oregongal47 view (TG)

Aug 19

arvydas sabonis day at pioneer square

By oregongal47 view (TG)
THE BANNER OF SABAS HANGING FROM PIONEER SQUARE

Yesterday was Arvydas Sabonis day in Portland Oregon August 18,2011.  I had the prviledge of being there yesterday to honor one of our great players that came over from Europe to play for our Blazers.  I was as excited as a giddy kid to finally see the man I had admired all these years.  I admired him as a player long before he ever donned a blazer uniform. I remember his play in Europe and playing for the Soviet team that beat our USA team that caused us to have pros play for our USA team.  

My goal was to be front row so I would see him and capture some great pictures.  I made that goal as I arrived down at pioneer square at around 9:30 watching the noon tunes people and blazer staff set up for the event.  

sset up of event for sabas and noon tunes  square as I arrived...

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I sat in the square and watched sat up and when I saw the barricade go up around stage I parked myself there and did not move til event was over. A woman with her two young kids showed up and we stayed there. Her young boy wandered off with another young man to get autographs of various blazer personnel mike rice ( he got the autograph for me on my I  love sabas  sign) and he also got sabas autograph as he saw him up in the square....and he managed to get an autograph of chris dudley on one of his cards.  It was wonderful to see this young blazer fans doing this. I loved it.
Sabas signing autographs and having pics taken where young boy went to get the autograph

noon tunes was on this day too and it was the last noon tune too.  some young pre school kids were there having a ball dancing  with the nalley pickle. by this time a crowd was beginnig to arrive and at that point sabas showed and so did various players who had played with sabas.  I had a great time listening to the blues and watching the crowd.  Blazer dancers were posing for pics and various blazer personalities.  there was a tweetup as well. this felt like pre game time at the rose garden but it wasnt.  we were honoring a truly great basketball player who happened to play for our team.

preschool kids dancing to the band and with the nalley pickle...

finally the time arrived and the great entry was fabulous it was a synchopated drum team marching from the top of the square down to the stage it was quite thunderus and almost had that royal feel to it. as the drmmers and those showed to the stage my heart was pounding from the noise of the drums and so were my ears but it was truly great and so fitting for it to be done this way.  big man big noise and big entrance. I loved it and will never forget it.

Last synchopated drumming this is how close they were to me! fabulous!

Mark Mason was the one to introduce Sabas which was so fitting as he had introduced him so many times in the rose garden!  He gave us all a refresher course on Lithuanian.  and we shouted out the phrase and Mark introduced him and there suddenly before bigger then life a few feet from me was Sabas! I was so thrilled and was trying to take pics and capture the moment that will be with me forever. Mike Barrett would be the master of ceremonies. sSabas and that famous smile with mike barrett and there is mark mason leaving the stage!

Sabas spoke and that great deep voice echoed before me.  He seemed so humble and surprised that people would come to see him and honor him.  He truly was humble and so kind.  He spoke about how great an honor it was to be here.  after that three blazers who played with him would come up to the stage. First it was Tone(antonio harvey) who would talk about sabas and his passing if you were not paying attention you would get a ball to the head. at that point we all laughed and tone frowned at us.  He said I am going to guess you have all never had a basketball to the head?  There is nothing funny about a basketball to the head!  Done in true Tone fashion!  Then Chris Dudley came up shared his memories and then Brian Grant.  Then city commisioner Randy Leonard declared August 18,2011 Arvydas Sabonis day in Portland.  Then finally the mayor of Rip City came up and gave Sabas the key to Rip City!

Sabas getting the Key to Rip City from the Shonz and the original Season Ticketholder there too!  

And then it was all over...some side notes I got to meet some of my "fanmily" as Patty Mills calls it. I got to meet Jeff and Albert two blazer fans I have gotten to know on Twitter and who are also regulars on blazer chats on game day and various events programs when the blazers air programs. It was a fabulous day and something I wont forget anytime soon.  Ty Blazers for doing this for us fans and letting us get up close and personal with truly one of the greats who played this game.  I also took these pics knowing some of the "fanmily" could not be at the event due to work and family things going on in their lives!
love you all
TG!

4 Comments

  1. great report, TG! it was an awesome day in portland for all of us. great to see the big guy back in rip city. it was certainly a fitting tribute for Sabas. loved the appearances by Grant, Tone and Dudley!

    ~KMM

    by Kassandra on 8/19/2011 12:52 PM
  2. ty and he truly is a blessing to us to have him here even when he is gone. he has a home here for life as he is very well loved. pj carlesimo put it right he was a blue collar worker who kept his nose clean...

    by oregongal47 view (TG) on 8/19/2011 6:01 PM
  3. Very nice recap of the day TG, and to think I almost didn't go.

    I hear people say he was one of the Best Blazers to have played here, but some people don't know that he is one of the best players in the whole world for many years, and on top of everything else he turns out to be a super nice man and mentor to many.

    I had a great time with my family, and its a day I never will forget.
    I am really glad I finally got to meet you T , and am happy to call you my Blazer buddy and friend.

    Here's to many more memories in the future.

    AH

    by Albert Hoy on 8/19/2011 8:47 PM
  4. ty albert! I am so glad you went too! it was great to meet you and the family! what a precious family you have. your grandaughter totally adorable! I know it is a day I wont soon forget. to actually be that close to a basketball legend amazing! He is truly a nice and great man! I love his humility and hard work. He truly is one of a kind. I followed a lot of european players back in the early days before they ever came here as there was some legendary players back then. drazen, vlade etc Anyhow as the saying goes you never when you will pass this way again. so seize the day and dont miss the opportunities. I never know when I will have the opportunity to have seen a legend so close. ty fro reading and commenting on my blog! I had fun yesterday! I met some fab people who I did not know! blazer fans the greatest people around!
    t

    by oregongal47 view (TG) on 8/19/2011 8:58 PM
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