Great Blazers And All-NBA Teams

Nice column by Brian T. Smith today, arguing that Brandon Roy eventually will rank as the greatest of all Blazers. Which led to an interesting follow-up discussion here and here.

Smith wasn’t suggesting that Roy is the greatest Blazer; only that he will be. But in thinking about the greatest Blazer and the history of the franchise, it is interesting to note how few notable players they have had — regardless of all the uniform numbers that have been retired.

In their first 39 years, the Blazers have had two first-team All-NBA selections — Bill Walton in 1978, and Clyde Drexler in 1992. They also have had six second-team picks, and one third-team selection.

There’s nothing wrong with that. The bottom line is that Portland has a .532 winning percentage and 27 playoff berths. That’s what really matters, not marquee players. But the Blazers are only slightly ahead of the Clippers as far as all-NBA selections, and the Clippers are awful. The Clippers entered the league as the Buffalo Braves, became the San Diego Clippers, became the Los Angeles Clippers, and broke all existing records for futility by a professional sports franchise.

The Braves/Clippers/Clippers entered the NBA the same year as the Blazers, and they have had one first-team selection (Bob McAdoo in 1975), four second-team picks, and one third-team pick.

Cleveland entered the league the same year. The Cavs have four first-team picks (one Mark Price and three LeBrons), two second-teams, and four third-teams.

Not that any of this means anything. I just found it interesting.

By the way, Bill Walton has to be considered the greatest Blazer to this point.

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