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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Crawford’s Sports Biz 59 Seconds, 11/14/18

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

Memphis, Portland, OKC and Sacramento are the four NBA cities never to host an NBA all-star game. The schocking part of the above is Portland. The 20-21 season will mark the Trail Blazers 50th anniversary in the league. For the record, Portland consistently is in the top 10 of seating capacity sold in the league and at one time held the record for North American sports teams for most consecutive sellouts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Rarefied Air Revisited
by Harry Cummins

     If you are still trying to put into perspective last Saturday's assault on the record books by Multnomah University's dynamic duo of Justin Martin and Zack Richardson, (49 points each) consider the following:

It happens rarely in a basketball game at any level that two players from the same team score 40 or more points in the same game.  For instance, the feat has been accomplished only 11 times in the storied history of the NBA's regular season. Elite pairings like West and Baylor, Durant and Westbrook, Jordan and Pippen, populate this short list. To find the college equivalent would require a journey thru murky waters and thousands of games that are 8 minutes shorter in duration than an NBA contest.

On December 13, 1983, in the highest scoring game in the history of the NBA, Kiki Vandeweghe scored 51 points and Nuggets teammate Alex English added 47 in a contest that extended for 3 overtimes. It remains the highest combined point total (98) by NBA teammates who both score over 40 points in the same game. Martin and Richardson matched that total in Saturday's record-breaking win.

We are forever left to wonder what would have happened had not both Martin and Richardson  retired to the bench with several minutes remaining in the game. Two 50 point scorers on the same team in the same game?   You almost saw it!!


Crawford’s Sports Biz 59 Seconds, 11/13/18

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

Through games of yesterday Philadelphia is leading the NBA in attendance, thus far filling 98.6 percent of their seating capacity. Last in attendance is Minnesota,  at 74.7 percent of capacity. Obviously star power needs victories as well to draw fans.

Monday, November 12, 2018

By Harry Cummins

     There's a centuries-old refrain from an Eliza Hewitt hymn that says "When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be."  The sports world should make a joyful noise today. Willie O'Ree has just skated into hockey's version of heaven.

     When the 83 year-old O'Ree steps forward today to be inducted  into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada, he will be remembered in many cities, including Portland, Oregon.  Willie O'Ree was historically significant as the first black player in the NHL, playing 45 games over the course of 2 seasons.. His lengthy career spanned 24 seasons, most of them concealed from view in the hinterlands of the minor leagues.  O'Ree played in the Western Hockey League  from 1967-1974 as a member of the San Diego Gulls, visiting the Rose City many times to take on Connie Madigan and the Portland Buckaroos.

     My particular introduction to O'Ree came during his tenure as a San Diego Gull, as I was a beat reporter assigned to cover the team for the UPI wire service.  From its origin, the fledgling hockey franchise in sun-splashed San Diego was wildly successful, out-drawing the NHL franchise in Los Angeles to the north. SRO crowds of 14,000 were commonplace  in the 13,000 seat San Diego Sports Arena, especially on nights when Connie "Mad Dog" Madigan and his Portland Buckaroos came calling.  

     Vivid memories of those years linger.  I will never forget the lightning-like rushes up the rink by O'Ree, goal sirens screeching, and the overhead message screen flashing the words "Boy, are you GULLible!!!   Of course there were the heated contests against Portland.  Every time Portland's dreaded 'bad boy' Madigan was whistled for a violation, which was often, fans seated behind the penalty box would drape rubber chickens on a string over the plexiglass and into Madigan's face.  On one such memorable occasion, Madigan swung his stick, sending chickens flying everywhere.  Fittingly, Madigan was later cast to play the character Ross Madison in the cult film classic, "Slap Shot" and became the oldest "rookie" to debut in the National Hockey League at the age of 38.

    O'Ree, one of 13 siblings, continues to spend his post-hockey years as a diversity ambassador for his sport, working with young hockey players across North America in outreach programs. He still resides in San Diego. Many never knew he played all those years permanently blinded in his right eye, struck by an errant puck at age 19. It was particularly challenging for a left winger, since most passes directed across ice from teammates arrived from his right side.

     Willie O'Ree has overcome much to become a living legend of his sport.  The San Diego Gulls have long since retired his number #22, suspending it from the rafters of an aging Sports Arena.  Today in Toronto, Canada, O'Ree forever resides where he belongs, in the public heedfulness of hockey's Hall of Fame  







Crawford’s Sports Biz 59 Seconds,, 11/12/18

In today’s world of heavily laden bonuses for college football coaches in their contracts, just one example. Cal coach Justin Wilcox is now 6-4 on year after big win on road Saturday. 7 wins on the year for Wilcox will get him a 250k bonus, 8 wins 325k.

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Crawford’s Sports Biz 59 Seconds/ 11/11/18

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

In 2017 the NBA allowed its teams to have jersey sponsors as a three year experiment .  So far all but five teams have secured jersey sponsors. The five still lacking or intentionally are Bulls, Pacers, Rockets, Thunder and Wizards.
 Multnomah Teammates are College Basketball's Top Long-Range Scoring Duo
by Harry Cummins

     On a Multnomah University basketball team brimming with shooting stars, a pair of explosive backcourt mates may have just transported the NAIA record books to another galaxy last night in Northeast Portland.

     Justin Martin and Zachary Richardson scored an otherworldly 49 points each on a barrage of 3 point baskets that propelled undefeated Multnomah (5-0) to a 147-124 win over NCAA Division 3 Pacific University.  Martin's 14 3's in a single game were the second most made 3's in NAIA history.  Richardson, a 6 foot freshman, was close behind with 13 treys.  The tandem 49 point
performances represent the high water mark this season in college basketball. 

     It was a record-setting game that featured 38 3 point baskets by Multnomah, an all-time NAIA standard, shattering the previous mark of 29 set in 2015, also by Multnomah, earning their appropriate nickname of "3-point U".  The Lions opened the game by hitting 23 of their first 37  3 point attempts on their way to posting 89 points by halftime, the 3rd highest points ever recorded in a single half in NAIA history.  The two teams combined for 49 baskets from long-range, and  271 combined points, both all-time NAIA marks!

     Nearly lost in the statistical onslaught were note-worthy Multnomah performances by senior Ben Grandle,  junior Briggs Young and senior Brett Blackstock.  Grandle recorded his 4th "double-double" in his last 5 games, scoring 15 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Young, who paces the country in assists at 15 per contest, padded his lead with 18 more helpers.  The stat line of the night belonged to Blackstock who made 7 3's, scored 27 points, handed out 7 assists, grabbed 6 rebounds, had 3 steals and rejected 4 shots!!     Martin, Richardson and Blackstock all moved into the top 10 scorers in the nation with their efforts Saturday night. Martin nearly had a double-double with 9 assists to go with his 49 points.

     The future looks bright for the Lions and their band of snipers.
They are shooting over 46% from the 3-point line for the season, making them problematic, if not impossible, to defend. They have played two exhibition games this year against NCAA Division 1 opponents and remained competitive in both contests until the final minutes.  Next year the Lions will return the nations leading assist man in Young, and both 49 point scorers from last night in Richardson and Martin.
    If you are planning to attend a future game on the manicured, story-book campus of  Multnomah University, you also may wish to pack an NAIA record book with you. Just in case!