Robin Lopez Named Recipient Of 2013-14 Maurice Lucas Award
Award given to Trail Blazers player who best represents true spirit of Lucas
PORTLAND, Ore. (April 16, 2014) – Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez has been selected as the recipient of the 2013-14 Maurice Lucas Award, the team announced today. The Trail Blazers will present Lopez with the award prior to tonight’s regular season finale against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The award is given annually to the Trail Blazers player who best represents the indomitable spirit of Maurice Lucas through his contributions on the court and in the community, as well as in support of his teammates and the organization. In honor of the award, the Trail Blazers will make a $5,000 donation to the charity of Lopez’s choice.
“Robin embodies everything we expect from our players on and off the court,” said Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey. “His commitment to his teammates and coaches and the respect with which he approaches the game are a constant example of the team-first culture we are trying to create.”
Acquired this offseason from New Orleans, Lopez is averaging 11.0 points (54.9 FG%, 82.1 FT%) to go with a career-best 8.5 rebounds, 1.72 blocked shots and 32.0 minutes in all 81 games. On March 30, Lopez grabbed his 300th offensive rebound of the season, making him just the fourth player in Trail Blazers history to do so (Kermit Washington, Buck Williams, Chris Dudley) while becoming one of three NBA players to accomplish the feat this season.
“Robin has quickly embraced our Portland community and, in turn, our community has embraced him,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of the Trail Blazers and Moda Center. “The uniqueness of his character; his determined style of play on the court; and the sincerity of his heart make Robin the ideal embodiment of the Lucas Award. Robin has exhibited what Portlanders and Oregonians in general love to see – a commitment to what being a true Trail Blazer is all about.”
An avid reader, Lopez became involved in the community by becoming the face of the “READ BIG” literacy campaign, designed to inspire students to read. Lopez, the Trail Blazers, Portland Public Schools and Knowledge Universe partnered in November to inspire young students to develop an early love for reading as part of PPS’ efforts to help all Portland kids learn to read by 3rd Grade. Lopez, who has appeared at a number of reading assemblies at area schools this season, credits his mother, a high school teacher, for developing a love of books at an early age.
The Trail Blazers dedicated the 2010-11 season to former Trail Blazers All-Star Maurice Lucas after he passed away on October 31, 2010 at the age of 58. A beloved member of the franchise and the community, "The Enforcer" was a central figure on the Trail Blazers 1976-77 NBA Championship team. The Trail Blazers honored Lucas by retiring his uniform number (No. 20) on Nov. 4, 1988.
He averaged 15.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.72 blocked shots over five seasons (1976-80, 1987-88) in Portland. During Portland's 1976-77 NBA Championship season, Lucas led the team in scoring (20.2), field goals made (8.0), free throws made (4.2), offensive rebounds (2.4) and minutes (36.2).
Selected to the All-Star Game in three straight seasons from 1977-79, Lucas is one of five three-time All-Stars in Trail Blazers history (LaMarcus Aldridge, Clyde Drexler, Brandon Roy, Sidney Wicks). He most recently served as an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers for five seasons from 2005-10, and previously in 1988-89.
Lopez joins Damian Lillard (2012-13), Wesley Matthews (2011-12) and LaMarcus Aldridge (2010-11) as the fourth recipient of the Maurice Lucas Award.