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. 62 | Kelvin Ransey
Games Played with Blazers: 158 Regular Season, 3 Postseason
*PTS: 15.6 | AST: 7.0 | REB: 2.4 | FG%: 45.6
*Statistics are pulled from a player’s time in Portland
Joined Club: June 1980, 4th selection in the 1980 NBA Draft, acquired from the Chicago Bulls
Departed Club: June 1982, traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a first-round pick and Wayne Cooper
Place in History: Up to this point, most of the entries on our Top 100 list have made the grade via longevity, promise, a particular skill, or being in the right place at the right time. We still have some of those entries left between 60-40, but Kelvin Ransey isn’t one of them. Ransey makes the list because he busted on the scene in 1980 and started slashing through Portland’s hardwood like it was Swiss Cheese. 16 points and seven assists isn’t bad for any point guard. Ransey averaged that cumulatively in his rookie and sophomore years in the NBA, in backcourts that included Jim Paxson, Ron Brewer (whom he eventually displaced), and Billy Ray Bates. He had one of those triple-threat noses, for the ball, the rim, and his teammates.
In both of his years in Portland, Ransey was the team’s leading assist man. He finished third on the team in scoring in 1980-81, fourth in 1981-82. He did this playing for Jack Ramsay, who wasn’t big on individualism and liked shooting percentages as high as possible. Plenty of players shot the ball with more efficiency on those teams, but Dr. Jack kept riding Ransey.
Still, the horizon was limited for the young guard in Portland. Paxson and Bates flourished around him; the Blazers acquired Darnell Valentine in Ransey’s second year with the team. They moved him to Dallas in the off-season of 1982, netting center Wayne Cooper and a first-round draft pick which would later become Terry Porter. Even with his departure, Ransey was the gift that kept on giving. He’d play four more years in the league for Dallas and the New Jersey Nets, but he’d never get as many minutes or score as many points as he did during his first two in Portland.
For the awesome introduction, nice stats, and providing a spark during some of the club’s down years, Kelvin Ransey earns the 62nd spot on our Top 100 list of Trail Blazers players and influencers.