Talking Points: NBA cracking down on pre-game rituals




LeBron James tosses up powder. Kevin Garnett bangs his forehead against the stanchion underneath the basket. Dwyane Wade grabs the rim and does a few pullups before tipoff.

Now, the NBA wants these All-Stars to speed things up already. This season, the league will enforce a 90-second time limit on pregame greetings, handshakes and other shenanigans.

A violating team will get tagged with its first delay-of-game warning. A second, which could be received during the game, would result in a technical free throw for the opponent.

In the past, these routines have become more and more elaborate but not without purpose. While the players were greeting one another, Blazers coach Terry Stotts said that the extra time allowed coaches to draw up the game’s opening play. Besides the assist in last-second game planning, the routines have just been plain old-fashioned fun.

Why the NBA would want to police something as frivolous as handshakes doesn’t make sense.


There will be no countdown on pregame routines Sunday at the Rose Garden — and why should there be detailed gimmicks anyway? The Blazers will only be participating in an intra-squad scrimmage in the team’s annual Wells Fargo Fan Fest.

The event is open to the public and fans can pick up free tickets at Wells Fargo locations throughout Southwest Washington and Portland.

Even if Blazer fans can’t make it out to a Wells Fargo before the scrimmage, they can still flash a Wells Fargo check/credit card to gain admission. Doors open at 5 p.m., with the scrimmage following at 6 p.m. For more information, visit


Here’s a lesson to all you kids out there: knuckle push-ups may make you look tough and cool, but just learn from Kevin Love. Don’t do them.

It turns out that Love, the Minnesota Timberwolves power forward and Lake Oswego product, will miss 6-to-8 weeks with a broken hand.

And how did Love break his right hand? On Thursday, he explained in a statement that “while doing various pushups, including knuckle pushups, which are part of my regular workout routine, I hurt my hand.”

Next time, Love should just follow Jack LaLanne’s lead and go with fingertip push-ups.