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Blazers basketball has been enjoyed by the residents of Oregon and NBA fans across the nation since 1970. An expansion team 15 years in the making, the NBA finally awarded a franchise to the city of Portland and they joined the league.
Their first few seasons are marked by losing records, despite some great play from Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks. It would take seven years for the Blazers to earn an NBA playoff berth. However, once they did, this group was determined to make the most of it. Aided by a young superstar in Bill Walton (selected number one overall in 1974), Portland knocked off the Chicago Bulls in three games before moving onto the Denver Nuggets. The six game series saw Portland move on to the Western Conference Finals. Sweeping the Lakers in four strait, the Blazers were the unlikely western representative of the NBA Finals. A tremendous series against Dr. J and the Philadelphia 76ers, the Portland Trail Blazers would win in six games to become NBA Champions.
A perennial contender after their first title, the Blazers made the playoffs 25 out of the next 26 seasons, including 21 seasons in a row. Never able to take home another championship, the Trail Blazers did find themselves in the NBA Finals again in 1990 and 1992 where they would lose to the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons respectively. These teams were led by Clyde Drexler, who was named as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA History.
More appearances would follow through the 1990s and into the new millennium, with 2000 season ending just one game shy of a Final berth, but Portland was on the decline. 2012-2013 saw Terry Stotts sign on as the new head coach and Damian Lillard join the team. Suddenly, Portland was back in the hunt and have qualified for the playoffs every year since 2014.
This season, led by Lillard, CJ McCollum, Maurice Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu, Enes Kanter, and Seth Curry, the Portland Trail Blazers made a statement in the playoffs with a commanding five game series win over the Oklahoma City Thunder before besting a tough Denver team in seven games. Matching up against a dynasty in the Golden State Warriors, Seth Curry faced off against brother Stephen. Despite their best efforts, it would be the Warriors who would move on to the Finals. Disappointed yet proud, the fans in Portland are encouraged by their team’s performance and expect them to be back next season for another deep playoff run.
The Portland Trail Blazers have had some incredibly talented NBA players on their roster over the years including Clyde Drexler, Damian Lillard, Bill Walton, Terry Porter, Brandon Roy, Arvydas Sabonis, LaMarcus Albridge, and Sidney Wicks. Learn more about the history of this club as well as about the current team by clicking here.