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Mike Barrett Honors Terry Porter

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It's that time again.  Time that I bang this drum with the hope that the Blazers will hang #30 up in the rafters.  Near the end of our interview last week, I asked Mike Barrett for his thoughts on retiring Terry's jersey.  Here's that portion of our conversation...

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Blazersedge: I'm trying to get Terry Porter's jersey retired.  Would you be in favor of that?

... Yeah. Sure.

Blazersedge: You were not employed by the Blazers during the early 1990s but were over at KXL, right?

I was hired at KXL in the spring of 1992.  My first real big assignment, my first road trip was the 1992 Finals. I was around that team. Knew them well. Terry has been on the air with us, he joined us, he sat with Rice and I, two years ago or last year, I think it was last year. 

Terry was as big a part of that team. 

Retiring numbers is a bit of a slippery slope, the team went nuts after the championship and retired a lot of jerseys.  Do you owe it to the rest of the guys [on those early 1990s teams]?

But I would certainly, yeah, Terry is certainly deserving of something like that. And I'm sure in the future they'll look at that. I wouldn't be surprised.

Blazersedge: Do you have any favorite on-the-court Terry moments?

You'd have to look up the date to make sure I'm right on this.  I think it was the Utah series in 1992.  Game 2 maybe when he had 41 points or whatever and he was hitting fade-away 3s and we just killed the Jazz.  It was a home game. I know where I was sitting, I remember watching it, Terry was just on fire.

There was also a 7 three pointer night at Golden State, right in that same year. And then there was the game against the Sonics the huge comeback at the Tacoma Dome when the Blazers had taken like 9 busses of fans up there and it was supposed to be a home game for the Sonics but it was really a home game for Portland. Terry had the big 3 pointer late that gave Portland the lead.  They had been down 20 or something and it was a huge comeback, a really fast comeback, and Porter had a reverse lay-in and got hit.

And then against the Sonics too, he hit that 3 pointer at the buzzer, for a 4 point play to tie the game and send it to overtime.

I loved his fire.  The Phoenix series in 1992, he was so big in that series, against Kevin Johnson and Hornacek, those were great battles.  I loved Terry's leadership and his fire.

I remember even back watching exhibition games when it was Steve Colter and Porter was a rookie. I remember watching Colter, and I was a big Colter guy, and then watching Porter and thinking, "hey they've got a stud." Then they traded Colter. 

I always loved Terry. One of the purest shots, fundamentally speaking.  From long range, just perfect form.

Blazersedge: On the pecking order of those early 1990s teams, you've got Drexler who was obviously on his own level.  Would you say Porter is two?  You're the czar of jersey retiring, who from that team gets honored next?

It's tough. If they had won a title it maybe changes things a little bit. I loved Jerome Kersey. Buck wasn't really here long enough even though if you win the title...

Blazersedge: He probably gets it.

Probably. You look at the guys that got retired, guys that weren't even here that long.  It's tough to say.  I think when people think about that team, I think the first 3 guys they always say because anybody in Portland just says first names: Buck, Clyde, Terry... Jerome.  It's tough to rank them.  But that 4 or 5, and Duck is also in there too, those 5 are people's greatest memories. It'd be tough to retire one of those and not all 4 after Clyde. I think that's probably why it hasn't been done.

Blazersedge: Is there something about being a point guard that might put him over the top? He was a team leader, a captain for a couple of years.  Let me be honest, I'm just fishing for anything at this point I really want his jersey retired.

I think if another one is going to, I think it will be his. I don't know that but I would be supportive of that.  I think he was, along with Clyde and Jerome, he was loved on that team. He was the engine that made that team go. 

One good idea is to retire a whole team maybe instead of the individuals because it's hard.  You end up leaving someone out.  But it's a fun discussion. I'd love to see Terry's number retired.

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There you have it: the voice of the Blazers has joined this powerful movement.

This really is a no-brainer.  Let me lay this out in step-by-step format...

  • 2008 - 2009 Business Plan.
  • 1. Sign Steven Hill.      check
  • 2. Honor Terry Porter.
  • 3. Win the title.

Get this done.

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)