Portland Trail Blazers Mount Rushmore
OTG Basketball presents, NBA Mount Rushmore, where we look at who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of each team in the league. Up next, is the Portland Trail Blazers.
This franchise is known for its amazing fans and an awesome nickname, Rip City. The team has been blessed to have some amazing players in their history and this was a difficult Mount Rushmore to figure out. Let's get to the picks.
Walton played just four seasons with the franchise. He missed large chunks of some of those seasons due to injury, but in the 1976-77 season Walton took the team to the only championship in franchise history and won the Finals MVP Award. The next season, the team got out to a 48-10 start before Walton was faced with another injury that would effectively end his career with the franchise. Even though his season was cut short, Walton was awarded the MVP Award for that season and be named 1st team All-NBA. It is the only MVP Award in the history of the franchise. While his tenure with the team did not end well, you cannot argue with the results of his time with the team. Walton goes down as one of the best players in the history of the NBA despite a career that was impacted a great deal by injuries. Those injuries do not change how much he meant to this franchise. This is an easy pick.
Clyde the Glide had an amazing career with the franchise. He was part of an unprecedented period of winning and goes down as one of the best players in NBA history. He was part of some amazing teams during his time in Portland. Drexler made the playoffs in each of his 11 seasons with the franchise, including two trips to the Finals in 1990 and 1992. Drexler's finest season for the franchise was his 1991-92 season. Drexler put up 25 points to go along with almost seven assists and seven rebounds per game for a 57 win team that gave the Bulls a tougher series than people remember. Drexler finished second in the MVP voting that season and would go on that summer to play for the Dream Team in Barcelona. During his run with the franchise, he was one of the best players in the NBA and that is not debatable.
Lillard joined the Blazers in the 2012-13 season and quickly showed the team that the future was going to be bright. He would go on to win the Rookie of the Year Award that season and would lead the team to the playoffs in each of the next six seasons. Lillard's amazing play on the court and his reputation as a person off the court make him a beloved member of the franchise. He has made the All-Star team in five of his eight seasons and has been no stranger to All-NBA teams, making the third team once, the second team twice, and the first team once. Lillard is also responsible for two of the most iconic shots in NBA Playoff history. His buzzer-beating shot to take out the Houston Rockets in 2014 and his thirty-something foot bomb to seal the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Lillard has a knack for coming up big when it matters the most and he is one of the best players in franchise history.
While Porter may not have the individual accolades of some of the other players in this franchise's history, he was a huge part of a very successful time in their history. Porter was the backcourt mate of Clyde Drexler and was the captain of those great early 90's Portland teams. He was an important player for those teams and even made two All-Star teams in 1991 and 1993. Porter's importance to those teams cannot be overstated. He provided playmaking, three-point shooting, and made for a good second scoring option. Porter was not only a great player for the team, but a great ambassador in the community. He was the recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for the 1992-93 season. Porter is the all-time leader in assists for the franchise.