Recently, the Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 2022 class finalists. Nobody with connections to the Portland Trail Blazers is included in the list of finalists.
Portland Trail Blazers who should be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame
The players who are poised to be enshrined, as well as coaches and other contributors to the game of basketball, deserve this honor. There could be some arguments made for former Portland Trail Blazers who haven’t made the cut yet.
Geoff Petrie, the first-ever member of the Portland Trail Blazers roster. Petrie was drafted eighth overall by Portland in the 1970 draft, the first draft the team participated in. The point/shooting guard out of Princeton played for Portland from 1970 to 1976. He was the 1971 NBA Rookie of the Year, made the NBA All-Rookie Team (1971), and was a two-time NBA All-Star (1971, 1974). If you really want to go all out with this, he was twice named as the NBA Executive of the Year (1999, 2001) with the Sacramento Kings. He averaged 21.8 points and 4.6 assists per game. His number 45 is one of twelve numbers retired by the team.
He was a fan favorite in Portland and the starting forward who helped lead the Blazers to the Finals in 1990 and 1992. Buck Williams came to Portland via a trade with the New Jersey Nets. The Blazers traded the player who should have been Michael Jordan, Sam Bowie, along with the 12th pick in the 1989 draft to acquire Williams. Clearly, the Trail Blazers got the best of that trade. In his 18 years between Portland, New Jersey, and the New York Knicks, Williams averaged 12.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
Every team needs a bruiser like the “Enforcer” Maurice Lucas himself. Have the Blazers had one similar since? Would Portland have won their championship without him?
Through his extensive career, Lucas became well decorated and received multiple awards: four-time NBA All-Star (77-79, 83), NBA All-Defensive First Team (1978), NBA Second All-Defensive Team (1979), ABA All-Star (1976), ABA All-Time Team.
For his career, he averaged 15.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.7 blocks per game in the ABA (American Basketball Association), with14.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 0.7 steals, and 0.6 blocks a game in the NBA. Perhaps of all the players mentioned, nobody deserves this more than Lucas. And sadly, it likely won’t happen, but very much should.
The next Portland connection to be enshrined and inducted will likely be Carmelo Anthony. Hopefully, the Trail Blazers faithful won’t have to wait for LaMarcus Aldridge or Damian Lillard to be cemented into history.