The year was 1990. My sister and I had gotten tickets to see the Portland Trail Blazers...the first time we were able to addend games semi-regularly. Because they'd just come off of a trip to the NBA Finals, interest in the Blazers was at an all-time high. We still managed to score most of the good games: Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, Kevin Johnson and the Phoenix Suns, Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers, Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets, Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks, Gary Payton and the Seattle Supersonics. We saw the Blazers beat them all that year en route to a 63-19 record. What a season to get tickets!
Without a doubt the best memory came on Sunday, November 25th. The San Antonio Spurs came to town for the first time that year. The previous season the Blazers had eliminated them in a brutal 7-game series decided by overtime contests and freak plays. David Robinson and company thought that they should have advanced to the Conference Finals and NBA Finals in Portland's place. They wanted to show it, to send a message early.
The Blazers knew this. When the Spurs showed up to the Memorial Coliseum with their message Portland read it politely, nodded with a smirk, and then stuffed it so far down San Antonio's throat that it ended up in their socks.
In what became known as the Perfect First Quarter, the Blazers scored 49 points, allowing the Spurs only 18. The defense was superb. San Antonio couldn't get a clear shot. They barely touched rebounds. The Blazers never allowed them near the offensive glass and Portland missed, like, 2 shots all quarter (both late). The Blazers were dunking off of San Antonio misses before most of the Spurs had crossed halfcourt. To this day I carry vivid memories of a vicious Kersey tomahawk slam that brought the entire arena to its feet, putting the Blazers up by an ungodly amount and causing Spurs coach Larry Brown to call a disgusted timeout to glare at his stunned charges. Terry Porter, Clyde Drexler, Kevin Duckworth, Buck Williams, Jerome Kersey, and Cliff Robinson destroyed the Spurs, wiped them off the map, leaving no doubt who the best team in the West was going to be.
When your side plays defense like Tazmanian Devil Banshees and doesn't miss a shot against the best competition in the league, you don't forget it. This remains the single greatest Trail Blazer moment I've witnessed live.
Simple question today: what's yours? We won't limit you to live events. In this day and age TV counts too. What's the best Blazer moment you've ever seen? Where were you, who was with you, and how did it unfold?
--Dave email@example.com / @DaveDeckard