10 former Portland Trail Blazers that might surprise you

Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Kermit Washington, Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

No. 2: Kermit Washington (1979-80 – 1981-82)

Statistics: 11.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game on 55.6 percent shooting

Odds are, the name Kermit Washington may not ring a bell right away. To hardcore fans, he’s most known for a shot he took in 1977. Not a shot at the rim, per sè, but rather, a shot at an opponent, Rudy Tomjanovich.

On that day, Washington ran up behind Tomjanovich, and delivered a bone-breaking punch that nearly ended his life, and left Washington with a $10,000 fine, and 60-day suspension. In these days, those numbers would be astronomically higher. But in 1977, only did Washington continue to play that season, he went on to later make an All-Star Game for the Portland Trail Blazers, and play for four different teams, one after a five-year retirement from the NBA.

Sandwiched somewhere in the middle of that fiasco, Washington got a chance to play for the Portland Trail Blazers, as they transitioned away from the Bill Walton regime. At the age of 28, the run was a go.

Washington’s career actually reached full flower during his first season. He made the 1980 All-Star Game for Portland as an injury replacement, and averaged 11.6 points and 9.5 rebounds over three seasons. Back and knee problems left him down for the count.

Just like anything else, even Washington’s retirement wasn’t normal. He left the game for a half-decade, then returned for a six-game run in Golden State before retiring again. Off the court, he was indicted by a grand jury for using donations for African children to pay for rent and vacations, which gave him a six-year sentence in 2018.