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Top Ten Portland Trail Blazers of All-Time

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The 2010/11 NBA preseason might be upon us, but we’re still living in the past at The Hoops Manifesto.  We’ve gathered together a stellar collection of Bloguin basketball writers to determine the top ten players all-time for each of the 30 NBA franchises.  Next up: the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Voting panel: Jeff Fox from The Hoops Manifesto, College Wolf from the TWolves Blog; Don from With Malice, Philip from Orlando Magic Daily and Diego from Leaving It All On The Court.

10) Jerome Kersey – Portland Trail Blazers – 1984 – 1995

Blazers accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 1986/87 & 1989/90

“A key cog in the powerhouse Blazer teams of the late 80s-early 90s, Kersey was good for 19 and 8 a night in his prime.” – Jeff Fox

9) Arvydas Sabonis – Portland Trail Blazers – 1995 – 2001, 2002 – 2003

Blazers accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 1998/99
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“The young, non-broken down, mustached, mulleted Sabonis would have been challenging for first spot on this list.  Unfortunately, NBA fans only got a ghost of the real Sabonis (a damn good basketball playing ghost, nonetheless.” – Jeff Fox

8) Jim Paxson – Portland Trail Blazers – 1979 – 1988

Blazers accomplishments:

- two-time NBA All-Star
- one-time All-NBA selection

“For some reason Jim Paxson’s career has been overshadowed by his role-playing younger brother John’s (probably has something to do with that Jordan guy).  But make no mistake of it – big brother was the better player and, briefly, a NBA star.” – Jeff Fox

7) Sidney Wicks – Portland Trail Blazers – 1971 – 1976

Trail Blazers accomplishments:

- four-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“One of the best players to put on a Blazers uniform, Wicks unfortunately is forgotten among today’s fans. Wicks was the perfect power forward for Walton, averaging 19 points per game during the 1975-76 season.” – Diego Quezada 

6) Brandon Roy – Portland Trail Blazers – 2006 – present

Trail Blazers accomplishments:

- three-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- two-time All-NBA selection

“The hope for the Blazers is that Roy can grow into one of the few players in the League that can lead a team, like Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade. I don’t know if he is that guy, but Roy is an explosive scorer who comes up in the clutch and takes care of the ball.” – Diego Quezada

“Assuming no serious, career-shortening injuries or a change in zip code, in 10 years Brandon Roy should be at least in the top three on this list.” – Jeff Fox

5) Maurice Lucas – Portland Trail Blazers – 1976 – 1980, 1987 – 1988

Trail Blazers accomplishments:

- jersey number (20) retired by the franchise
- member of the 1977 Blazers NBA championship team
- three-time NBA All-Star
- one-time All-NBA selection
- two-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection

“The brawn to go with Walton’s brains – Lucas was an enforcer in the truest sense of the word.  If there’s one basketbrawl I’d like to see, it’s the one that nearly happened between Lucas and Darryl Dawkins in the ’77 Finals against Dawkins’ 76ers.  But the man could play basketball – and in his day was considered one of the best power forwards in the NBA.” – Don

4) Rasheed Wallace – Portland Trail Blazers – 1996 – 2004

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Trail Blazers accomplishments:

- two-time NBA All-Star

“For all his boisterousness and attitude issues, Wallace was a very good player. Nothing said that more then when he nearly led Portland past Los Angeles (where the Blazers famously blew a double-digit lead and wilted in the fourth quarter). Wallace was one of the first successful shooting big men in the NBA and you could always expect a show when he was on the floor.” – Philip

“The poster boy of the Jail Blazers? Perhaps (he did notch 40 technical fouls in 2000-01), but Sheed was also very effective for Portland, leading them to the Western Conference Finals in 1999 and 2000. Sheed could take defenders down on the low block or step all the way outside to the three-point line.” – Diego Quezada

3) Terry Porter – Portland Trail Blazers – 1985 – 1995

Trail Blazers accomplishments:

- jersey number (30) retired by the franchise
- Blazers all-time leader in three-pointers (made & attempted) & assists
- two-time NBA All-Star

“Porter spent his halcyon days as a Blazer.  10 seasons, and in that time he established the bench-mark for which all Blazers point guards are measured – and all have been found wanting.  No Blazer has given out more assists, and only Clyde has more points.” – Don

2) Bill Walton – Portland Trail Blazers – 1974 – 1978

Trail Blazers accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame
- jersey number (32) retired by the franchise
- member of the 1977 Blazers NBA championship team
- NBA leader in rebounds per game in 1976/77
- NBA leader in blocks per game in 1976/77
- one-time NBA Finals MVP
- one-time NBA MVP
- two-time NBA All-Star
- two-time All-NBA selection
- two-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection

“How many NBA Championships do the Portland Trail Blazers have?  One.  Who lead them to that title?  That would be Bill Walton. The Big Redhead was considered a basketball genius, one of the best passing big men in the history of the game – perhaps only second to Kareem in that category.  It’s a crying shame that so much of his time at Portland, Walton was injured in some capacity.  Healthy, he was simply amazing.  And I’d be hard-put to find a player that means as much to his franchise as Walton means to the Blazers.” - Don

“Walton was more known for his exploits in college at UCLA then his injury-riddled NBA career. But in his first four years of his career in Portland proved his skill and guts at center. Walton led the Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA title and probably cost himself his career by playing on a broken foot in the 1978 Finals.” – Philip

“Sometimes, a playoff run can define a player, and that is the case with Walton. During the Blazers’ 1977 title run, Walton held his own against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the conference finals and led his team past the Philadelphia 76ers despite losing the first two games.” – Diego Quezada  

1) Clyde Drexler – Portland Trail Blazers – 1983 – 1995

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Trail Blazers accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame
- jersey number (22) retired by the franchise
- Blazers all-time leader in games, minutes, field goals (made & attempted), free throws (made & attempted), offensive & total rebounds, steals & points
- seventh all-time in steals in NBA history
- ninth all-time in steals per game in NBA history
- NBA leader in games played in 1983/84, 1986/87 & 1990/91
- eight-time NBA All-Star
- four-time All-NBA selection

“There’s no denying Clyde Drexler’s place at the top of Portland’s pantheon of basketball god-dom.  When the NBA was in it’s golden time – just post Bird/Magic – and in the Jordan Years, only his Airness was better than Clyde the Glide.  There’s just no denying it: Drexler was the best athlete to play at Portland.  Ain’t no two ways about it.” – Don 

“One of the best wing players to ever play this game, Clyde is bar none the best Trail Blazer. His scoring prowess was unparalleled, and he led Portland to the Finals in 2000 and 2002. Too bad his team chose Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan because Clyde and Jordan play the same position. They still would have dominated.” – Diego Quezada  

Previous franchises done: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Clippers, Lakers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City/Seattle, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix.

About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto & The MMA Manifesto

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