|As current season ends, Blazers celebrate 1976-77 team, Hollins|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 18 April 2007 12:48|
On the final day of the regular season, the Blazers feted the 30th anniversary of Portland's 1977 NBA championship team, and retired the jersey of that team's starting guard, Lionel Hollins.
Hollins' No. 14 jersey was to be formally retired during halftime of the Blazers' game Wednesday night against the Golden State Warriors at the Rose Garden.
About 300 people came out for a noontime rally in downtown Portland attended by many of the 1977 Blazers and coach Jack Ramsay. Portland Mayor Tom Potter issued a proclamation in honor of the team.
Hollins, now an assistant with the Memphis Grizzlies, played five seasons with the Blazers, who drafted him with the sixth overall pick of the 1975 draft. Hollins, nicknamed ``L-Train,'' averaged 13.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists with the team.
``Today is really a joyful moment,'' he said.
Hollins' teammates with retired jerseys are Dave Twardzik, Larry Steele, Maurice Lucas, Bill Walton and Lloyd Neal. The only other numbers retired by Portland belong to Geoff Petrie and Clyde Drexler.
``They make us proud, and as I told them (at a reception) last night - I hope someday they can be as proud of us as we are of them,'' Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said.
The 1977 team took four of six games against the Philadelphia 76ers to win the championship. The Blazers, in just the team's seventh year, were making their first trip to the playoffs.
``We knew we had something special the very first practice,'' said Ramsay. ``It was a magical blending of players that won a championship.''
This season's edition of the Blazers will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season. But unlike in previous years, the current Blazers have hope - namely, rookies Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Sergio Rodriguez.