ORHistory.com has crafted an awesome podcast that looks back at the Portland Trail Blazers' 1977 NBA championship.
Note: The audio runs about 20 minutes long and there are some profanities. It's a fun listen. Click here or try the stream below.
The site notes that Doug Kenck-Crispin recently contributed a short essay to a Portland Monthly series on the "50 moments that shaped Portland" with this look back at the title parade.
June 6, 1977
The Perfect Day
The frenzied masses stop all traffic downtown, even bicycles. Chaos. The clamor from tens of thousands of celebrants drowns out the Jefferson High School jazz band. It seems impossible to estimate the size of the throng. But power forward Maurice Lucas at least made a guess: "There were more people watching this silly parade than there are residents of the state." This is an organic, authentic celebration, the day after the Portland Trail Blazers triumphed over the Philadelphia 76ers at Memorial Coliseum in an epic game 6 of the 1977 NBA Finals. The scene is, to borrow a phrase from historian Matt Love, "quintessentially Oregon." Students from Tigard hold a 10-foot banner that reads "Heh, Heh, Heh, we win the NBA." Blazers executive vice president Harry Glickman would call it "the greatest outpouring of love and affection I've ever seen." The victory arrived after an improbable start, with a 0-2 deficit in the best-of-seven series. But the Blazers won the next four matches, including the clincher in Portland, through a renewed commitment to teamwork. The theme resounded with the cheering fans-victors themselves. An Oregonian editor waxed that Coach Jack Ramsay "did much more than bring home a trophy and title. He taught his team, and Portland, the teamwork route to accomplishment." Wearing a "Wallace Park" T-shirt, center Bill Walton beckons to the crowd, "If anyone out there has any more beer, please pass it up here." And they do, just in time for Walton to shower Gov. Bob Straub, and Mayor Neil Goldschmidt in Michelob.
Portland Monthly's full series is here.
Somehow this slipped through the cracks when it was posted back in December. Big thanks to Mike Acker for the tip.
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-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter