caseyholdahl

Nov 24

Maurice Lucas Continues To Battle

By caseyholdahl


It’s easy to lose perspective during the course of an NBA season. Between practices, shoot arounds, film sessions, games, travel, appearances and the other ancillary responsibilities that overtake the lives of players and staff for the better part of seven months, it sometimes feels like basketball is the only thing that matters.
 
When the word gets out that Maurice Lucas, a man who personifies toughness, continues to battle bladder cancer, the game that seems so important seems a little less so.
 
Everyone in the Trail Blazers feels Luke’s absence, but for centers Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden, it is especially troubling, as Lucas works closely with both as the team’s designated “big man” coach.
 
“It’s heartbreaking,” Przybilla said. “He’s a crucial part of this team. All of our thoughts and prayers are with him. To me he’s not only been a coach and a mentor, but a great friend. It’s hard to hear he’s going through some tough times right now. He’s a great person all around and to have him not here, we’re definitely missing something. Every day you walk in the locker room or the practice court and you definitely feel his presence not being there.”
 
“He’s a rock  here,” Oden added. “He’s the guy we all look up to because he’s the one guy on this team that has a ring in the locker room. He’s got a lot of love from everybody here in the city. We’re all praying for him, hoping he gets better.”
 
The news that Lucas has been re-hospitalized comes just days after the announcement that team owner Paul Allen is undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
 
“Mr. Allen and Coach Luke are going through this,” McMillan said. “Those are close friends, but you still have basketball to play.  It puts everything in perspective. There are sports and there is a game, but we have some close friends who are trying to fight some things. You have to handle it all. It’s life.”
 
(Click here to read a recent interivew with Coach Lucas)

9 Comments

  1. I've been a fan since day one, Couch Lucas. Way back when you were our Enforcer. I was at the championship game and it is a memory I treasure. Just wanted you to know that I believe you can beat this horrible disease. Along with Mr. Allen, my daughter and I (season ticket holders) are keeping you both in our prayers. God Bless you and yours this holiday season and always. Continue fighting with the strength and grace you have already exhibited. You are an inspiration.

    by Pamela Porter on 11/25/2009 1:16 AM
  2. Maurice,
    Thank you for all the memories. My husband, Michael Fitz knows what a fan I am of yours, he bought lunch with you and your wife at Jakes Restaurant in the 90's. It was a fund raiser for the Rotary. You truly are a wonderful role model for all the youth of OR.
    May God Bless You with his healing powers. The Blazers just don't seem complete without you on the sidelines. I look for you every game. Please get well.
    Lila Leathers-Fitz

    by Lila Leathers on 11/25/2009 7:20 AM
  3. Big Luke, Wishing you a very speedy recovery from you boy from Fifth Avenue High School in Pittsburgh, Popa Banks

    God Bless

    by PopaBanks on 11/25/2009 2:02 PM
  4. I hope that Luke can recover from this. He has given so much.

    I pray for him and Mr. Allen, for their health and for what they both have given us fans.

    hg

    by Hg on 11/27/2009 12:41 PM
  5. Casey, I haven't been able to get on this sight for quite sometime.

    I need to know if the Blazers are going to expand their range for streaming? I live about 180 miles away. Comcast blacks out NBA-TV and the NBA package. Do you have to be a subscriber to Comcast if they start Streaming all Blazer games in January.

    I get KGW so I haven't found out if I can get streaming or not and don't want to spend the money until I know I get some results.

    hg

    by Hg on 11/27/2009 12:46 PM
  6. Dear Mr Lucas, I have been a fan ever since you came from the ABA to the Blazers. I recall a day you came into the Beaverton G.I.Joes (1978-9) to by some size 8 led shot and we did not have any. Someone had told you we had it in stock over the phone and when you had asked me about it I knew I was in trouble because I had just took inventory and we did not have it. I remember telling you we did not have it and you gave me that enforcer look that I had seen you do on the basketball court and I knew how other NBA players must had felt when they crossed you! I gulped and then asked you for your autograph and you smiled and gave it to me. I still have that autograph Mr Lucas and it is a day that I have never forgot. I often tell this story and always get a laugh out of it because not many have got to see the enforcer up close like I did unless they played basketball against you. Thanks for the memories and God bless you Mr Lucas my prayers and the whole state of Oregon pray for your recovery!

    by taylormade on 11/28/2009 9:30 PM
  7. Big Resse this is your homeboy black Pork from Francis St. I want you to know that I love and respect you so much, you took me under your wing when i was a youngster and taught me how to carry myself like a young man. i remember when you were the only person in the city who could beat Sam Sing in a game of one on one basketball, I used to love to watch you take his money (smile). Big Luke I am praying for you to get well. Everyone back in Pittsburgh who knows that I live out here now, always asks about you and sends their prayers. I love you Big Luke. My brother Rennie and sister Karen sends their love.

    by bigpork on 12/1/2009 11:03 AM
  8. Maurice- When my husband hesitantly asked you for an autograph for his wife you offered to call me instead. When I wasn't home to get your call I was very disappointed, but later realized it was even better as you left a message on my voice mail. He still talks about the look you gave him when you realized your cell number showed on my caller ID. It has been 4 or 5 years and I still have the message. My family is afraid to erase any messages for fear of loosing yours as well. Hearing your message brings a smile to my face and the many folks I have played your message for. I am sad to hear of your current fight with cancer. Thanks for all the thrills you have given me both on and off the court. My thoughts and prayers are with you and thanks again for the lasting personal message.

    by madden on 12/4/2009 3:18 PM
  9. Luke,
    Marquette, the ABA, the NBA, and always a winner with class. I've been one of those faces in the crowd since the 76-77 season with season tickets all that time. You were always the man with the answer to the challenge that year, be it offense, defense and crunch time. This city loves you and your return to coach here warmed our hearts anew. Merry Christmas, get well, be well, and see you on the sidelines again soon!! Robert Cunningham

    by Barb Gabaldon on 12/21/2009 11:56 AM
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