Oregon great Payton Pritchard turns in big Game 7 performance in Celtics win

Payton Pritchard came off the bench and gave the Celtics 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists on 4-6 3FG in a Game 7 blowout win.

The Oregon great is finding greatness at the next level.

Former Duck Payton Pritchard had a huge game for the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon, coming off of the bench and showing out in the 4th quarter to extend the lead over the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks. The Celtics ultimately won 109-81.

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Pritchard finished the day with 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists in 17 minutes. The West Linn native was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc, and 5-for-7 from the field.

With the win, the Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference Final, where they will face the Miami Heat. Pritchard’s success on Sunday goes along with what we’ve seen as of late for the Oregon great. In 2021-22, his second season in the NBA, Pritchard averaged 6.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 14 minutes per game.

He is the lone former Duck left in the NBA playoffs after Dillon Brooks and the Memphis Grizzlies were eliminated on Friday night.

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Oregon Ducks’ 5-star commit Mookie Cook to star as ‘Young LeBron James’ in upcoming film

Talk about star power. 5-star Oregon commit Mookie Cook has been cast to play none other than LeBron James in an upcoming film.

About a month ago, we found out future Oregon Ducks star Marquis ‘Mookie’ Cook has a relationship with NBA mega-star LeBron James when the future Hall of Famer gave a shoutout to Cook following his commitment to Oregon.

Now we’re learning a little bit more about that relationship. Word has emerged that Cook stars as a Young LeBron James in the upcoming movie “Shooting Stars.”

“James and Bissinger’s Stars chronicled how James and his best friends in Akron formed a close-knit bond that sustained them through a failed national championship tournament and winning a title by the end of high school,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter. “Along the way there were plenty of tests, such as broken homes, jealousies and even James’ own mega-success.”

Talk about becoming a star before you even get to campus.

Cook is among the highest-ranked recruits to sign with the Ducks. 247Sports lists him as a five-star small forward is No. 2 at his position and No. 5 overall in the class. Standing at 6 feet, 7 inches and 200 pounds, the Portland native was ranked No. 1 among players in the state of Arizona.

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Report: De’Anthony Thomas ‘no longer expected’ to join B.C. Lions after failing to attend rookie camp

It doesn’t look like De’Anthony Thomas will be joining the B.C. Lions any longer. The Oregon legend was a no-show at rookie camp on Thursday.

A few months ago, it appeared that we were getting ready for a De’Anthony Thomas renaissance, this time in the Canadian Football League, as the former Oregon Ducks legend was signing a contract to play for the B.C. Lions.

However, that doesn’t appear the be the case anymore after Thomas failed to show up at rookie camp with the team on Thursday afternoon. There is not yet a reason for why Thomas didn’t show up, but according to Farhan Lalji, a reporter for TSN, Thomas is not expected to be with the team any longer. We will wait to hear anything further on the situation.

Thomas was recently enjoying the limelight in Eugene where he was an honorary coach with the Ducks at their annual spring game. Thomas was also expected to participate in the Oregon Pro Day earlier this spring alongside former Duck Devon Allen, but he was reportedly unable to join due to his CFL contract with the Lions.

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Sabrina Ionescu fills the stat sheet in New York Liberty’s season-opener

Sabrina Ionescu dropped 25 points and dished out six assists in the New York Liberty’s season opener on Saturday.

Former Oregon Ducks star Sabrina Ionescu lived up to the billing as the No. 1 overall pick, dropping 25 points and dishing out six assists for the New York Liberty in their home opener, an 81-79 victory over the Connecticut Sun.

“It’s a great win for us at home,” Ionescu said. “We had a great crowd. Super excited to be able to start the season off like that.”

Ionescu was outstanding for New York on Saturday, scoring or assisting on 41 of the Liberty’s points, while shooting 10-for-18 from the field and 3-6 from deep.

“I think it was really just the patience and poise of our offense that led a lot of us to easy shots and shots that we normally make, and so I think that’s what we have to continue to do,” Ionescu said.

