The Portland Trail Blazers were one of three expansion teams to enter the NBA in 1970 and have one title to their credit. Who are their 25 best players?
The arrival of the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA as an expansion team in 1970 marked the end of a 15-year quest by sports promoter Harry Glickman to get a team in Oregon’s largest city.
Glickman had proposed two NBA expansion teams—one each for Portland and Los Angeles—as early as 1955 and the dream came to fruition on Feb. 6, 1970, with the granting of the franchise that would become known as the Trail Blazers.
Beginning play at Memorial Coliseum, the Blazers were the last of the three 1970 expansion teams (the Cleveland Cavaliers and Buffalo Braves were the others) to get to the postseason, but when they got there, Portland made it count, winning the franchise’s only NBA title in their first playoff appearance in 1977.
The team was purchased by Paul Allen in 1988 and he remains the owner today.
The Blazers have a .535 winning percentage in 46 seasons (1,991-1,733), sixth-best among the NBA’s 30 active franchises. They have reached the postseason 32 times in 46 seasons, including a stretch of 21 straight years from 1983-2003.
Portland has been a playoff team each of the last three seasons, as well. Their longest drought remains the franchise’s first six years in existence.
Besides beating the Philadelphia 76ers for the NBA championship in 1977, Portland has been to the Finals two other times, losing in five games to the Detroit Pistons in 1990 and in six games to the Chicago Bulls in 1992.
The club has just one 60-win season, going 63-19 in 1990-91 to set a franchise record. The 1971-72 Trail Blazers were a franchise-worst 18-64, with the team losing 61 games in both 1972-73 and 2005-06.
They moved into the new Rose Garden in 1995. The arena was renamed the Moda Center in 2013.
The Blazers have employed 12 general managers, with Glickman the longest serving from the franchise’s inception through May 1981. Bob Whitsitt had the job from July 1994 through June 2003 and Bucky Buckwalter held the position from January 1986 through July 1992.
Buckwalter is the only Trail Blazer to earn NBA Executive of the Year honors, winning the award in 1990-91.
Current GM Neal Olshey has been on the job since June 2012.
Jack Ramsay is the winningest of the team’s 14 coaches, with a record of 453-367 from 1976-86 to go with a 29-30 playoff mark. Rick Adelman coached the Blazers from 1989-94 and was 291-154 in the regular season and 36-33 in the playoffs.
Nate McMillan, who had the job from 2005-12, was 266-269 in the regular season and 6-12 in the postseason.
Current coach Terry Stotts is 182-146 in the regular season and 11-16 in the playoffs since he was hired to start the 2012-13 season.
Two Portland coaches have been named NBA Coach of the Year, Mike Schuler in 1986-87 and Mike Dunleavy in 1998-99.
The Blazers have held the No. 1 overall pick in the draft four times, but just once in the lottery era.
Portland has selected second twice, fourth once and fifth once, never choosing third.
Here are the 25 best players in the history of the Portland Trail Blazers. Players had to have appeared in 150 games and averaged a minimum of 20 minutes per game for the team to qualify for this list.
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