Lindsey Wisniewski

Sydney Wiese honors Breonna Taylor, others through Say Her Name movement

Sydney Wiese honors Breonna Taylor, others through Say Her Name movement

After overcoming the coronavirus this offseason, Los Angeles Sparks guard Sydney Wiese is tearing it up on the court. 

The former Oregon State standout and Sparks fourth-year guard poured 17 points on the New York Liberty on Tuesday night, helping LA improve to 6-3 in the WNBA Bubble at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. 

Wiese, a career 3.6-points-per-game scorer, has been a sparkplug as of late for Los Angeles. She’s shooting 66.7% from the field and 3-point range in the past three games. 

But Wiese is on a mission to do more than win a championship this year, as she told Talkin’ Beavers host Ron Callan this week. She, like many of her WNBA counterparts, want justice for Breonna Taylor. 

Her name is on the back of our jerseys this whole season and her story, it’s still fresh… the theme has been arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor and we’re still waiting for action to be taken. It’s sort of mind-blowing to me that there still hasn’t been action. There hasn’t been any type of proceeding to lead to action. But we’re going to continue to say her name. I love what we’re doing because each week we learn a new story and we bring another name to light. – Sydney Wiese

This week, WNBA players will be wearing Michelle Cusseaux’s name on the back of their shirts, according to Wiese. Cusseaux was killed in August 2014 after police officers were sent to her apartment as part of a court-ordered mental-health pick up. 

According to police, she wouldn't open her door, so they had to force their way inside. Sergeant Percy Dupra said Cusseaux was holding a hammer above her head in a way he deemed threatening and ultimately shot her in self-defense.

Wiese and the WNBA are determined to keep the “Say Her Name,” campaign going and fighting for the justice of Black women like Taylor and Cusseaux. Hearing these women’s stories and talking to their family members were truly life-changing for Wiese. 

It hits really deep. It makes it very real. And we’re learning different stories each week and we want to make sure that we are using this time to shed light on their stories and continue to get as much justice as we can, even though we can’t get their lives back.” – Sydney Wiese

Listen to the full Talkin' Beavers Podcast here.

Adidas drops Dame 6 prices to $61 to celebrate Lillard’s 61-point outburst 

Adidas drops Dame 6 prices to $61 to celebrate Lillard’s 61-point outburst 

Damian Lillard is racking up more than just numbers on the court. 

After the Trail Blazers star poured 61 points over the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday night, Adidas is celebrating Lillard, who joined the legendary Wilt Chamberlain as the only player in the league with three 60-point games in a single season.

In honor of Dame’s 61-point barrage, Adidas has lowered the prices of his Dame 6 signature shoes (and several Dame 5s) to just $61 for a limited time. This is quite the deal as Lillard fans would typically have to fork out $110 to snag a pair of Dame’s signature kicks.

Since signing to three stripes in 2012, Lillard has released six signature shoes and seventh model is anticipated for later. The kicks Dame rocked vs. the Mavs are also available with a price tag of you guessed it-- $61. 

It’s a win-win for Lillard, who has been absolutely dismantling teams in the NBA bubble, and cashing in big in his bank account thanks to his off-the-court endeavors.  

The five-time NBA All Star torched Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Tuesday night as the Trail Blazers took sole possession of the eighth seed in the Western Conference after an impressive 134-131 win over the Mavericks. Lillard scored 61 points, 22 of which came in the fourth quarter,

Now you can channel your inner Lillard Time by copping a pair of Dame 6s at this exclusive price.

Sizes are going quick, fam, so get your Dame’s while before they are out of stock. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

Damian Lillard, Paul George ‘clear the air’ after family makes feud personal

Damian Lillard, Paul George ‘clear the air’ after family makes feud personal

Damian Lillard and Paul George exchanged jabs after the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers clashed on Saturday but have since put their differences aside. 

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, George reached out to the Trail Blazers star after the beef between the two players took a turn for the worst, involving several family members. 

Sources informed me that George reached out to Lillard to clear the air, explaining that he had no beef and clarified that it was just competitive banter on his part. Sources say Lillard apologized for remarks made by one of his family members, but stated why he said what he said after that loss to the Clippers. Both stars relayed that there were no hard feelings. -- Chris Haynes

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon with special guest Richard Jefferson].

 

Things got personal when Lillard’s sister and George’s wife exchanged disses on social media following Dame and PG’s blow up earlier this week. 

