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Blazers Top 100: Unheralded Reserve Guard Danny Young

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A look at the 100 players and personnel that have influenced the Trail Blazers’ 50-year history.

Danny Young moves the ball

The Trail Blazers’ 50-year anniversary season is temporarily on pause as the NBA goes on hiatus to slow the spread of COVID-19. During that break, Blazer’s Edge is counting down the top 100 Blazers: players, executives, and other influencers who made the franchise what it is today.

No. 100 | Danny Young

Games Played with Blazers: 223 Regular Season | 31 Postseason

*PTS: 4.5 | AST: 2.3 | STL: 0.9 | FG%: 41.8

*Statistics are pulled from a player’s time in Portland

Joined Club: November 1988, free agent

Departed Club: January 1992, waived

Place in History: The early-1990’s Trail Blazers were known for their once-in-a-lifetime guard trio of Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, and Danny Ainge. With all the tricks up the sleeves of those respective NBA All-Stars, they couldn’t fill all 48 minutes at both backcourt positions. When Head Coach Rick Adelman needed another playmaker off the bench, he called the number of Danny Young.

Young was not a flashy player. He was the consummate journeyman, playing 10 seasons in the NBA, never averaging more than seven points per game. But he was relatively effective scoring and he was smart, making the right play at the right time. As he developed chemistry with the team, Adelman began to trust him in crucial situations. Portland fans at the time—a less sophisticated era—openly wondered why Young was seeing so much floor time. Rewind him today and you can see his vision and floor spacing at work, no more so than in the famous highlight where he tried to turn around the 1990 NBA Finals.

Observations about that clip:

  1. Isn’t it amazing how the referees got that call right even without instant replay? Hmmmm.
  2. Isn’t it also amazing how they simultaneously got it wrong because, as every true Trail Blazers fan knows, had they allowed that bucket, the Blazers would not have ended up winning just that game, but the entire series?

Discuss your memories or observations of Danny Young below, and check back multiple times every weekday as we continue to countdown to No. 1.