During the games a bunch of us would get together and sit around a radio, drink beer, eat junk food and listen to Bill Schonely artfully describe the game. "Rip City" was on every one's mind. That was the year of Bill Walton, Bobby Gross, Terry Porter and there are others that I can't remember right off of the top of my head. then of course there was Maurice Lucas. How can anyone forget the plaid outfits that there coach, Jack Ramsey, wore. Of course in 1977 everybody was stylin'. It was a memorable and exciting time that I was fortunate to have been able to witness. Who can ever forget the non-fight that he and Darryl Dawkins got into. There was some dance moves goin' on there. If either one of them would have landed a punch there would have been a homicide investigation.
That Trailblazer team was beloved by nearly everyone in Portland. Unlike the more recent teams which seem to have been comprised by a bunch of thugs who have been referred to as the "Jailblazers". Of course I don't keep up with the Trailblazers today. That group of men were highly respected and were an active and contributing part of the Portland community. Maurice Lucas was a large part of that.
It is always difficult when you see a sports hero pass. Especially one that is younger than you. But they are only mortal men. I just wanted to take this venue to recognize his passing. Maurice is no longer shackled by the ravages of his illness and has gone on to that hard court in the sky. I also would extend my sympathies to any of Maurice's friends or family. I am sure that they will have a deep sense of loss.