The two players began feuding after George and teammate Patrick Beverley taunted Lillard by tapping their wrist and waving goodbye following Dame’s missed back-to-back free throws in crunch time. 

Lillard addressed the drama following the game, saying the reason George and Beverley acted that way was because it was a sign of respect.  

I’m not offended by it. If anything, it should just tell you how much it hurt them to go through what I put them through in those situations previously. -- Damian Lillard

George addressed the public spat in his postgame interview, as well.  

“It’s competition,” George said. “It’s part of the game – it’s as simple as that. It’s a competition and some people can play and talk and some people can’t.”

But not everything was left on the court when the two players departed. Lillard and George went at it again on a Bleacher Report post on Instagram.  

"And you getting sent home this year. Respect,” George said.

Lillard responded with, “Keep switching teams… running from the grind. You boys is chumps.”

It’s good to see that Lillard and George have put their very public beef behind them. We'd hate to see George get publicly humiliated like he did last year when Lillard Time struck in the playoffs. 

Plus, George and the Clippers should be rooting for the Blazers to lock in the No. 8 seed in the playoffs to play the Los Angeles Lakers, right?

Oregon, Oregon State players weigh-in on Pac-12 decision to cancel football season

Oregon, Oregon State players weigh-in on Pac-12 decision to cancel football season

It was the news we knew we’d likely hear, but it didn’t make us anymore prepared for it. 

The Pac-12 football season is canceled

Pac-12 leaders voted unanimously Tuesday to postpone all sports through the end of the year, the conference announced.

“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.  “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”

Impacted Pac-12 student athletes will continue to have their scholarships guaranteed, but that doesn’t make the news much more comforting for student-athletes. 

Oregon and Oregon State players took to social media to voice their reactions to the announcement.  

[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

Some players like Ducks cornerback Dontae Manning took a more optimistic approach to the decision.  

Others had jokes. 

There are some positives right, everyone wins? 

The Pac-12 hopes to resume sport competition in spring 2021, but have not announced any specific plans.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon women’s basketball head coach Kelly Graves].

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest former Oregon State women's basketball guard Mikayla Pivec].

Earl Watson slams Damian Lillard critics, thanks pundits for ‘pissing off the wrong one’  

Earl Watson slams Damian Lillard critics, thanks pundits for ‘pissing off the wrong one’  

Earl Watson doesn’t want hear your criticisms of Damian Lillard. 

The former NBA coach and 16-year veteran is silencing Lillard’s critics, namely Skip Bayless, who recently questioned Lillard’s superstar status and ability to be “that guy” in the NBA.  

Watson, who played alongside the Trail Blazers star from 2013-14, delivered a string of Twitter posts Tuesday taking shots at those who critique Lillard because he’s not always living up to people’s analytics. He also said Dame was approached to join a superteam prior to signing his four-year supermax extension with the Trail Blazers in 2019, but chose to stay loyal to Portland.

Watson’s comments come on the heels of Bayless questioning Lillard’s capabilities following two missed free throw shots and a three pointer in the Trail Blazers loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Bayless divulged details of a private phone conversation between himself and Lillard, in which the five-time NBA All-Star asked the FS1 host why he was challenging what he’s done. 

“What have you done to be that kind of spokesman for the league?” Bayliss said. Lillard’s response was,” since I came into the league I have been one of the clutchest players of the league.”

Bayless began listing off Lillard’s stats over the past few years, and harped on the Trail Blazers star for his inability to show up in the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors. 

Opening up the stats he says,” In the fourth quarter plus overtime, Damian Lillard went 8 of 26 that is 31% from the field and he shot 5 a 17 from the three-point line. That’s 29%. He was a -30.”

“He was not clutch,” Bayless added. 

Skip said he was waiting for Lillard to prove him wrong. If there’s anything we know about an angry Dame, is it never turns out well for his pundits. Watson knows. 

“Thank you for pissing off the wrong one! @DameLillard feeds on the doubters, haters, attention seeking whatever. True Oakland and True Warrior! Portland has a Real One.”   

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

Seahawks WR John Ursua receives second negative COVID-19 test

Seahawks WR John Ursua receives second negative COVID-19 test

John Ursua can officially rejoin his Seattle Seahawks. 

Two days after the second-year wide receiver tested positive for COVID-19, Ursua revealed to Rob DeMello of KHON 2 Sports that he tested negative on two-straight occasions, concluding his initial test was likely a false-positive. He received the results on Monday evening. 

