NBA lockout's effects reach far in Portland, Ore.

There are more talks this weekend to end the National Basketball Association lockout, which has now lasted nearly five months. The season that should've started a month ago is in jeopardy, and it's not just players who aren't getting a paycheck.

As CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reported on "The Early Show," the ripple effect goes much deeper in some cities, such as Portland, Ore., a city with only one major sports team: The Trailblazers.

Timothy Daley, who runs a sports bar in the city, said the city is "kind of depressing." The name of Daley's bar - Spirit of '77 - celebrates the year, 34 years ago, that the Blazers last won a championship. But he says fans remain loyal - and the NBA lockout hurts.

Daley said on a typical game night his bar is packed with spectators, but not these days, with the lockout enduring.

Blackstone noted it's a scene repeated across the country - but is especially noticeable in cities with just one major sports team. Portland fans have no one else to root for.

Drew Mahalic, of Oregon Sports Authority - the state's sports economic development arm - told CBS News that the Trailblazers have been "part of our sports fabric for over 40 years. And there's a huge vacuum right now, without their playing."

In Portland, Blackstone reported, the Trailblazers are more than a basketball team. They're a larger-than-life presence. And this lockout has left the city even gloomier than its weather.

The lockout has also taken an economic toll.

Mahalic said the lockout affects people beyond those on the court: "It's the waiters and waitresses at the bars and restaurants, it's the taxi cab drivers, it's the vendors that sell cotton candy in the arena."

One such person affected is Clement Uduk, an usher at the games. A college student, Uduk works at Blazer games for $11 an hour. It's not a lot, but it means a lot to someone hoping to attend law school.

Blackstone said to Uduk, "So we've got a lot of rich owners, rich basketball players, and then there's guys like you."

"Yeah. Unfortunately in the world of bigger, better, more, the lesser, little, none don't have a voice or don't get seen," Uduk said.

"Is it," Blackstone asked, "like sort of the heart of Portland has stopped beating? I mean, is that a way to put it?"

Uduk responded, "That's actually pretty good. Yeah."

  • John Blackstone

    From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.

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