Phil Jackson turns down Blazers head coaching offer; interest in more?

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Phil Jackson turns down Blazers head coaching offer; interest in more?

ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazers Insider (@ChrisBHaynes)

ThePortland Trail Blazers attempted to snag former Utah Jazz coach,Jerry Sloan, out of retirement this week by formally offering himtheir head coach position in Salt Lake City.

Sloan later turned downthe offer, but that wasn't the Trail Blazers first big swing at a Hall-of-Fame coach.

Forthe last few months, the Trail Blazers have been in back-and-forthdiscussions with Phil Jackson in an attempt to persuade him to taketheir head coaching vacancy, a close source said.Last week, Jackson's agent, Todd Musburger, informed the Trail Blazersthat Jackson was flattered, but has decided he would not coachthis upcoming season.

Trail Blazers general manager, Neil Olshey,confirmed that the organization did chase Jackson, but wouldn'tcomment further on the matter. However he did have this to say, He(Phil Jackson) decided it wasn't time.

Jackson,66, was rumored to have been close to accepting the Orlando Magic'sgeneral manager position but did not take that position, as well.

TheZen Master coached 11 NBA Championship teams (Chicago Bulls and LosAngeles Lakers), was the All-Star Game coach four times, and won theNBA Coach of the Year Award once in 1996.

Ken Griffey Jr. to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday

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Ken Griffey Jr. to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday

This Sunday two of the greatest players of the 1990s and 2000s will honored in Cooperstown as Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza become the 311th and 312th members inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Some years there are borderline inductees. There is nothing borderline about either Griffey or Piazza. Not in the voting — Griffey received an all-time high 99.3% of the vote in his first time on the ballot — and certainly not on the merits. Indeed, these two were two of the greatest players to ever step on a baseball field.

Griffey was, for a good time in the 1990s, considered the best player in the game by the public at large. And he had a good argument for it. He was a perennial Gold Glove winner and the MVP in 1997, though any of his seasons between, say, 1993 and 1999 wouldn’t have caused anyone to bat an eye if you told them that the man who posted them won the award. He had an even 1.000 OPS in those seven seasons and averaged 44 homers a year. That’s not just a Hall of Fame peak, that’s an inner-circle Hall of Fame peak.

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PORTLAND TIMBERS FALL 2-1 AGAINST LA GALAXY AT PROVIDENCE PARK

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USATI

PORTLAND TIMBERS FALL 2-1 AGAINST LA GALAXY AT PROVIDENCE PARK

The Portland Timbers surrendered a pair of goals in the first half and were unable to overcome the deficit, falling 2-1 to the LA Galaxy before 21,144 fans at Providence Park on Saturday afternoon.

The result marked the Timbers (7-7-8, 29pts) first loss in league play since May 15 as it snapped a nine-game unbeaten run, which is the second-longest unbeaten streak in a single season during the club’s MLS era. Additionally, Saturday’s game marked only the second time the Timbers lost to the Galaxy at home in eight games played since 2011, with Portland producing a 2-1-2 record dating back to the 2013 campaign.

Trailing after a pair of goals during a four-minute span early in the first half from LA Galaxy (9-3-8, 35pts) forwards Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes, the Timbers responded strongly, recording 59 percent possession and an 18-9 advantage in shots throughout the match, including defender Zarek Valentin’s finish in the 41st minute of play. Valentin found space for the finish, his first since joining the Timbers, after midfielder Darlington Nagbe weaved his way past two defenders inside the box before playing the ball into space for Valentin, who blasted a low, driven effort from just inside the 18-yard box into the back of the net.

Producing 10 shots in the second half, the Timbers remained on the strong foot by continuing to create several goal-scoring opportunities, including midfielder Ben Zemanski’s effort that skipped just wide of the far post in the 59th minute, while forward Fanendo Adi’s chance from deep inside the box two minutes later forced the Galaxy defense to deflect it wide.

In the 73rd minute, Valeri broke free on the right wing after being released by forward Jack McInerney, leading the counter attack for the Timbers. With his final delivery, Valeri found Adi in space in behind the Galaxy defense, but Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe came charging off his line to break up the play with a sliding save. Continuing to press forward, the Timbers produced another threatening chance in the 85th minute when defender Alvas Powell’s cross into the box landed to Nagbe at the penalty spot. Pouncing onto Powell’s cross, Nagbe struck a first-time effort that sailed just high of the crossbar.

In the final moments of the game, the Timbers earned a dangerous free kick on the edge of the right side of the box deep into stoppage time, with Valeri whipping in a dangerous cross that found Adi on the edge of the six-yard box. Connecting with Valeri’s cross, Adi produced a strong header that narrowly missed the near post.