She now has four career games with 25 or more points and five or more assists, the third-most in Liberty history.

The Oregon legend got off to a rough start in her pro career, only playing three games as a rookie before missing the rest of the season with an injury. She rebounded to post strong numbers in 2021, and now looks like she is fully ready for her breakout into a legit superstar.

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NBA Twitter reacts to Dillon Brooks ‘dirty’ foul, ejection from playoff game

Was it a dirty play? Just a hard foul? Oregon legend Dillon Brooks was ejected on Tuesday night, and Twitter reacted to the “cheap” play.

On Tuesday, Memphis Grizzlies forward and former Oregon Ducks’ great Dillon Brooks made waves in the NBA world with a hard foul in the first half of a playoff game against the Golden State Warriors that left Gary Payton II with a fractured elbow, and Brooks ejected from the game.

It was certainly a hard foul, and warranted an ejection. But was it dirty? That, of course, was up for the NBA Twitter world to decide.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr got in on the action with some harsh words for Brooks, and now we’re questioning whether or not the Oregon legend’s actions will see him suspended for game 3 of the series. Here’s some of what people are saying about the play online.

Breaking: Kayvon Thibodeaux selected by New York Giants with No. 5 overall pick

Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux is heading to the Big Apple after being drafted at No. 5 by the New York Giants.

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Former Oregon Ducks superstar Kayvon Thibodeaux is heading to the New York Giants.

On Thursday night in the first round of the NFL draft, Thibodeaux was the No. 5 player taken off of the board, where the Giants took him.

It was thought that Thibodeaux, who was projected last summer to be potentially the first overall pick in the draft, might slide in the draft amidst a number of concerns about his work ethic and love for the game, but that obviously wasn’t the case with New York grabbing him off of the board as early as they could.

In New York, Thibodeaux will be put under an immediate spotlight as one of the premier players on the team. He made a name for himself while with the Ducks in Eugene, racking up 126 tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 19 total sacks, and three forced fumbles in his three years at Oregon.

Though the Giants were bullish enough on Thibodeaux to draft him with their first pick, the narratives about him brought up during the draft process will surely put his play under a microscope in his rookie season.

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Tracking the Oregon Duck legends who will be attending the spring game

The past few days have seen an endless stream of Oregon legends confirm they will be at the Ducks’ spring game. Here’s who has RSVP’d.

In the days leading up to the spring game, the Oregon Ducks have been continually releasing more and more information about what we’re set to see in the annual scrimmage.

Whether it’s bits and pieces of the roster breakdown or a half-time gimmick that is sure to entertain, Oregon has made it clear that they’re going all out for Dan Lanning’s first official event as the new head coach of the Ducks.

Related: Oregon’s rich history will be front-and-center for spring game

One of the streams of information that has many veteran Oregon fans extremely excited is the unending list of former Ducks who have confirmed that they will be attending the spring game.

“I know this program was built on players like those guys,” Lanning said on Tuesday. “Legends, they’ve really put in blood, sweat, and tears for Duck football and we want to do everything we can to reconnect those people with our program.”

Lanning is doing a great job of getting them back in the mix early on, that’s for sure. This list may grow as we get closer to the game, but here are the Oregon legends who we know will be inside Autzen Stadium once again on Saturday.

Ben Affleck as Nike co-founder Phil Knight? Yep, it’s happening…

Nike co-founder and Oregon legend Phil Knight will be heading to the big screen in the near future, portrayed by none other than Ben Affleck.

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If you’ve ever sat down to watch the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary ‘Sole Man,’ then you know that the story of Nike’s rise under co-founder Phil Knight — with the help of executive Sonny Vaccarro — is a fascinating tale of the sneaker industry in the world of sports, and how it’s transformed the world that we live in.

