Sorry, Portland

It was 33 years ago this fall that the Portland Trail Blazers embarked on the journey that led them to their only NBA Championship.

Led  by the force of nature that was (and is) Bill Walton, the 1976-77 Blazer team captured the city unlike many sports franchises have before or since, in Portland or anywhere else that hosts pro sports teams.

Unfortunately, much of the goodwill for Walton in Rip City disappeared just a few short years later in an ugly departure from the team and city precipitated by trade demands and, ultimately, a lawsuit by Walton involving care offered by the Blazers medical staff.

Well, as we all know, time heals all wounds.  And the time is now for Bill Walton.

Bill Walton back in Portland

Bill Walton back in Portland

Cut to the chase and check out this great feature by Jason Quick of The Oregonian on yesterday’s emotional return to Portland for Walton – the kickoff to a weekend full of events for the big man in his first visit to the city in years.

Walton has always been (and will always be) one of the most interesting personalities in the world of sports.  His revival after 2 1/2 years of seclusion with debilitating injuries would be a story on its own.  His interest in reconnecting with his Portland past and his efforts to begin that process this weekend make it all the more fascinating.

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~ by acm213 on October 17, 2009.

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