Next up, the Timbers will travel to face Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday, July 31; kickoff is set for 11 a.m. (Pacific). The match will feature a national broadcast on FOX with local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).

Notes:

  • Saturday’s game marked the 97th consecutive regular-season sellout for the Timbers at Providence Park.
  • Defender Zarek Valentin scored his first goal for the Timbers, marking his second goal in MLS and his first since July 8, 2012.
  • Valentin is the 11th different player to score for the Timbers this season. Only three MLS teams have had more players score in 2016 (Colorado Rapids, New York City FC, and Philadelphia Union).
  • With Valentin's goal, 40 different players have scored for the Portland Timbers since 2011.
  • Midfielder Darlington Nagbe notched his fourth assist of the season, becoming the third Timbers player this season with at least four assists, as Lucas Melano and Diego Valeri have recorded five assists apiece. Portland is one of five MLS teams to have three players with four or more assists this season.  
  • Nagbe became the first MLS player since Opta began recording statistics in 2011 to record a perfect passing accuracy in the final third of the field with at least 30 passes attempted. 
  • Since 2011, the Timbers and Galaxy have scored 54 goals in their matchups, marking the highest goal output for any matchup in MLS since 2011.
  • Neither team received cards during the match, marking the first time since Oct. 26, 2013, that neither team received a yellow or red card during a Timbers game.

Facebook videos from Outdoor GPS Day at the Park

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Facebook videos from Outdoor GPS Day at the Park

Another successful Outdoor GPS Day at the Park is in the books! It was a great event with some great sponsors, information booths, and even a very special live broadcast of Outdoor GPS! Our Chris Burkhardt was at the event filming tons of informational and behind the scenes videos on Facebook Live. Check them out below, and look for more at Facebook.com/OutdoorGPS

Behind the scenes, getting ready for our LIVE Outdoor GPS show, here at GPS Day at the Park

Posted by Outdoor GPS on Saturday, July 23, 2016

LIVE edition of Outdoor GPS, complete with a live "studio" audience! Only here at Outdoor GPS Day at the Park!

Posted by Outdoor GPS on Saturday, July 23, 2016

Posted by Outdoor GPS on Saturday, July 23, 2016

LIVE with CJ Siebler of Next Adventure here at Outdoor GPS Day at the Park

Posted by Outdoor GPS on Saturday, July 23, 2016

Jason Hambly of Pro-Cure Bait Scents give us some great tips on how to properly use Pro-Cure with your bait, from here at GPS Day at the Park.

Posted by Outdoor GPS on Saturday, July 23, 2016

LIVE: Owin and Dave wrap up our live edition of Outdoor GPS, from GPS Day at the Park!

Posted by Outdoor GPS on Saturday, July 23, 2016

LIVE from Outdoor GPS Day at the Park

Posted by Outdoor GPS on Saturday, July 23, 2016

Damian Lillard takes his rapping talents to Las Vegas

Damian Lillard takes his rapping talents to Las Vegas

Damian Lillard a.k.a Dame D.O.L.L.A. performed in a special concert last night for fans at adidas Basketball’s #LVL3 presented by @adidasHoops experience at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Friday night in a concert that included fellow adidas spokesman James Harden and with a performance from DJ Esco.

#LVL3 is an immersive experience that showcases a first look at adidas basketball innovations, while bringing fans of the game together with NBA stars to test their own skills and create unique on-court looks, according to a release.

Here's a couple videos from the event: 

In addition to Lillard’s concert last night, the experience is open July 21-23 to fans ages 14-18. James Harden played video games with fans, Derrick Rose showcased his ping-pong skills, Andrew Wiggins judged a dunk contest via a 360 dunk cam, Jeff Teague participated in a Q&A session with Avery Bradley and Brandon Ingram, Serge Ibaka and Nick Young surprised fans at #LVL3.

Lillard has been all over the world this summer to promote adidas, including a tour in China. He even filmed a commercial while he was there.

His birthday concert was a huge success, as well. 

What will Dame D.O.L.L.A. do next?!

NBA makes it official: 2017 All-Star Game pulled from Charlotte due to “bathroom law”

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NBA makes it official: 2017 All-Star Game pulled from Charlotte due to “bathroom law”

This has been rumored for months and reported as all but done this morning, now the NBA has made it official:

The 2017 NBA All-Star Game has been pulled from Charlotte.

From the official press release of the NBA.

“The NBA has decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019.

“Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change. We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league. These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view….. While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.

