Retro Jerseys and Gear
Memorial Coliseum Exhibition Game 10/14
Hoops and Heart Fundraiser
Memorial Coliseum Exhibition Game 10/14
40th Anniversary Press Conference
Glickman on the origin of the Trail Blazers
40th Anniversary Celebration
PORTLAND, Ore. – The 2009-10 season marks the 40th Anniversary of Portland Trail Blazers basketball and “Rip City” is celebrating with tributes to the people and events that have left an indelible mark in the franchise’s rich history. Beginning when Harry Glickman’s perseverance (and his trench coat) first paid dividends on February 6, 1970, with the granting of an NBA franchise by the league’s Board of Governors, the team will honor their history with special events dedicated to the memory of the first 40 years of Trail Blazers basketball.
The team’s “Cheers to 40 Years” celebration tipped-off at an event honoring a special day for Legendary Voice of the Trail Blazers, Bill Schonely. On August 17, 1970, northwest sports broadcast personality Bill Schonely signed on with the Trail Blazers as the team’s first radio announcer. Today’s event was hosted at Mark Morris High School in Longview, Washington, site of the team’s first-ever preseason game, a 119-118 loss to the San Francisco Warriors on Sept. 24, 1970.
“We are going back to square one, where it all began,” said Schonely, who remains an ambassador with the team. “I remember how nervous everyone was before that first game. We didn’t know what to expect, but it ended up being a very, very close game. One thing was for sure, the crowd at the Mark Morris gymnasium was fantastic!”
Two key members of the inaugural team, Trail Blazers founder and president emeritus, Harry Glickman and the team’s very first center and current community ambassador, Dale Schlueter, joined “The Schonz” to tip off the 40th Anniversary agenda at Mark Morris High School. Also on hand were Trail Blazers President Larry Miller, Trail Blazers favorites from the 90’s Terry Porter and Jerome Kersey, and team radio personality and representative from the 99-2000 team, Antonio Harvey.
“It is very important for all of us to recognize that our success today is reflective of the foundation that was laid in the very beginning of this franchise both on the court and in the community 40 years ago,” Trail Blazers President Larry Miller said. “As we dedicate this season to the most memorable moments and people throughout 40 years, we are certain our current team will be inspired even more to respectfully represent and make their mark in Trail Blazers history.”
Several other events are on tap to commemorate 40 years of Trail Blazers history. October 14th marks a return to Portland’s Memorial Coliseum, the team’s first appearance in the building in nearly 15 years. Trail Blazers broadcast legend Bill Schonely will be teaming up with current play-by-play announcer Brian Wheeler to call the game. The Coliseum was the original home of the Trail Blazers from 1970-95 and where the team claimed its 1977 NBA Championship title. Portland will host the Phoenix Suns, reuniting the two teams that played in the final NBA game at the Coliseum on Tuesday, May 2, 1995. Tickets are on sale now with prices reflective of the anniversary at $19.70.
October 17th will mark the team’s first annual Hoops and Heart gala, hosted by Bill Schonely and held at center court of the Rose Garden. The event will celebrate four decades of Trail Blazers greats and memorable moments on the court and in the community, with proceeds benefiting the make it better Fund. For details, click here.
Four games throughout the 2009-2010 season will be identified to pay special homage to each of the four decades in Trail Blazers history. The team will relive the defining moments and catch up with “Where Are They Now” player stories. Specific game dates to be announced.
A variety of commemorative 40th Anniversary merchandise will be available to fans online and in the Trail Blazers Fan Shop on the Rose Quarter campus. Items include two special edition jerseys. The “Rip City” jersey was inspired by the passionate relationship between the team and the city it represents. The “Hardwood Classics” jersey is a replica of the jersey worn during the 76-77 championship team. Both jerseys will be worn by the team for select games throughout the season. Click here to view the retro jerseys and gear
Trail Blazers fans are encouraged to not miss a moment of this historical anniversary celebration. Video, photos, fan reflections, and player stories will be featured all season long on trailblazers.com. Ticket options, including suites and special group opportunities, are now available. For details, call 503.797.9600, or click here.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS The Portland Trail Blazers, a member of the National Basketball Association (NBA), was founded in 1970, and purchased by Paul G. Allen in 1988. The team’s rich heritage includes 26 playoff appearances, an NBA championship in 1977, and a proven commitment to community service. With a corporate directive to “Make It Better,” the Trail Blazers strive to help children and their families throughout Oregon and southwest Washington live, learn, and play. For more information on the trailblazers visit www.trailblazers.com.
ABOUT THE MAKE IT BETTER FUND The Portland Trail Blazers believe life is more than a game, which is the reason we work as passionately in the community as we do on the court. The make it better fund, established in partnership with the Oregon Community Foundation, brings the team together with our fans to make life-changing assists that directly impact the lives of children in Oregon and southwest Washington where they live, learn and play. Every dollar donated to the fund goes back into our community. Together, we can make it better for the next generation.