Celebrity sighting

Portland Trail Blazers vs Sacramento Kings

Nicolas Batum in a Jan. 21 game against the Sacramento Kings at the Moda Center.

Of all days to forget and leave my iPhone at the office…

I left work yesterday in the late afternoon, hopped on a bus, got off north of the city center, and started walking westbound toward my dentist’s office. I had only a few minutes to get there.  As I approached the food carts at Southwest 10th and Alder, I couldn’t help but notice a very tall, slender man about to place his order at one of the carts.

Nicolas Batum, the Trail Blazer’ starting forward.

“Hey, Nic,” I said.

He looked up.

I stretched out my hand and he extended his for a quick handshake.

“Hope your wrist feels better soon,” I said.

“Thanks,” he said, with a smile.

And that was the extent of it.

Not sure if I would have asked for a selfie with Nic, even if I’d had my iPhone. Seems a little intrusive for a guy, out with his lady, just getting a bite to eat.

Plus, I didn’t want to be late for my appointment.

I will say, though, that I was surprised by one thing: the softness of his hand. I thought, “Well, I suppose that’s a good thing.” I’ve often heard it said that soft hands are a real asset, whether an athlete is catching or throwing a football, basketball or baseball.

Tonight, Batum will take his tender wrist, injured in a bad fall during a game earlier this season, onto the court tonight against the Phoenix Suns. I already liked Nic and his versatile game. I’ll be rooting a little harder for him tonight.

Photograph: Bruce Ely, The Oregonian

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