“We are particularly mindful of the impact of this decision on our fans in North Carolina, who are among the most passionate in our league. It is also important to stress that the City of Charlotte and the Hornets organization have sought to provide an inclusive environment and that the Hornets will continue to ensure that all patrons — including members of the LGBT community — feel welcome while attending games and events in their arena.”

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Oh, that memory of Ken Griffey Jr. sticking his head out of that pile at home plate

Oh, that memory of Ken Griffey Jr. sticking his head out of that pile at home plate

As Ken Griffey Jr. takes his rightful place in baseball's Hall of Fame this weekend, I can't help but think back to the Seattle Mariners' 1995 season -- the year when the entire Pacific Northwest went bonkers for the Mariners.

Yes. even Portland set aside its usual distaste for all things Seattle to pull for a team that just wouldn't quit. It was a team that emerged from years of mediocrity to capture the hearts and minds of baseball fans everywhere. It was a lovable bunch on the field, playing with joy and abandon, constructing big comebacks for miracle late-season wins.

But it wasn't very lovable in their clubhouse, I can tell you. I was dispatched by The Oregonian to cover the M's brilliant late-season run that August and September, the most time I've ever spent following a big-league team around. Griffey was, at least at that time, difficult to cover. He could be temperamental and hard to approach. Randy Johnson, who would win the Cy Young Award that year after going an overpowering 18-2, was intimidating and impossible to approach. But the rest were easy to talk with and cooperative.

On Aug. 24 of that season the Mariners were 11 1/2 games behind the division-leading California Angels and a game under the .500 mark. Griffey had been out of the lineup with a broken wrist through much of the season and even the torrid hitting of Edgar Martinez couldn't keep Seattle close. But the team caught fire and the emotion began to build, the way it can do in baseball, where the season-long soap operas can grow in intensity with each game.

Eventually, the M's caught the Angels and faced them in a one-game playoff in the ancient Kingdome, where Seattle -- behind Johnson -- pummeled California 9-1.

Next up, the playoffs -- a foreign place for the Mariner franchise -- and a battle with the New York Yankees. Seattle Manager Lou Piniella vs. one of his former teams. The Yanks handled Mariner pitching with ease in the first two games in Yankee Stadium, winning 9-6 and 7-5. About all I remember from covering those games was talking to Jay Buhner afterward about New York fans throwing batteries at him in right field.

Things turned around in Seattle, though, as Mariner fans turned the Kingdome into a cauldron of noise. Let's cut to the chase, the best-of-five series went to a fifth game and it turned into an incredible battle. The Yankees, behind David Cone, held a 4-2 lead before the Mariners tied it in the eighth. Then, in the ninth, New York mounted a rally -- getting two on with none out,.

But then the emotion of the game went from 10 out of 10 to about 15 out of 10. Out of the Seattle bullpen came Johnson, the Big Unit, charging to the mound as if he owned it. He had rested just one day since winning Game 3 but was ready for this challenge. He fanned Wade Boggs and got Bernie Williams and Paul O'Neill on popups.

And in my estimation, there's never been a louder sports arena anywhere than the Kingdome was on that night -- a combination of fan loyalty, panic and hope. In the pressbox, I couldn't hear the person next to me even though he was screaming at me. I was getting hand signs from a baseball-scout friend of mine sitting down the third-base line, who was wide-eyed as he signaled me that Johnson was hitting near 100 on the radar gun on one day's rest.

I will admit, for the first time, in that cement-mixer of a domed stadium with all that excitement, the hair on the back of my neck was standing at attention. This was craziness.

The Mariners couldn't score in the bottom of the ninth and then Johnson struck out the side in the 10th. Again the M's failed to score in their half of the inning. By this time, I'm pretty sure everyone in that stadium was dealing with a massive stress headache.

The Yankees finally broke through against Johnson in the 11th, getting a run to take a 5-4 lead. At that point, though, nobody in that stadium figured the home team as being finished. It just wasn't that type of season and not that type of team.

Joey Cora beat out a bunt single (barely) to lead off the bottom of the 11th and Griffey slammed a hard grounder into right-center field for a single to move Cora to third. Martinez followed -- and you probably know this part -- with a line-drive double down the left-field line. Cora scored easily, of course, to tie the game and Griffey -- not fast but a brilliant baserunner -- glided all the way from first to slide safely into home with the winning run.

You can watch that entire bottom of the 11th here.

It was an amazing finish and the lasting image is Griffey's head poking out of the big pigpile at the plate with a broad smile on his face as the entire Pacific Northwest celebrated another Mariner comeback. That moment was and IS STILL magic.

