Four years ago today, Maurice Lucas, who figuratively and literally was one of the giants in Oregon sports, died after a long, tough battle with bladder cancer. He was 58.
Tokito reminds us of Lucas' relationship with Bill Walton.
Lucas was so admired that Walton, the team's star center, never hesitated in calling him the most important player. Walton so loved Lucas, he named his son Luke, and Luke Walton would go on to play in the NBA himself.
Lucas returned to the Trail Blazers in 2005 and a new team member recalls what it was like to know Lucas.
"Man, he was just a joy to be around," Blake recalled recently. "He would keep it light, but at the same time, you could just tell he was a fierce competitor. Everyone wanted to be around him, he made everyone feel comfortable. He'd make you laugh. But as a coach, he knew the game, and he would point out things to you that would help you out. I loved him."
Lucas lives on in our collective memory with the Maurice Lucas Award given to the player who best represents the spirit of Maurice Lucas and the Maurice Lucas Foundation run by his son, David, that supports children in need.
With great timing, Columbian Sports gives us a pic of Lucas photobombing LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy.