Nike rolls out carpet for teen titans


Royalty Ñ of the very, very young variety Ñ visited Beaverton's Nike campus this week.

LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, the newest Nike clients destined to play a major role in the future of the NBA, invaded the campus for the first time to meet with executives and sales staff during a week of quarterly meetings. They met with designers and marketing people, provided input on what they would like from their products, what video games they play, etc.

The two teenagers, rich in talent and endorsement money, flew in Monday night and out today.

But, hush. Don't tell anyone. Nike likes keeping such visits under the radar screen.

• Don't be surprised if sometime in the not-too-distant future, the Scott Thomason/Neil Lomax Quarterback Shootout, set for Saturday at Heron Lakes, morphs into the Joey Harrington Shootout.

Lomax has begun discussions with Harrington and his agent, David Dunn, about transferring entitlement of the annual charity golf event that has been a fixture on the Portland sports scene for 13 years. Lomax has funneled more than $2 million into the Young Life and Fellowship of Christian Athletes ministries through the event. As long as those organizations would continue to reap some proceeds, Lomax would be willing to stay on in an advisory role and turn over the event to Harrington and his foundation.

'I love doing it, and I would always stay involved with Joey's blessing,' says Lomax, the former All-Pro quarterback whose Promax Corp. stages sports events in the Portland area. 'What a great transition it would be, to call it the Quarterback Shootout hosted by Joey, with money going to his foundation.'

Car dealer Thomason is committed to sponsoring the 2004 Shootout. After that, 'I will be looking for somebody to pick it up,' Lomax says.

Saturday's event, featuring celebrities mostly from the sporting world, is free; tickets can be obtained at metro area Albertson's stores.

• One of the Shootout participants will be Cade McNown, the former West Linn quarterback recently released by San Francisco. McNown continues to struggle with a shoulder injury.

'Basically, he didn't execute like we wanted him to,' 49ers coach Dennis Erickson says of McNown, 26, who has not appeared in a game since 2000. 'I don't know if it's the injury or (he) just doesn't have it anymore, but he wasn't the guy I remembered at UCLA.'

Kansas City President-General Manager Carl Peterson says the Chiefs probably will bring in McNown for a workout.

'I loved the guy coming out of UCLA,' Peterson tells reporters. 'It might be the kind of situation we had with Rich Gannon, where he takes a year off and successfully resumes his career.'

• It won't be anytime soon, but someday expect to see the men's U.S. Open staged at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

'We have the conversation with the USGA all the time,' Pumpkin Ridge co-founder Gay Davis says. 'What they say is, it's not a matter of if we will have it, but when.

'We have a couple of things going for us. Bethpage (N.Y., site of the 2002 U.S. Open) brought home how neat it is to play on a public course, and we would use Ghost Creek. And they are always looking for courses in the West Ñ and we have never had it in the Northwest, the only region in the country where they have never had it.'

The next Open date available is 2010.

'They have kind of said 2010 and 2012 will be in the West,' Davis says. 'We think Pebble Beach will get it in 2010. I think we have a fighting chance for 2012.'

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