The Portland Trail Blazers joined the NBA in 1970 along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Clippers, known back then as the Buffalo Braves. The Trail Blazers had a rough start to their franchise having a losing record in their first six seasons in the league.
But things changed in the 1976-77 season as they made their playoff debut and went on to have one of the most amazing postseasons runs in NBA history. With Bill Walton leading the team, the Blazers won their first and only NBA championship.
Starting from their title-winning season in 1977, the Blazers were a model of consistency until 2003. In that 26-year span, the team only missed the playoffs once during the 1981-82 NBA season. The team also had two more trips to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992 but they fell to the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls, respectively.
Over the years, despite bad choices at the NBA draft, the Blazers have produced a few great players and some really good ones. Here are the all-time starting five of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Guard – Terry Porter
Terry Porter was drafted 24th overall by the Trail Blazers in 1985. Porter spent ten seasons in Portland before leaving in free agency to join the Minnesota Timberwolves. During his tenure with the Trail Blazers, he was two-time All-Star. He had his best season in 1993 as he averaged 18.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
In Porter’s ten-year stint with the Trail Blazers, the team never missed the playoffs and he was the team’s starting point guard in two of their NBA Finals trip in 1990 and 1992. He also ranks third in the Blazers’ all-time scoring list while also sitting first in assists, second steals, and third in three-pointers made.
Honorable Mention: Guard – Geoff Petrie
The first franchise player in Trail Blazers history, Geoff Petrie spent his entire NBA career in Portland. He only played just six seasons after suffering a career-ending knee injury. Petrie was a two-time All-Star and he was also the Rookie of the Year in 1971. His No. 45 jersey was retired by the team in 1981.