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Happy Birthday, Portland Trail Blazers!

On this day 54 years ago, Portland was awarded the Trail Blazers.

Atlanta Hawks v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

February 6, 1970 is arguably the most important date in franchise history — the day the city of Portland was awarded the Trail Blazers and began its journey into the NBA.

For majority of the franchise’s existence, Portland has been a one-sport town and the Blazers have created a special connection to the city that doesn’t exist with other teams and their fan bases.

The addition of the Blazers into the city has also helped Portland grow in ways it wouldn’t have if they did not exist. In a way, the Blazers helped put Portland on the map, at least in basketball and sports circles.

The Blazers joined the league in the 1970-71 season along with the Buffalo Braves (who now operate as the Los Angeles Clippers) and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They were also intended to be joined by a Houston expansion franchise, but they would eventually fold and the San Diego Rockets moved to Space City ahead of the season.

Happy Birthday to the Portland Trail Blazers!