Helping you through the dog days of summer:
• Until the trial is over, the only thing I'm going to say about Kobe Bryant is that a lot of people in the NBA think he's one of the most selfish players in basketball. I can't imagine him in the same backcourt with Gary Payton.
• OK, I know it had been a long time since golfer Peter Jacobsen had won a tournament. But you could tell he never forgot how to win. His final nine holes Sunday were textbook. He didn't back off, but he didn't take foolish chances.
It was a beautiful thing to watch Ñ a true pro coming down the stretch of a tournament he couldn't have expected to win, and playing with all the confidence and intelligence of a man who wins every week. Jacobsen is one of the classiest athletes ever to come out of this little town.
• Yeah, because Pittsburgh isn't supporting the Pirates, Portland would have a problem with major league baseball? I read that somewhere. But how does that explain small-market Kansas City in first place? And Oakland perennially contending? And Minnesota in the playoffs last year? All of them without the new ballparks you're supposed to need.
Pittsburgh's problems come from an owner who is in over his head. Incidentally, we're so close to getting a team here, folks Ñ if the bill passes in Salem, it's more clear than ever that big league ball is on its way.
• The Blazer schedule is out, and it was sure nice of the NBA to bring LeBron James into Portland for the home opener Nov. 1. At least now the team has a chance to sell out opening night. The opening month looks like a pretty easy time on the court, but drawing crowds in the Rose Garden for the likes of Memphis, Atlanta, Toronto, Miami and Washington will be no picnic. Attendance will be watched more closely than ever this year.
• Speaking of schedules, how about the first three weeks for Fresno State football? The Bulldogs open at Tennessee, go home to face Oregon State and then head back on the road to play Oklahoma. Yikes! The Beavers better be ready, because nobody wants to open with an 0-3 record.
After the game against the Sooners, Fresno State is at home to Louisiana Tech. And then Portland State. Good luck, Viks. Stay well.
• If the Blazers don't find a spot for Dave Twardzik in their organization, they're missing a chance to hire a very good person who could do the franchise a lot of good.
• I hear the office shouting match between Maurice Cheeks and departed assistant coach Herb Brown was a dandy. It came on a day when Brown, let go by Cheeks after the season, was cleaning out his desk at the team's practice facility. According to our spy, it got very ugly, punctuated by Cheeks screaming at Brown to 'get the (bleep) out of here.'
Letting Brown go, and Caldwell Jones before him, was perplexing.