For me, Griffey's successful dash to the plate was a symbol of his career -- daring, bold, confident, skillful and smart. He was a great fielder, terrific home-run hitter and could seemingly do whatever was necessary to win games.

When I think about the Seattle Mariners, I think of Griffey -- the face of the franchise for so many years. And I always see that face, poking its way out of the bottom of the pile, flashing that magnetic smile of success.

Congrats, Junior. And thanks for the memories.

Recapping an amazing evening at the Dame Dolla (Damian Lillard) birthday concert

Recapping an amazing evening at the Dame Dolla (Damian Lillard) birthday concert

Written by Garrett Thornton 

Damian Lillard has been a household name in Portland for the past four years as he has quickly risen to super-stardom on the NBA.

On Friday night, Lillard, aka Dame D.O.L.L.A., became an absolute legend.

The night of his 26th birthday, Lillard performed his first hip-hop concert in front of a sold out crowd of 1,500 people at Portland’s McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom. Those 1,500 people left at the end of the night feeling like part of the family, like they just celebrated the birthday of a close friend.

When tickets for the show went on sale the evening of Wednesday, July 6th, they sold out in less than two hours. The man that draws 20,000+ to the Moda Center 41 times a year had no issue filling the Crystal Ballroom. From that evening on, the excitement crescendoed leading up to the show on his birthday, July 15th.

Doors opened at 7pm and the line started forming well over an hour before they would ever open. The line was full of a diverse crowd, just as you would expect from any crowd in Portland. There were folks dressed in all sorts of Blazer gear, Lillard jerseys, Lillard shoes, and of course, a lot of adidas gear.

As the doors opened and the crowd flooded the upper level of the historical building where the Crystal Ballroom is located, there was a ton of excitement for what was sure to be an event that would be talked about for years to come.

The show started with Blazer in-house DJ, DJ OG One, spinning a few tracks from past and present. The crowd was really starting to get into it.

Local Portland emcee Rose Ciddy was the first act to hop on stage as he performed a freestyle and one of his tracks. Danny from Sobrante, another Oakland native, was next on stage and started to bring a bit of the Bay Flavor.

The show really started when Lillard’s cousin, Brookfield Duece, performed. He brought so much energy and excitement to the building. Definitely a very talented rapper, Brookfield Duece was the perfect act to precede the main attraction.

There was a bit of a lull in the show when Brookfield Duece finished but that lull was soon replaced by a few classic tracks that DJ OG One played. Then the music cut off.

DJ OG One said, “I have some good news and some bad news … The bad news is Damian Lillard stepped out of the building … The good news is, Dame D.O.L.L.A. is here!”

As the crowd went wild, Lillard appeared from the car side of the stage.

What really set this show apart from any other hip hop show I have ever been to was the family atmosphere. Lillard has surrounded himself with good people and they were all there to celebrate his birthday with him. There were 20+ people on the stage the whole time. His brother, Houston, danced the entire show. His mom, sister, cousins, and friends were all a part of the show on the stage.

Lillard’s raps are very conscious and timely. His song “Bigger Than Us” speaks to the need that we each need to get better in a world that is so divided. His commentary between songs was even more intimate and important. He is truly a leader and role model on and off the court.

The crowd was loud, like Lillard just got a game-winner loud. There were 4 separate times when the crowd chanted M-V-P, there were Rip City chants, Dame Time chants. It was incredible. Not very often is there such a connection at a concert of this size.

At one point Lillard said, “What y’all are doing tonight is so Rip City … And that’s why I’m always gonna be here.”

It is so refreshing seeing a superstar step out of his own comfort zone and share something with his fans. Portland has had a run of distant stars (ala LaMarcus Aldridge) that what Lillard did Friday night was in stark contrast to what we are used to.

The night ended with cameos from Tim Frazier, CJ McCollum, and a Lillard family dance party on the stage.

Lillard vowed that there would be more shows to come but that this one was special. That it was. Rip City will remember this one for a long time.

Team USA sticking with what has worked: High pressure D and running

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Team USA sticking with what has worked: High pressure D and running

LAS VEGAS — The core of the Argentinian team have played together since they were young teens. Same with the Spanish side. And Lithuania. And Croatia.

“A lot of other teams, other countries, have been playing together since however long,” Team USA’s likely starting point guard Kyrie Irving said. “For us, we all have our regular season games, then of course the playoffs, and after that we go straight into (Team USA camp). So we have to come together a lot quicker than other teams.”

