Former Portland Trail Blazers guard Isaiah Rider had his fair share of famous and infamous moments during his NBA career.
But on this day in 1997, he pulled out one of his most famous.
Rider scored 40 points, his best scoring night as a Blazer, in the team’s 118-107 win over the Boston Celtics at home.
Rider and the Blazers made the playoffs in 1997 as the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, winning 49 games, but they ultimately fell to Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in a 3-1 defeat in the first round of the playoffs.
Rider was one of the team’s top scorers on those early “Jail Blazers” teams in the late 90s, but was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Steve Smith ahead of the 1999-00 season, the year in which Portland figured it out and made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals, losing to the Lakers in seven games.
Smith was a valuable part of that Western Conference Finals team, but if the team didn’t make the trade, would that have changed the Blazers’ fortunes? All we can do is reminisce and ask ourselves “What if?”
But we can also continue the conversation in the comments section below. BE community, what are you favorite Rider memories?