Teammates, Coaches and Opponents Remember Terry Porter
In honor of the retirement of Terry Porter's No. 30 jersey, trailblazers.com collected thoughts from many of Porter's former teammates, coaches and opponents.
“If Terry had shot more they would have retired his jersey long ago. But instead, he passed it to me. What a big mistake that was!
“Terry is perhaps the greatest point guard to ever put on a Trail Blazers uniform. He was great in so many ways. He could shoot the ball as well as any three-point specialist in the game. He was an excellent passer. Jerome, Buck and I used to always say he was such a great passer because we were too fast for him to keep up with us, so he just passed it ahead. What a smart move.
“He could run the offense as well as any point guard. He was a super defender at 6-3; a big point guard who could also post. He was a multi-dimensional player. I always had great feelings for Terry and I loved playing with him. When we were down in the trenches, I always knew he was going to be ready to play.” -- Clyde Drexler
“He was obviously a tremendous basketball player and a great person to be around. A tremendous role model. He was an excellent teammate and a guy who always wanted to win and took pride in winning out on the court. It’s a great honor for him to have his jersey raised to the top of the rafters. That number 30 will be there forever.
“Terry was the quintessential point guard. Everything was more or less orchestrated through him. Terry hit and had the confidence to take big shots, but he also knew how to deliver the ball to people at the most opportune moment. He really looked to get his teammates involved in the game. He had a real thrill for the game, but most of all, you knew he was going to be a competitor every night he stepped out on the court.” -- Jerome Kersey
“Terry was the leader on the team and always had a knack for getting other players involved in the game. He had an understanding of different player’s strengths and weaknesses. He was one of the keys. He was a captain and always was very cognizant of what was going on during the game. He was really like a coach on the floor. He was a leader every day. Every day he came to work and he worked hard and made everyone else around him a better player. That’s the greatest compliment you can have for a point guard.” -- Buck Williams
“Having his jersey retired is a great honor for Terry, one well deserved. I don’t think people understand that Terry played on the inside for a small college. He was a center-forward, and to come into the NBA and by the end of his first year he was starting at point guard, and that’s incredible. He just got better and better and better. I’ve never seen a guy with a better work ethic. He was driven to be good. Just got better every year and made himself an All-Star player.
“His work ethic was the biggest thing, but he was so tough mentally. As a point guard he was just so strong for the other guys to try and guard.” -- Rick Adelman
“He was a very good point guard and ran the team extremely well. But the biggest thing I remember is him being a very competitive player. I had to guard him a lot of the time when we played against Portland. If he had a bad game, he would come out the next game and be a lot more aggressive. You could just tell he had that competitive nature. I loved the way he competed every time we played against them.” -- Byron Scott
"Terry Porter was a fearless player. He was tough, consistent and offensive minded. Chauncey Billups is now called 'Mr. Big Shot' but it was Terry Porter who first defined the phrase. He and Clyde Drexler were one of the best back-courts of their time. I congratulate Terry and his family on this wonderful honor." -- Avery Johnson
“What I remember most about Terry was his fierce competitiveness. We had some tough head-to-head battles and he would never let up. He’d get you anyway he could, not just with his deadly jumper, but with his floor leadership as well. He was definitely the lynchpin on those great Blazers teams of the 90's. An extension of Adelman, he was always another coach on the court. I never doubted he'd ultimately become a successful NBA head coach.
“Terry is deserving of the recognition and will always have my utmost respect.” -- Kevin Johnson
“He was consistent. What stands out to me with Terry is that he was good at a lot of things. I thought he was as professional of a player as anybody I’ve ever seen.” -- Doc Rivers
“He had an outstanding knowledge of the game of basketball, was an incredible competitor, and always in command of his teams, which is what you look for when you talk about point guard play. He was a guy who was as tough as they get defensively. He was a knockdown shooter, so he did a great job of keeping defenses honest. He was a guy that you really didn’t look forward to playing against. You paid attention to Clyde Drexler, Kersey, Duckworth, Buck Williams, but it was Terry Porter that was the silent assassin for those great Trail Blazers teams.” -- Marc Jackson
“I always knew Terry would be a coach, because when he came out on the floor, he had an incredible court sense. It made him a better player but it also made everybody else a better player. A lot of us look back on those days as really special days for Oregon, and we’re bringing them back with the guys we have now.” -- Senator Ron Wyden
“The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Terry is overachiever. He was a pretty talented guy who had an extraordinary career of longevity and durability. He shot it well, taught himself to be a point guard, a tenacious defender and a big-time clutch player. You combine all of that and you’ve got a Hall of Fame player.
“The beauty of his career was everyday consistency. I don’t think there was one huge jump in improvement. It was incremental and it was consistent. That’s who he is today as a coach, too. You can count on him. Those Portland teams had some characters and he was the model of everyday consistency.” -- Jeff Van Gundy