Following his positive test on Saturday night, Ursua landed on the NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 list. He said he was extremely shocked when he first tested positive. 

“We’re not exactly like the bubble but we kind of treat everything as if it is,” Ursua said. “Our food is delivered to us; we only get to go to the facility and come back to the hotel. We do all of our meetings here at the hotel. They try to keep us out of restaurants, out of closed off areas, so they’re doing a great job.

He was the first and only Seahawks player to date to land on the list. 

Now, that the University of Hawaii product has been deemed healthy, he’s expected to return to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center to rejoin his team at training camp. 

Ursua, a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, had one reception for 11 yards in Week 17 vs. San Francisco. He also played in three regular-season games and in the Seahawks Wild Card road win over the Philadelphia Eagles. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann]

Seattle Kraken ticket depositors will soon be allowed to select seats 

Seattle Kraken ticket depositors will soon be allowed to select seats 

The Seattle Kraken’s inaugural NHL season is still over a year away, but the league’s 32nd franchise is already rolling out seating options for their fans. 

The Kraken announced depositors will receive emails on Tuesday outlining their opportunity to pick seats inside the new Climate Pledge Arena. The process has more than 40 alternative seating options and prices and is said to be the “most innovative ticket plan ever rolled out to sports fans.”

[RELATED: Everything to know about the Seattle Kraken: Logo, uniforms, slogans]

In March 2018, 32,000 future Kraken fans anxiously sat by their phones and laptops for their opportunity to join the virtual queue for tickets. The Kraken franchise reached 10,000 depositors in 12 minutes and 32,000 cash depositors in a single day.  

"This franchise is forever indebted to our 32,000 deposit holders who stood with us to show the NHL we are a hockey town with an exclamation point," Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke said in a release. "They gave this franchise life in one day. We created a ticket plan to reward those depositors and give them all the chance to be part of the most intimate seating bowl in the NHL. 

"We worked on the ticket plan for months and listened to our depositors. We threw conventional wisdom aside and said what's a new and better way to do it." 

The Kraken also says more then 50 percent of depositors expressed interest in a 22-game, half-season plan, which includes the Kraken’s twin home openers targeted for Thursday and Saturday night of opening weekend. 

Lower-bowl seats run anywhere between $140 to $280, or $6,160 to $12,320 per season with a three-year commitment which could be anywhere from $18,480 to $36,960 per seat. Upper bowl seats are $90 to $170, or $3,960 to $7,480 per season with the required three-year commitment estimated at $11,880 to $22,440.

Fans will also have the opportunity to choose from a Red or Blue plans that slots select "Original Six" team fans might prefer to see up close in visitors' uniforms. The Kraken will also offer 600 single-game tickets priced at $40 or less for greater fan access and more than 5,000 season tickets will cost $100 per game or less.

“Some teams might sell out full-season plans and serve less customers,” Leiweke said. “That’s not how we looked at it. We looked at it as there is a family formed with 32,000 depositors. We want that family to experience what will be the most beautiful arena in the world with a game presentation second to none in the NHL. And we want our players to experience how lively and supportive our crowd will be night after night by how we set up this ticketing plan.” 

The Kraken wait list has grown to 52,000 fans since the team’s name announcement in July. Everyone is excited for the Seattle NHL team to take the ice during the 2021-22 season. 

Skip Bayless says Damian Lillard called him ‘the most phony MF on TV’

Skip Bayless says Damian Lillard called him ‘the most phony MF on TV’

Damian Lillard calls it like he sees it. 

After the Portland Trail Blazers star overheard Skip Bayless’ comments following his two missed free throws and a three-pointer in Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, he had words with the FS1 host.

"I believe he still had to be in the locker room, I don't know if he had done his postgame media session or not, but I got a scathing text from Damian saying, 'You might be the most phony MF on TV,’” Bayless said Tuesday on Undisputed. “I'm thinking, 'I'm phony how?' I wrote him back, and I said, 'No, I'm the most honest and objective.'"

The spat between Lillard and Bayless caught fire on Monday after Bayless went on the Undisputed and questioned the five-time NBA All-Star’s superstar status.

I’ll allow you to continue to stick your head in the hand on Damian Lillard, but I’m not going to. What happened on Saturday afternoon validated what I’ve been asking about Damian Lillard. Is he really “That Guy?” Does he really have super in front of star in front of his name?

