Glickman looks back on official 40-year anniversary

Here’s to 40 years, Rip City.

Today marks the official 40-year anniversary of the Portland Trail Blazers.

After years of hard work and little progress, team founder Harry Glickman’s perseverance was rewarded Feb. 6, 1970, when Portland was granted an NBA franchise by the league’s expansion committee and Board of Governors.

“I thought Portland deserved to be in the major leagues of professional sports,” Glickman said.

He added: “We went after it and eventually succeeded.”

The Blazers played their first regular-season game Oct. 16, 1971.

Less than seven years later, Portland captured its first — and only — NBA championship. The Blazers’ 1976-77 team, coached by Dr. Jack Ramsay and led by Bill Walton and Maurice Lucas, defeated Philadelphia, 4-2, in the NBA Finals.

Glickman, 85, still remains active within the Blazers organization. He has played a public role during the franchise’s efforts to honor its 40-year history. And the former team president has attended half of Portland’s home games this season, while watching those he misses on television.

“One of the things that I am most proud of is Portland (being) noted as the best franchise in the NBA, and one of the best franchises in all of professional sports,” Glickman said. “Now, don’t accept my word for that. That was stated publicly several times by the commissioner of the NBA, David Stern.”

Glickman still has a wealth of Blazer-related opinions, too.

He praised the work of Portland general manager Kevin Pritchard, as well as the team’s current crop of young talent. But he referred to the Blazers’ failed attempt to sign then-free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu last summer as a “huge mistake.”

“The luckiest thing in the world is that he didn’t accept it,” Glickman said. “We’ve got a better player right now in (forward Nicolas) Batum. This kid is 21-years-old. Think of what he’s going to be when he’s 25?”

Today’s Game
Lakers vs. Blazers, 7 p.m. at Rose Garden
TV: Comcast SportsNet Northwest (37)
Radio: 95.5 FM
Probable Starters
Blazers (30-22)
Position/player Ht. Pts.
G Andre Miller 6-2 13.2
G Steve Blake 6-3 7.6
F Martell Webster 6-7 11.2
F LaMarcus Aldridge 6-11 17.1
C Juwan Howard 6-9 5.7
Coach: Nate McMillan (5th season, 178-202)
Lakers (38-12)
G Derek Fisher 6-1 7.1
G Kobe Bryant 6-6 27.9
F Ron Artest 6-7 11.4
F Pau Gasol 7-0 17.1
C Andrew Bynum 7-0 15.4
Coach: Phil Jackson (10th season, 534-254)

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