The story is apparently fascinating enough to make it to the silver screen in the next couple of years, with the famous duo of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck co-writing a script about Nike’s efforts to sign Michael Jordan to a shoe contract in the 1980s. It’s been announced that both will star in the film as well, with Damon playing the role of Vaccarro, and Affleck playing none other than Oregon legend Phil Knight himself.

Seeing Knight be portrayed on the big screen isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, most recently in the HBO series ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,’ Knight was portrayed once again in the race to land Magic Johnson to a sneaker contract early in his career as well.

Tyson Alger, with the i5 Corridor, interviewed the actor who played Knight, Olli Haaskivi, about playing the sports apparel giant.

“I felt really lucky when preparing for it that I couldn’t find any footage of him in 1979, at the age we meet him in the show,” Haaskivi told Alger. “There wasn’t really anyone for me to impersonate or mimic. I got to have all of this material, but I really got to use my imagination and try to — I imagine everyone feels like they’re trying to capture the essence more than doing a literal impersonation of something.”

So what will Affleck’s version of Knight look like? That’s a hard question to answer. Will it be ‘Batman’ Affleck or expletive-laced ‘Any Given Wednesday’ Affleck?

Only time will tell. When the movie is eventually released, though, we certainly will be watching.

Contact/Follow us @Ducks_Wire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Oregon Ducks news, notes, and opinion.

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Pair of Oregon Ducks listed among ESPN’s 100 greatest RBs in college football history

Two legendary Oregon Ducks made the cut for ESPN’s top-100 running backs in college football history.

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We all know who the best running backs in Oregon Ducks football history are. Over the years, we’ve taken a hard look at the all-time career rushing list in Eugene and determined which players stand above the rest as far as a legacy left behind.

Heck, we even determined which rushing duos were the best in Oregon history earlier this year, looking at standout seasons from tandems in the Ducks’ backfield, looking at which 1-2 punch had the most power in Eugene.

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However, where do these Oregon legends stand when it comes to the history of college football as a whole? Recently, ESPN did some work to figure that out, ranking the best 100 running backs in the game. Fortunately for the Ducks, a pair of Oregon alums made the cut.

Those guys are Royce Freeman and LaMichael James.

Freeman, who is currently the No. 1 player on Oregon’s rushing list, was listed a little bit lower than we expected, coming in at No. 63 on the list. He finished his career in Eugene with 5,621 yards and 60 touchdowns in four seasons.

James, on the other hand, got some nice recognition from ESPN, coming in at No. 30 on the list. Here is what they had to say:

Chip Kelly’s Ducks went 34-6 from 2009-11, finishing in the top five twice and nearly winning the 2010 national title. James was the face of those teams, rushing for at least 1,500 yards each year and scoring 24 times during that blessed 2010 run. An underrated superstar.

In his career, LaMichael had 5,082 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns, finishing No. 2 on Oregon’s all-time rushing list. He was also playing alongside Kenjon Barner — No. 3 on the rushing list — making them the undisputed top RB tandem in Oregon history. 

Contact/Follow us @Ducks_Wire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Oregon Ducks news, notes, and opinion.

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Former reciever and track star Devon Allen to participate in Oregon Pro Day

Former Duck receiver Devon Allen is about to give football another try as he will participate in Oregon’s Pro Day April 1.

The last time Oregon Ducks football fans saw Devon Allen on a football field, he was limping off the field with an injury at Nebraska. It was the second injury after blowing his knee out at the Rose Bowl nine months earlier.

Fast forward six years and some World Championship track medals, Allen is going to give football one more chance.

The former receiver and kick specialist will participate in Oregon’s Pro Day April 1 with the hopes of catching the eye of some NFL scouts and landing a free agent contract.

Allen played a better part of three seasons with the Ducks where he 54 passes for 919 yards (17 ypc) and eight touchdowns. As a kickoff returner, Allen averaged 26 yards a return.

Among those joining Allen on Pro day will be De’Anthony Thomas and Kayvon Thibodeaux. Thomas, like Allen, will be looking to sign with an NFL team as a free agent. Thibodeaux is expected to be a high first-round draft pick.

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