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
Rick Adelman, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by: Ken Levine/Getty Images) /

No. 9: Rick Adelman (1970-71 – 1972-73)

Statistics: 9.8 points, 4.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game on 42.4 percent from the field

History has granted us with plenty of players who’ve gone on to later coach. Rarely, though, do they have the chance to coach for the same team they once played for.

Before he was coaxing the best out of two Western Conference champion Portland Trail Blazers squads, Rick Adelman was producing the best years of his playing career as a member for the pre-Blazermania version of the Blazers.

Adelman was actually the starting point guard for the very first Portland team ever created. Under him, the Blazers were top-10 in pace in every season, including a No. 1 ranking in 1970-71. Over three seasons, he averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 assists per game, on 42.4 percent shooting.

During those days as a new NBA team, Blazers head coach Rolland Todd said he wanted the team to get out and run and be exciting, to ensure that fans would come out and watch the team night-after-night. Seeing that run-and-gun approach became a seminal moment for future NBA offenses. Adelman said the results surprised even himself.

"“Rolland was ahead of his time, the way we played,” says Adelman, now retired and living in Portland. “We played with a lot of motion and movement. I was a bad player, and even I averaged 12.6 points, so he was doing something right.”"

That makes for good trivia, but not much else. From a win-loss standpoint, the results were fruitless. Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors won more games in 2015-16 (73) than the Blazers won in their first three seasons combined (71).

The last two seasons of his playing career were spent as a vagabond, bouncing from the Chicago Bulls to the New Orleans Jazz, and later, the Kansas City Royals, another team he would later coach to prominence.