Sixteen teams participate in the NBA postseason every year. Only two get the chance to play for the NBA title. One of the teams struggling to even break through to the conference championship is the Los Angeles Clippers.
Clippers Blog began a chronicle of other historical teams that failed to reach the conference championship over a long stretch of playoff appearances. Their first subject? The Portland Trail Blazers teams from 1982 through 1989.
In the article, author Law Murray points out successes of coach Jack Ramsay and the 1977 champion Portland squad, and the various transactions that led to the Blazers' successes and failures going into the 1980s; including the decision to trade Moses Malone (by which the Blazers eventually selected Mychal Thompson), the trade of Tom Owens that nearly netted the Blazers Hakeem Olajuwon, and Jack Ramsay's frustrations over Thompson's perceived softness on rebounding.
"I would not want Mychal on the team at all," Ramsay said. "He’s too soft. I’ve seen him run right off the floor. For your power forward or center to run off onto the apron of the floor when the ball is being rebounded is very damaging to the team."
The Blazers finally did breakthrough in the 1990s, reaching the NBA Finals twice behind Terry Porter and Clyde Drexler.