Jul 25

Greatest Trail Blazer: #4 Gross vs. #5 Hollins

By sarahhecht Posted in: bobbygross, lionelhollins
#4 Bobby Gross vs. #5 Lionel Hollins

No. 30 Bobby Gross | Small Forward | 6-6 | 200 lbs

Career Stats As A Trail Blazer: 25.1 mpg 9.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.7 bpg, .514 FG %, .160 3 PT %, .802 FT %

When evaluating the greatest Trail Blazers of all time it’s difficult to overlook the starters from the 1977 Championship season. Sure, you could say they were an unheralded team for the most part, but that didn’t stop the team-first style of play from bringing home the hardware.

Bobby Gross was an integral part of the magical 1977 season and his contributions will forever hold a place in Trail Blazers lore. A 6-foot-6, 200 pound small forward drafted with the 25th pick in the 2nd round of the 1975 draft, Gross solidified his spot in history by leading Portland in scoring during Games 5 and 6 of the NBA Finals. A run-and-gun kind of player, Gross was constantly in motion. Pushing the fast break and creating space with movement were on the long list of specialties that led him to Trail Blazers career leaders lists. In Portland history Gross is 7th in FG percentage (.514,) 8th in offensive rebounds (908,) and 8th in steals (593.) On December 18, 2008 Gross’ No. 30 jersey was retired and raised to the rafters of the Rose Garden to join other candidates for the greatest Trail Blazer of all time.

Schonely Speaks:
"In my opinion, one of the best all-around players that this franchise ever had, Bobby Gross. And in that championship season, they give credit to the Waltons and the Lucas and the Hollins and to the rest of those guys but in my opinion, Bobby Gross was probably the MVP."

Photo Gallery: Bobby Gross Through The Years

No. 14 Lionel Hollins | 6-3 | Point Guard | 185 lbs

Career Stats As A Trail Blazer: 29.3 mpg, 13.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.9 spg, .435 FG %, .100 3 PT %, 0.4 bpg, .742 FT %

An NBA Championship, a trip to an All-Star game and a nickname like ‘Train.’ If that doesn’t earn you a spot on the Greatest Trail Blazers of all time list then I don’t know what will.

Drafted with the 6th pick in the 1975 draft, guard Lionel Hollins immediately made and impact of the Trail Blazers an just two years later was the starting guard in the 1977 Championship run. His first season Hollins was named to the All-Rookie First Team while averaging 10.8 ppg. In the years following his numbers improved and Hollins peaked during 1977-78 season at 15.9 ppg. Five years as a Trail Blazer garnered Hollins an average of 13.6 ppg, saw him dish 1375 assists and knock down a FG percentage of .435.

Skilled at scoring, defense and passing, Hollins made his mark on Portland as a multi-talented player with a knack for nailing crucial shots in important games while winning the hearts of Rip City.

On April 18, 2007 the Trail Blazers retired Hollins’ No. 14 jersey and raised it to the rafters of the Rose Garden.

Schonely Speaks:
"The train. A savvy player to say the least. Terrific point guard. All-around player. And now he's an NBA coach and he'll have a championship team under him, very soon."

Photo Gallery: Lionel Hollins Through The Years

The polls will stay open for one week, The player with the most votes will move onto the next round. Let me know in the comments who should advance in this matchup and why? Click Here To Vote!


  1. Holy backboard! This is a toughy.

    by blazerdarren77 on 7/25/2011 3:33 PM
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