The Portland Trail Blazers have been nothing short of unforgettable since entering the NBA in 1970. But, here are ten former players you might have forgotten that played in Rip City.
After turning a seemingly lost 2015-16 season on its head and clinching a postseason berth, Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts strolled into his postgame presser and uttered nine words we’ve probably never heard publicly: “It’s a great day to be a Blazers fan.”
You know those commercials that promote toys, and in the end, tell you that the “batteries are sold separately?” In the unofficial manual for being a Blazers fan, they don’t tell you, but the seat belts for the rollercoaster ride ahead are sold separately, too.
Depending on what era you hopped on — be it Blazermania of the late-1970s, the start of Rip City in the 1990s, the Jail Blazers era, the “Frail Blazers” run, or even today’s swing — turbulence has been sure to follow.
This year, Portland commemorated its 50th season, and along the way, 356 different Blazers have come along to help the Blazers attempt to add to its trophy case.
In the spirit of April Fools Day, some of those combinations have been somewhat hard to believe. These days, it’s not uncommon to hear the likes of Damian Lillard discussing how important “culture” and continuity has been in helping the Trail Blazers’ postseason aspirations, countering the opposition’s talent with inseparable chemistry and brotherhood.
Consider this table from Basketball Reference, which shows which teams prioritize season-to-season roster continuity the most. The Blazers, more often that not, find themselves in the green (not always by choice, though. Legendary, unforgettable free agents in their prime don’t have eyes for Portland’s small market).
So, in many of the seasons in which they were looking for pieces to get over the top, they made signings that, in hindsight, are either somewhat difficult to believe, or difficult to remember. Here, we’ll take a look at ten of them.