We’ve already seen and heard so many retrospectives of 2016 that even if we hadn’t lived it, we’d feel like we’d been there. The Christmas tree is starting to feel like it’s just taking up space. Plans have been made for a midnight kiss on Saturday night, or at least for being in a place where it might become possible. Winter. What to do, what to do.
Well, if you want to be highly entertained yet pace yourself on New Year’s Eve Day (so as to be able to hold your champagne steadily that night), get your tickets and head to the NBA Development League showdown between the Maine Red Claws and the Windy City Bulls, at the Portland Expo Building (239 Park Ave.) at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $7 to $32 at https://www.ticketreturn.com/boxoffice/ or at the door.
As a sports fan, you’ll want to know that the Red Claws are number one in the Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division of the NBADL (as of this writing on December 27), with a 10-6 record. Also, the Claws have three players in the top 25 of the league’s Prospect Watch List (players eligible to be called up to the NBA). Small forward Jalen Jones was number ten on the list for Week 6, Abdel Nader was in the eighteenth spot, and Damion Lee came in at 22.
Jones (6’7”, 220 lbs) is the one to watch. Texan by birth, he played college hoops for Southern Methodist and Texas A&M. Undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft, he played in the Toronto Raptors 2016 Summer League before flirting with the Celtics and finally being acquired by the Red Claws. To say he’s a strong scorer is an understatement. For example, on the Sunday before Christmas against the Erie Bayhawks (a loss), Jalen Jones had his third straight double-double (accumulating a double-digit total in two of five categories — points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots — in a game). Look for him to be trying to prove something in Saturday’s game.
On the other hand, the Windy City Bulls are last in Central Division (again, as of December 27), at 6-9. Think they’ll get thrashed?
Portland Expo: (207) 874-8200