Blazer fans that have been on earth since then have been gnashing their teeth since 1984.
In 1984, the last year before the institution of the NBA draft lottery and the Patrick Ewing folded/frozen envelope conspiracy, the Trail Blazers lost a coin flip and the first overall pick to the Houston Rockets, who took Hakeem Olajuwon.
What happened next has been a point of ridicule for almost 30 years. Ignoring his two years missed with stress fractures in his giant legs, the Blazers took Sam Bowie second. In a draft that included four Hall of Famers, Portland got a starting center for one healthy season and 63 games over four others.
The Curse of Sam Bowie was lifted when he was traded to the Nets, along with a draft pick, for Buck Williams after the 1988-89 season and the Clyde Drexler-led Blazers found their way to the NBA Finals twice in the next three years.
Isaiah Thomas led the Pistons to the 1990 title over Portland, but it was Jordan’s Bulls who, in 1992, denied the Blazers their best shot at a title since Walton’s legs gave out.
As if that twist of the knife wasn’t enough, the Bowie selection was named the worst draft pick in sports history in 2005 by ESPN Page 2’s David Schoenfield. That’s all of sports, and all of history.
And that would probably stand to this day, were it not for the sad and predictable events of June 28, 2007.