June 12, 2007

How the '77 Blazers went from chumps to champs in one season: "I stopped practice at one point," former GM Dr. Jack Ramsay says. "I could barely keep from laughing, I was so happy with what I was seeing. I knew, even before we'd played a game, what we had. 'Listen,' I said. 'If we play like this, we can win!'"

posted by wfrazerjr to basketball at 02:12 PM - 11 comments

"Fans would line the streets leading away from Walton's house on game nights to cheer him on as he rode his bicycle to the arena." That's a joke, right? An NBA player ... riding a bicycle? In public? The times, they have a-changed.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 02:44 PM on June 12, 2007

Great story. Don't know what it is exactly, but there's something special about those series when a team loses the first two then wins the next four. Regardless of whether or not you like the team that pulls it off. Always was in awe of the 77 Blazers feat, and also sat there in disbelief watching the 96 Yankees do it to Atlanta.

posted by beaverboard at 03:21 PM on June 12, 2007

I remember that team so well. I was 16 years old, and became hooked on the game of basketball. I don't think I have ever seen the game played so well -- and that includes Jordan's Bulls that won 72 games. The Blazers didn't win because they had the best talent, or even the best player, as great as Walton was, but because they had the best team. The backdoor play was money for them -- other teams knew it was coming, but couldn't stop it because Portland ran it so well. They seemed to see the game, before it happened. The next year the magic continued: 50-10, Brent Musberger saying every Sunday, several times, "It's like watching a clinic." Then Walton broke his foot, and Weinberg broke our hearts. I'm still a diehard Blazer fan, even living in Pennsylvania. I loved Clyde, Porter, and Kersey, I loved Sabonis, I still think they should have beaten the Pistons, and would have with a better coach. But no team will take away the memory of the 77 Blazers. Rip City!

posted by hercher at 06:33 PM on June 12, 2007

Great stuff. How can I now be nostalgic for something I've never seen? Yet, here we are.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:22 PM on June 12, 2007

After reading about the 77 Blazers, it brought back memories about how much I enjoyed pro basketball. They were truly a team. You could see how much they enjoyed playing with each other. Not like today's team. I just got done watching game 3. How boring!!! Not fun to watch!!!! Give me the 77 Blazers anytime and they could beat any team because they were a team>

posted by sapec at 10:57 PM on June 12, 2007

There was Bill Walton running down the court rolling his fists over his head reminding his teammates to work the ball around offensively. They followed Walton's direction and this was an example of how five men playing as one defeated five better individual players who did not play as a team. Walton demonstrated how good of a player he was when healthy which was rare in his professional career. Walton played intense defense assuming every shot taken would be missed and he would be the guy to claim the rebound. This was a classic championship where the dog pulled off the upset.

posted by longgreenline at 12:25 AM on June 13, 2007

I was born in '77 so I didn't have the privilege of watching the Blazers play that season. I knew that Bill Walton was one of the greats before injuries took their toll on the man but I didn't know that the Blazers were that spectacular that year. Great link Fraze, thanks for the knowledge.

posted by BornIcon at 10:05 AM on June 13, 2007

Me too. 1977 Represent! Elvis dies, Star Wars, And the Blazers. Also some other stuff probably happened.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:41 AM on June 13, 2007

Same Here. Another child of '77. Thanks for the link. Awesome Story.

posted by ProSam at 05:29 PM on June 13, 2007

Great link and great story, anyone who enjoyed this should definitely pick up a copy of "Breaks of the Game" by David Halberstam. It chronicles a season with the '79 Blazers.

posted by vito90 at 01:16 PM on June 14, 2007

Me too. 1977 Represent! Elvis dies, Star Wars, And the Blazers. Also some other stuff probably happened. Yea, like us being born. Great year!

posted by BornIcon at 02:03 PM on June 14, 2007

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