blazerdarren77

Jan 28

My Blazer Memories: Kiki Vandeweghe

By blazerdarren77


  In my previous blog on Calvin Natt, I had mentioned how ridiculous it was for them to trade 3 players plus 2 draft picks for one guy, Kiki Vandeweghe. So let me tell you what I remembered anout Kiki.

  Kiki knew how to score. He was THE best pure shooter the Blazers ever had in the history of their franchise. In his 5 season with the team, he averaged 23.5 points per game and shot a field goal percentage of.526 (4th best in franchise) His .881 free throw percentage as a Blazer and .69 points per minute in the 86-87 season are still Blazer records to this day.

        

  With the type of arsenal he had, he did get criticized for his lack of defense. What no one knew at the time was that he came to Portland with an aching back, an injury he suffered during a game while he was in Denver. "I averaged a lot of points,but I couldn't play the way I wanted to," said Vandeweghe. "I was hurt a lot and that was frustrating." Although he missed 16 games in his 1st 3 seasons with the team, he said his back pain was a constant obstacle. "I knew they gave up a lot of good players for me, and I wanted it to work so badly," he said. "I wanted to play better."

                                                            

  Kiki was part of a team that featured veterans like Jim Paxson and Mychal Thompson, as well as young players like Clyde Drexler, Jerome Kersey, and Terry Porter. Kiki knew that even though it was 'his team', he knew he wasn't the best player on the roster. He even told Coach Ramsey that Clyde was the best player. It was Kiki's respect for Clyde that the two of them formed a mutual respect for each other and they became close friends.

  Looking back on what type of a player Kiki was gave me a different perspective on him. Do I still think it was foolish on what the Blazers gave up to get him? Yes, but not so much. After all, he was an early contributor to help pave the way for Clyde, Jerome and Terry in being our 'Big 3' of the early 90s. I guess that trade did pay off after all.

1 Comments

  1. I'm really enjoying reading your memories Darren, and I love the format going player by player. Great stuff.

    by sarahhecht on 1/29/2012 3:26 PM
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