lamarcus aldridge

Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge put on a sold-out charity basketball game Sunday night with the NBA’s tense labor situation as a backdrop.

A fan held a sign that said “Thanks LaMarcus” during the game that included Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Josh Howard of the Washington Wizards, Atlanta’s Jamal Crawford and several other players…

Aldridge’s main goal on Sunday night was to have fun and raise money for charity.

His “Home” team beat the “Guest” team, 164-157. Aldridge had 42 points and 13 rebounds while Durant led the guests with 47 points.

One of the highlights of the game came when Nate Robinson, also of the Thunder, did “the Dougie” with a kid who was a performer during a break.

Absent was Blazers guard Brandon Roy, who Aldridge said had to attend to a family matter.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

The house DJ towered above it all on Sunday from a balcony at the Chiles Center, lights down, sipping a cold beverage in a giant plastic cup through a straw, while bopping his head to the thumping music. Maybe a hundred feet below on the court, Kevin Durant, was dancing and warming up. Mostly dancing, while he bounced the ball. And it was right then that former Trail Blazers Darnell Valentine, elected coach of the “AWAY” team, walked in the place.

“It’s like they took a basketball court and dropped it into the middle of a night club,” Valentine said.

There was a dance team in slick black outfits. And a spotlight that scanned the building. Also, running commentary from a couple of guys seated courtside who cracked jokes and yelled things such as “Whaaaaat?!?!?” at random moments. I expected a woman with a bare mid-drift and a sequin skirt would appear at some point with a tray of Jell-O shots, or yo-yo’s and cigarettes. But alas, this thing ultimately turned into a basketball game.

– Reported by John Canzano of the Oregonian 

Video highlights of the game’s top plays