[READ MORE AT NBCSPORTS.COM]

'No Tuna for you'-Plan B means Salmon on the Pacific

'No Tuna for you'-Plan B means Salmon on the Pacific

Thursday night I received a text from Brandon Glass that I’d been expecting, but not hoping for.  “Winds 15-20 knots offshore, Tuna is a no-go.”  For the time being, my bucket list item of heading out to the blue water to chase Albacore Tuna would have to wait.  A few minutes later, my phone buzzed again with the promise of rather exciting plan B. “Near shore looks good.  We’ll fish Salmon and Sturgeon instead.”  My spirits quickly lifted in anticipation of aggressive Chinook and Coho in the not-so distant waters of the Pacific. 

The next morning I would join my good friends Tracy, and Chris along with a couple fellas from Wisconsin named Mike and Dave.  As luck would have it, Mike and Dave’s previously scheduled guide had to cancel due to illness.  Fortunately for them, Brandon happened to have a couple open seats.

We crossed the bar Friday morning in comfort as Brandon’s 28’ Alumaweld effortlessly made short work of 6-8’ swells as we rounded Peacock Spit and headed toward Long Beach. 

Our rig for the day was whole Anchovies behind a Yakima Bait Fish Flash.  One trick Brandon likes to add is to slide a Hoochie skirt over the nose of the Anchovy.  This adds color and can help direct the bite toward the front of the bait and reduce short-strikes.  Most anglers use divers to get their gear down but we used lead.  His reasoning behind this is that lead allows you to feed line to a fish after it strikes if need be, this often results in another opportunity.  In the same scenario, a diver will simply trip and come to the surface.  That’s not to say that divers don’t have their place out on the pond, but they do have their short comings. 

We began our first pass along a rip line in about 60’ of water straight out from the condos.  A quick flurry of bites within the first few minutes resulted in a hatchery Coho, a native Coho, and one that spit the hook.  After that, things slowed down a bit as we searched for a new pod of fish.  After receiving some intel, we made the move out to deeper water to begin our third pass.  This time, as soon as the first two baits hit the water we had a double, then a triple.  It was at this point that things got out of hand.  The incoming tide kept pushing us toward the beach, so as soon as the bite tapered off, we picked up and ran back out and got right back on the fish again. 

I don’t recall a quad, but I counted at least three triples, and too many doubles to count.  The grade of Coho is very good for this early on.  Ours averaged about 6-7 pounds which is great since most of these fish will spend another month in the fertile pastures of the Pacific before hitting freshwater.  We also landed three Chinook and had a couple others spit the hook.  I can say with confidence that this is shaping up to be another outstanding Chinook year for Buoy 10.  The reports from the ocean outside of Illwaco have indicated that there are a lot of adult Kings out there right now, so get ready.

Though my bucket list item will have to wait until next year, by 11:00, we had rounded out our limits of bright Salmon and were headed back to the sheltered waters of the estuary for some catch and release Sturgeon.  Hard to argue with a day like that.

Did someone say Buoy 10?  Yeah, it’s already the most wonderful time of the year again and I’ll have a run down for you next week.  Stay safe out there and have fun!

Fitness tip of the Week: Deadlifts aren't just for the Olympics

Fitness tip of the Week: Deadlifts aren't just for the Olympics

Julie Richardson is a local fitness instructor and registered dietitian. A graduate of Oregon State University, Julie teaches a variety of fitness classes in the Portland Metro area and also does personal training and nutrition consultations for her clients. Find out more at her Facebook page

Whenever I think of the deadlift I can’t help but recall Kevin Nealon on Saturday Night Live introducing Olympic weightlifter, Phil Hartman, who is going for the gold. Phil grips the bar with all his might, throws his lower back up to the sky, grits his teeth, and yanks up on the weight as hard as he can. Instead of pulling the bar up he yanks his arms from their sockets in agony and defeat.

Believe it or not, the deadlift is not just for the Summer Olympics. You too could benefit from incorporating deadlifts into your workouts. In fact, despite the name of this lift, it will make your hamstrings and glutes feel alive. In fact, your calves and back will know something is going on as well. 

In this video you will learn how to do this safely and effectively. Many people avoid this lift to save the lower back. If you don’t know what you’re doing, avoiding is not a bad plan. However, after watching this, you’ll look like a pro. Whether your audience is yourself in the mirror or other gym goers you’ll be sure to impress. 

Before stacking on the weight be sure to get your form down first. As your strength improves you can add weights accordingly. Dumbbells work too. Whatever you do, don’t overdo this one. The deadlift is not a race to the standing position nor is it a drop to the floor. If you aren’t in control, you aren’t doing it safely. No need to reenact the old Saturday Night Live sketch. 3 sets of 10 for beginners.

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.