I don’t see it and I haven’t seen it when it really, really counted, and I don’t think the Clippers had seen it either. Because I gotta tell you, they laughed at your man. They clowned your man when he missed the two free throws, then missed the tying three late in that game. They’re over on the bench, their tapping their imaginary watches ‘it’s Dame Time,’ their waving goodbye to him just like the way he waved goodbye to Russell Westbrook and in the end Paul George, he was there, and their waving goodbye to him… -- Skip Bayless

Lillard clapped back with a response his own, calling Bayless a “joke,” and referencing a private convo the two had in recent months. 


According to Bayless, the Trail Blazers guard reached out to him after a May 27 show, where Bayless criticized Lillard for his stance on the Orlando bubble and not wanting to play without having a true shot at the playoffs. 

If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now. And you can put that in there." -- Lillard told Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports

On Tuesday, Skip explained he was frustrated with Lillard’s stance in May, especially as many were depending on the NBA to save sports during the pandemic.

“I was offended because his team was 29-37 at that point,” Bayless said. “We were in the middle of a pandemic and everyone in the sports business, including us sitting right here at this desk, and we were stuck at home at that point, we were all depending on the NBA to go to the bubble and try to save sports for us, by showing us how they could bring sports back  safely and by the way they have achieved that. And I think Damian was probably very happy that he went to the bubble and now has a chance to make the playoffs.”

Bayless continued to harp on Lillard’s superstardom, noting Lillard’s success hasn’t been the equivalent of LeBron James and Kevin Durant. He called out LeBron’s three championships and three finals MVPs and Kevin Durant’s two rings and two final MVPs. Lillard finished as high as fourth in MVP voting in 2018. 

But the point is... Damian Lillard has often spoken out like he’s one of the leaders of the NBA. He sometimes speaks as if he’s LeBron James. LeBron is obviously the face of this league and has earned the right to be the face of this league and so I wondered out loud on TV to you ‘what exactly has Damian Lillard ever won to achieve this kind of stature in this league?’ Because seriously, he’s won nothing.

Lillard reportedly texted Bayless following the May 27 show asking, “what have you done to challenge what I’ve done?” Within five seconds of reading Lillard’s text, the two were in a heated conversation on the phone.

I called him because I don’t run from any of that. You know my background. I’ve had dozens, if not hundreds, of battles with professional athletes in my many years in this business.”  -- Skip Bayless

Bayless said the basis of his conversation with Lillard was “what have you done to be that kind of spokesman for the league,” which Lillard responded, “since I came into the league, I’ve been one of the clutchest players in the league.”

He’s not wrong. Lillard practically reinvented the word clutch with his dagger-3 and legendary wave over OKC in 2019 or iconic 0.9 buzzer-beater over the heavily-favored Rockets in 2014. That’s the stuff of legends. 

But according to Bayless, it’s not enough to make Lillard a “transcendent king of the NBA kind of player.”

I’m sorry I haven’t seen it yet. So, I told him on the phone, you just need to show me. You can shut me up by doing it. I can’t stop you, I can’t go out and even try to guard you, but you can stop me, silence me, by just doing it. When you get chances in these big games, just go do it…” -- Skip Bayless 

Never get in a war of words with Dame because he’ll use it as motivation to prove you wrong time and time again. 

We can’t wait for the Skip diss track on Dame D.O.L.L.A.’s next album. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

 

How the Trail Blazers can clinch play-in tournament spot TONIGHT

How the Trail Blazers can clinch play-in tournament spot TONIGHT

The race to the eight seed has come down to four teams. 

The Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs are in a compelling race toward the finish line for the eighth and final playoff seed. Given the narrow separation in the standings, it looks like a play-in tournament will take place before the playoffs begin. 

The Trail Blazers have an opportunity to clinch a spot in the play-in tournament on Tuesday. However, what unfolds in the next 12 hours will ultimately decide what happens for the last four teams standing in the race for the final spot out West.

Here’s a look at the possible playoff-clinching scenarios that could unravel on Tuesday. 

Current NBA standings in the West:

8. Memphis Grizzlies (33-38)
9. Portland Trail Blazers (33-39) — 0.5 GB
10. Phoenix Suns (32-39) — 1.0 GB
11. San Antonio Spurs (31-38) — 1.0 GB
12. New Orleans Pelicans (30-40) — 2.0 GB
13. Sacramento Kings (29-41) — 3.0 GB

Here’s a quick look at what happened Sunday/Monday: 

The Grizzlies shot just 36.9 percent from the field for three quarters as they fell to the defending champion Toronto Raptors on Sunday. With two games left, the Grizzlies’ lead for the No. 8 seed fell to a ½ game over Portland. 

