Maurice Lucas

November 1, 2010 by staff 

Maurice Lucas, The legendary Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Lucas died Sunday at age 58 after a long battle with cancer.

Lucas was a central figure in the team’s 1976-77 Trail Blazers’ NBA championship with an average of 15.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.72 blocks in five seasons in Portland. He played for the team from 1976 to 1980 and 1987 to 1988.

During the 1976-77 season of the Portland NBA championship, Lucas led the team in scoring, field goals made, free throws, offensive rebounds and minutes. In the playoffs of 1977, Lucas led the team in scoring in eight of 19 games and in rebounding twice.

“Portland and the NBA lost one of its great today,” said Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen in a statement. “Maurice Lucas was an incredible man and I am fortunate to have known him -. All players, coaches, owner and fans – better than Maurice became a part of our team, whether playing on the winning team or, more recently, assistant coach.

“It was one of the largest ever Blazers. I will miss him. I and all the Blazer family send our condolences to his wife, Pamela, and their children,” said Allen.

Outstanding at Marquette University, Lucas led the school to the NCAA National Championship game in 1974. Portland acquired Lucas as the second pick in the 1976 ABA dispersal draft. He played 12 seasons in the NBA and four American Basketball Association.

“Words can not express the magnitude of loss we feel tonight with the death of Maurice Lucas,” said Trail Blazers president Larry Miller said in a statement. “Family Trail Blazers have lost the Enforcer, but for me personally, I lost a brother.

“Maurice has left unforgettable marks in each decade of Trail Blazers basketball, however, is booming personality, his loyalty as a warrior, and above all, his undying love for his family, the Trail Blazers, and his teammates , and Portland are all going to be very expensive in our hearts. On behalf of myself and all the Trail Blazers organization, our deepest condolences to his wife Pam, sons David Jr. and Maurice, the daughter of Cristina and grandson Lucas, “said Miller.

Selected to the All-Star in three consecutive seasons from 1977 to 1979, Lucas is one of the four, three-time All-Stars in Trail Blazers history, along with Clyde Drexler, Brandon Roy and Sidney Wicks.

“We lost a champion of a man,” said head coach of the Trail Blazers, Nate McMillan. “Maurice was a great man and a great friend. He fought his illness as the warrior who was on the basketball court.

“We were very fortunate to have their influence on the youth on this team. He was my mentor, my brother and I always knew we had our backs. He has left us too soon,” said McMillan.

The native of Pittsburgh, Pa., was named to the All-NBA Defensive Second Team and First Team in 1977-78. Was named to the All-Defensive Second Team in 1978-79.

Lucas most recently served as assistant coach with the Trail Blazers for five seasons from 2005 to 2010, and previously in 1988 and 1989.

The Trail Blazers Lucas honor retiring his uniform number, No. 20, November 4, 1988.

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