Skip to main content

Rip City Basketball Classic

On November 6, 2011, with the NBA lockout still raging on with no end in sight, LaMarcus Aldridge brought together some friends to play a basketball game for charity at the Chiles Center. The so-called Rip City Classic featured a couple future NBA Hall of Famers, NBA All-Stars, a slam dunk contest  winner, home team favorites and a host of others. When I moved to Portland I was excited to live in an NBA city. I would finally get to see my beloved Boston Celtics! Then the stupid lockout happened and that destroyed my hopes for seeing them this year. Hearing about this game from Aldridge's Twitter, I told Jackie we had to go. She was of course down to go with me. Next thing I know I'm buying tickets online and we're getting ready to head out.

Sadly, Brandon Roy was not able to play in the game. And shortly after the season started, he was forced to retire due to excessive knee injuries.

Neither of us had been to the Chiles Center or the area of town where the arena is located. When we arrived, traffic and parking were terrible. We ended up parking in a nearby neighborhood and walking up to the game. It was dark, but the neighborhood reminded me a lot of Las Cruces. The houses were one-story and you could tell there was a mixture of families and college students living there. The Chiles Center is the stadium for the University of Portland, a small Catholic university. We did not get a chance to check out the campus, but from what we were able to glance at, it looks nice, lots of grass (which is always a plus). How do people live without grass and trees all over their campus? (I'm looking at you UTEP...)

We managed to find Will Call and our seats after initially walking the wrong way. By the time we sat down, the game was about midway through the first quarter. Immediately I could feel the excitement of the crowd. It was a sellout. That certainly helped. These people were raring for some basketball. A DJ played music the whole time. Two guys had microphones and kept interrupting with "What!?!" and "Whoa, son!" Or something. They also interviewed people courtside, but for the life of me, I could not make out what anyone was saying. It sounded muffled.

As for the game itself, it was fast paced and involved very little defense or fundamentals. There were tons of highlight plays, from big dunks to no-look passes (although most of the fancy passes ended in turnovers). The two players who put fourth an effort on both sides of the ball also happened to be the two best players on the court, Aldridge and Kevin Durant. In particular, Durant showed some impressive defense, something that is generally considered a lackluster area of his overall game. And, of course, both scored plenty of points. In fact, everyone scored plenty of points. With 12:48 left in the second quarter, the score was 91-79! I've never seen anything like it.

After halftime the game started to zoom by. There were little to no fouls called, and no timeouts really, so it flowed more like a pickup game than a traditional organized one. Then, during a break, a little kid came out and danced the Dougie. And Nate Robinson joined him!

By the fourth quarter, the game had gotten a bit tight and suddenly both teams began to compete harder. Suddenly fouls were called and (some) defense was played. I had the hardest time telling which team was which because for one, the front of their jerseys said the same thing, and for two, the back of every jersey also said the same thing. I could pick out a few of the players from seeing them on television, like Durant, Aldridge, Robinson, Raymond Felton, James Harden and TJ Ford, but I had a hard time with the others. Plus the program did not help too much (it was missing Harden and also had Roy listed when he didn't play). Nobody cared much which team won. At one point the crowd started cheering for the Blazers. That was very cool. I love passionate fans. Nevertheless, one team won (164-157) and it was fun to watch.

Also, there were Teletubbies and they kept leapfrogging each other around the arena. So there you go.

Obviously I don't have a professional camera or one good enough to do sports photography, but The Oregonian has a great gallery from the game.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Popular posts from this blog

Philippines Vacation: Day Five

After a day of exploring the area near Doljo Beach where we were staying and meeting a strange man, we decided to book a tour of the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Sadly, a horrible earthquake had caused a great deal of damage. Hundreds of people died and many buildings were demolished, including multiple famous churches. The strongest part of the earthquake happened very close to the Chocolate Hills. For months, we had been monitoring the safety of the island and almost considered changing our plans for the entire country, but we decided to go anyway. In November, following the big typhoon, another earthquake occurred...

Philippines Vacation: Day Two

The next day, we woke up and went to the restaurant at our "hotel" for breakfast. It took some time to get it, but while we waited, we chatted up the staff and some of the other travelers. We were given ube to eat before our food arrived. Ube is a purple root that tastes great by itself. I loved it.

Cambodia Vacation, Part Four: Angkor Wat and More

On the morning of my last day in Siem Reap, I got up super early. I was finally going to see one of the most famous places in the world, Angkor Wat. Outside of my hotel, there were tuk tuk drivers waiting to take anyone to the sites. I basically went with the one who was the least pushy. For a pretty low price, he offered to take me around for the day. I wouldn't say he was a tour guide, but he set the itinerary and then would leave me at each place for as long as I wanted to stay.

Because my time was limited, I wanted to get through all the best places as quickly as possible. My flight left in the evening that day, so I needed to get back to get my stuff at the hotel and then get to the airport. While I would have liked to spend more time, maybe bike around on my own, now I just have a reason to visit again in the next few years!

You have to pay for a day pass before entering. It is all clearly marked and easy to do. They take your picture and put it on the pass. At various plac…