The NBA traditionally awards its All-Star weekend to cities that have state-of-the art facilities to host the mammoth event, along with enough hotel rooms and convention center space to accommodate the thousands of media, both domestically and internationally, who descend to cover the festivities.
Portland has a rabid fan base with a seemingly insatiable appetite for basketball, but despite the city’s best efforts, it simply is not ready from an infrastructure standpoint to handle the insanity that All-Star weekend brings.
While they tried once again to bid for the next available slot, the league has determined that the city isn’t well-equipped enough to host the event just yet.
From Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com:
The Portland Trail Blazers have made it known that the city of Portland wishes to host NBA All-Star Weekend. …
But according to a league source, 2017 is now out of the question for Portland due to the tirelessly slow process of getting a Hyatt Regency convention-size hotel approved which would reside at the Oregon Convention Center.
Funding and hotel competitors appear to be the main obstacles holding the project up. A city official told CSNNW.com that they do expect to eventually break ground on the project, but adds that now the earliest the hotel can be constructed is in the year 2017.
The next two All-Star weekends will be hosted in New York city in 2015 (shared by the Knicks and the Nets), followed by Toronto in 2016.
The 2017 event is still up for grabs, but it won’t be in Portland until they can get that hotel project completely sorted out.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.