Shaking off a loss to the Clippers on Sunday, the Trail Blazers roared back with a 124-121 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Damian Lillard poured 51 points and added seven assists to bring Portland within a half game of the eighth-place Grizzlies in the Western Conference race. A Trail Blazers victory eliminated the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings from playoff contention. 

DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and the Spurs kept their playoff hopes alive while fending off the Pelicans 122-113. San Antonio improved to 4-2 during the restart and stayed in the thick of the battle for the eighth and ninth positions in the West.

The Suns continue to make a post-season push inside the NBA bubble, improving to 6-0 after a 128-101 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Devin Booker, who's had the hot hand for Phoenix, led all scorers with 35 points, including 14-of-14 from the free throw line. 

Tuesday’s Games to Watch:

Houston Rockets vs. Antonio Spurs, 11:00 p.m. PT
Phoenix Suns vs. Philadelphia 76ers 1:30 p.m. PT 
Boston Celtics vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 2:00 p.m. PT
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks 3:30 p.m. PT 

Possible clinching/elimination scenarios for Tuesday:

MEMPHIS clinches a play-in game with a win OR with losses by Phoenix and San Antonio

PORTLAND clinches a play-in game with a win AND with losses by Phoenix and San Antonio 

PHOENIX is eliminated with a loss AND a Portland win

SAN ANTONIO is eliminated with a loss AND a win by EITHER Portland or Phoenix

How to watch the Blazers take on the Mavericks

You can catch Tuesday’s Blazers-Mavs contest on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers with tip-off set for 3:30 p.m. Our coverage starts at 1pm with ‘Blazers Game Day’ followed by ‘Blazers Warm-up’ at 2:30p.m. and ‘Blazers Pregame’ at 3:00pm. 

Plus, to wrap up your Blazers Game Day, check out ‘Blazers Outsiders’ immediately following the 'Blazers Postgame Show.'

Or if you can’t get to a TV, stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

Plus, for full coverage of Portland’s seventh seeding game make sure to follow Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team throughout the day. Follow us on social for the latest updates. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

 

Seahawks WR John Ursua tests negative for COVID-19, one day after positive test

Seahawks WR John Ursua tests negative for COVID-19, one day after positive test

The Seattle Seahawks are one of the six NFL teams around the league said to have had no positive coronavirus tests. 

However, Seahawks wide receiver John Ursua, was recently placed on the NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 list, which means he either contracted the virus himself or has been in close contact with an infected person. 

Ursua revealed Monday to Rob DeMello of KHON 2 Sports that he received news that he had tested positive on Saturday around midnight. 

“It’s been a crazy experience, kind of a roller coaster if you may, where I get the news late (Saturday) night that I tested positive,” Ursua said. “I’m kind of concerned thinking that I’m going to be quarantined for the next 12 to 14 days and then come yesterday’s test results come back and it’s negative.”

Ursua was tested again for COVID-19 on Sunday and received a negative test on Monday morning. Now, he’ll take a third test to find out if he can rejoin the Seahawks at training camp. 

“How the league is running things is right after you test a positive, you immediately do two tests,” Ursua explained. "If you get two negatives then it was a false positive test, but if you get one positive out of the next two then you know you got to have that 14-day quarantine kind of deal. 

It’s just been a crazy experience to just see that I tested positive one day and then the very next day I tested negative. -- John Ursua

Ursua said he was extremely shocked when it was revealed he tested positive on the first test, noting his isolated living conditions. 

“We’re not exactly like the bubble but we kind of treat everything as if it is,” Ursua said. “Our food is delivered to us, we only get to go to the facility and come back to the hotel. We do all of our meetings here at the hotel. They try to keep us out of restaurants, out of closed off areas, so they’re doing a great job.

“So when I got the news I was like, man, I was the first one on the Seahawks to get it and the only one so far, but I guess I’ve been hearing about how there’s a lot of false positives out there so I was just crossing my fingers hoping that everything would be okay.”

Ursua should find out the results of his third test on Monday night or Tuesday morning.

The Seahawks seventh-round pick in 2019 is hopeful his third test will come back negative and he can rejoin the team’s active roster to prepare for the 2020 season.  

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann]