Times Magazine, and Netflix Film During 35th Annual Awards Gala

New York City’s premiere Africa event takes place during the week of the United Nations General Assembly’s 73rd session. ...

YouTube Originals Debuts Michelle Obama’s Reacher College Prep Course

‘A Student’s Guide to Your First Year of College’ debuted last week ...

Cougar encounter renews debate about threats from animal

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Peter Idema has been running the trails and logging roads of Oregon State University's Dunn Research Forest near his Soap Creek Valley home for more than 30 years.But around 10 a.m. on Aug. 31, a routine run took an unexpected twist when he rounded a curve on a lonely...

Portland students join global climate protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Thousands of students demanding action on the global climate crisis walked out of class in Portland, Oregon, part of global protests that stretched from Australia to South America.KOIN reports that students rallied Friday outside City Hall, making demands of Mayor Ted...

South Carolina tries to keep success against Missouri going

The only player on the Missouri roster who knows what it's like to beat South Carolina is Kelly Bryant, and the quarterback transfer didn't even accomplish the feat with the Tigers.He did it two years ago while playing for Clemson.The Tigers, who welcome South Carolina to Faurot Field for their SEC...

SEC building some of the top defenses in college football

While defenses are still a work in progress around the Southeastern Conference, they still rank as some of the best in college football.Florida leads the nation with 16 sacks, including 10 in the opener against rival Miami. Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia combined to shut out overmatched opponents...

OPINION

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

Do Black Kids Deserve This Treatment in School?

Three White Pearland ISD employees are named in a federal lawsuit after humiliating a 13-year-old Black student by blackening his scalp with a Sharpie ...

Why I’m Visiting the Border

People of color are feeling less safe today and any day when we see the realities of domestic terrorism and racially-motivated acts of violence ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trudeau's support holds after apology for wearing brownface

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that he let down his supporters — and all Canadians of color — by appearing years ago in brownface and blackface. Yet the scandal's fallout may be limited in a country without the harsh and still-divisive racial...

'Welcome back' - a reporter's fraught re-entry to Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The immigration officer lifted his stamp to put the visa into my passport and I heaved a sigh of relief. But then my passport was taken by a smiling woman who asked, "Have you been to Zimbabwe before?"Through questioning she determined that I had worked as a...

2 Muslim men from Texas say American Airlines profiled them

DALLAS (AP) — Two Muslim men from Texas say American Airlines profiled them and canceled their flight after crew members said they "didn't feel comfortable" flying with the pair.Abderraoof Alkhawaldeh and Issam Abdallah said they filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation...

ENTERTAINMENT

1 event near Area 51 pulls plug; second festival continues

HIKO, Nev. (AP) — The promoter of an event set up for Earthlings to party around the "Storm Area 51" internet craze in the remote Nevada desert has pulled the plug due to low attendance, while the host of a festival for several thousand people in the tiny town of Rachel said Saturday her...

It's no joke: women rule the Emmy comedy series category

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When the winner of the best comedy series Emmy Award is announced Sunday, odds are good that a woman will be giving the acceptance speech.An unprecedented number of the seven nominated comedies are from female creators: defending champion "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,"...

Julie Andrews to receive American Film Institute honor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The American Film Institute is honoring Julie Andrews with its Life Achievement Award.The organization said Friday that Andrews will receive the award at the Gala Tribute on April 25 in Los Angeles. It will be broadcast on TNT.Andrews' acting career has spanned several...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

25 years later, a new generation gets immersed in 'Friends'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Friends" is getting old. Its fans have never been younger.As the sitcom about six...

Justices' DC sniper case examines teen murderers' sentences

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lee Boyd Malvo, who terrorized the Washington region in 2002 as one-half of a sniper...

'Welcome back' - a reporter's fraught re-entry to Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The immigration officer lifted his stamp to put the visa into my passport and I...

'Welcome back' - a reporter's fraught re-entry to Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The immigration officer lifted his stamp to put the visa into my passport and I...

'I want a future': Global youth protests urge climate action

NEW YORK (AP) — Young people afraid for their futures protested around the globe Friday to implore leaders...

Families struggle to meet Kashmiris lodged in Indian jail

AGRA, India (AP) — Hameeda Begum explained her arduous journey from the Himalayan region of disputed...

McMenamins
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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