The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the Memorial Coliseum, before moving to the Rose Garden Arena in 1995. Based in Portland throughout its existence, the franchise entered the league in 1970, and is the only major league franchise in Oregon. The franchise has also enjoyed a strong following; from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American professional sports.
The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA Championship once, in 1977. The other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 26 seasons of their 39-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003.Five Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers (Lenny Wilkens, Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Drazen Petrovic, and Scottie Pippen).
Bill Walton is the franchise’s most decorated player; he was the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 1977, and the regular season MVP the following year .Three Blazer rookies (Geoff Petrie, Sidney Wicks, and Brandon Roy) have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Two Hall of Fame coaches, Lenny Wilkens and Jack Ramsay, have patrolled the sidelines for the Blazers, and two others, Mike Schuler and Mike Dunleavy, have won the NBA Coach of the Year award with the team.
The team has been known as the “Trail Blazers” throughout its history. Two weeks after being awarded an expansion franchise in 1970, team management held a contest to select the team’s name. More than 10,000 entries were submitted. The most popular choice was “Pioneers”, but that name was excluded from consideration as it was already used by sports teams at Portland’s Lewis and Clark College. The name “Trail Blazers” received 172 entries, and was selected as the name.
The team’s colors are red, white, black, and silver, which was added in 2002. The team’s “pinwheel” logo, originally designed by the cousin of former Blazer executive Harry Glickman, is a graphic interpretation of two five-on-five basketball teams lined up against each other. One side of the pinwheel is rendered in red; the other side is rendered in a monochrome color (black, silver, or white). The logo has gone from a vertical alignment to a slanted one starting in the 1991 season.
NBA season they introduced a special jersey commemorating the Blazers’ “Rip City” nickname, borrowing elements from their old and current logos.
In July, Rich Cho was announced as the Blazers’ new general manager, succeeding former general manager Kevin Pritchard, who was relieved of his duties before the 2010 NBA Draft. Cho was the assistant general manager for the Oklahoma City Thunder before accepting the offer from Portland.On July 21, Wesley Matthews signed a five-year deal with the Blazers after his former team, the Utah Jazz, declined to match their offer. On July 27, Bernie Bickerstaff, Bob Ociepka and Buck Williams were all hired to the Trail Blazers’ coaching staff. Bickerstaff will be the lead Assistant Coach.
On August 2, the Trail Blazers signed guard Armon Johnson, the addition of Johnson completed the Blazers’ roster with 15 players.On August 12, the Trail Blazers signed two new assistant general managers, Bill Branch and Steve Rosenberry. Branch and Rosenberry replace former assistant general manager Tom Penn, who was released by Portland in March.
In the Blazers’ 40 years of existence (through summer 2010), they have qualified for the NBA playoffs 28 times. This includes a streak of 21 straight playoff appearances from 1983 through 2003. The team has one NBA title, in 1977, and appeared in the NBA Finals two other times, in 1990 and 1992. The best record posted by the team was 63/19, in 1991; the worst record was 18/64, in the team’s second season.
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