In a world without labor negotiations, the Portland Trail Blazersâ regular season would start on Thursday, Nov. 3. Meetings have been spun as âcautiously optimisticâ when they havenât been obviously disastrous (thanks, Paul Allen), so prospects for
season are looking increasingly dim. Yet one neednât forsake the sport of basketball entirely. When youâve tired of Googling classic NBA gamesâitâs amazing how many are on YouTubeâhere are a few non-NBA options for hardwood heads.
BECOME A VIKING
Ducks and Beavers usually rule Oregon's college basketball conversations, but Portland State's games are—well, they're right on the streetcar line. Senior guard Charles Odum had a big season last year, and "Odum" sounds enough like "Oden" to make this a feel-good story. For even more wins, check out Eryn Jones and the excellent women's Vikings.
SEE IT: The Vikes play an exhibition game against Western Oregon University at 8 pm Friday, Nov. 4. (Women play at 6 pm.) $8, free for card-carrying PSU students.
HANG OUT WITH LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE
The Blazer forward has organized a charity game where he'll play alongside
teammates (Brandon Roy, Wesley Matthews) and familiar faces (Kevin Durant, ex-Blazers Steve Blake and Jeff Pendergraph). If you've always wanted great seats to an NBA game but couldn't afford the tickets, tonight's your night.
SEE IT: The charity game is Sunday, Nov. 6, at the University of Portland's Chiles Center. 7:30 pm. $40-$100.
MEET THE NBA BLOGGERS
"Experts" might be a bit too serious of a description for the authors behind the
is, simply, the finest and most realistic b-ball simulation to date. Virtual Blake Griffin dunks and pouts with equal intensity, and skilled players can master the flop with digital Dirk Nowitzki. Try to persuade your entire fantasy basketball league to battle in the Association mode. Game on!
GET IT:NBA 2K12 is available now. $4.99-$59.99 depending on platform.
ENTER THE TWITTERVERSE
Three steps: 1. Follow every NBA player you can find on Twitter. 2. Create a list called "NBA" from your Twitter page. 3. Dump all the players in said folder, and watch the sparks fly! And by "sparks," we mean gross grammatical errors and photos of shoes.
INTERNET IT: A handy, near-complete list of NBA players is at bit.ly/wwbball.
THURSDAY NOV. 3
[COMEDY] NORM MACDONALD
To say former SNL Weekend Update host Norm MacDonald is past his prime is to miss the point. Yes, he shows up half in the bag. Obvious intoxication happens to work really well with his sardonic style. Imagine the funniest guy to ever fall off the bar stool next to you and double the hilarity. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm. $20-$25. Also 7:30 and 10 pm Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4-5.
[MUSIC, MOVIES] BEYOND THIS PLACE
Sufjan Stevens is touring in conjunction with screenings of the documentary Beyond This Place. The flick chronicles filmmaker Kaleo La Belleâs attempt to reconcile with his old man, a perpetually stoned cyclist named âCloud Rock,â on a 500-mile bike ride through the Pacific Northwest. Stevens did the soundtrack and will perform. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-4215. 7:30 pm. $25.
FRIDAY NOV. 4
TOUR] WHERE DOES GARBAGE GO?
The Dill Pickle Clubâs latest educool-tional event is a bus tour that follows your nasty-ass trash through Portlandâs various refuse handling systems, including Metro, Recology Oregon Material Recovery, Far West Fibers and the ReBuilding Center. (Note: Bush-era plans to âjust dump it in the riverâ never came to fruition, so the barge is in dry dock.) Tour departs from the Metro building, 600 NE Grand Ave., 797-1700. 10 am-4 pm. $25. dillpickleclub.org.
[THEATER] ROCK WITCH
House of Cunt founder Amber Martin is back in town with her new show about rock and witchcraft, and probably singinâ and obscenity. Martin is an extraordinary performer who can out-sing most country stars and out-weird John Cameron Mitchell. Wild Abandon, 2411 SE Belmont St., 232-4458. 9 pm. $17, dinner and drinks not included. 21+.
[MUSIC] BLACK STAR
This one has been a long time coming. In 1998, every college kid in America was bumping Mos Def and Talib Kweli in their dorm rooms, and other than a few fly-by-night reformations, the duo has remained silent ever since. With a new album in the works, we expect big things from the pair. Roseland Theater, 8 pm. NW 6th Ave. 8 pm. $31.50-$45.
SATURDAY NOV. 5
[MUSIC] SIREN NATION FESTIVAL
Siren Nation isnât so much a âwomenâs empowermentâ weekend as it is a âreally talented artists who happen to be womenâ weekend. The small difference makes all the difference. Laura Gibson is one of Portlandâs best songwriters of any gender, and her new album drops soon. The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie Ave., 890-0408. 8 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.