The Allure of the Rose City
I’m a Portlander and I’m an Oregonian, and I’m darn proud to be both of them.
Too often, I hear people say that players don’t want to come to Portland because of our weather and that we’re a small market.
We probably have more former players living in Portland than any other city in the NBA, with the possible exception of Los Angeles. From our very first team back in 1970, we have Dale Schlueter, Shaler Halimon, who recently retired from TriMet, the late LeRoy Ellis, and Rick Adelman and Geoff Petrie chose to remain in Portland until taking head coach and general manager positions in Sacramento. Adelman still owns a home in Black Butte.
From our NBA Championship team of 1977, we have the late Maurice Lucas, Bob Gross, Larry Steele, Lloyd Neal, the late Herm Gilliam, and there would have been others had they not taken other coaching or administrative jobs in the NBA.
Among other retired players, Terry Dischinger has a thriving dental practice in Lake Oswego. And we often see at games and various Trail Blazers functions players such as Jerome Kersey, Steve Johnson, Darrall Imhoff, Chris Dudley, Darnell Valentine and others too numerous to name.
As for this matter of endorsements, players are sought after for endorsements because of their athletic ability and personalities, and it matters not where they happen to play. The company that spends more on endorsements than any other company in the world, Nike, has its headquarters in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland.
And let’s get rid of this nonsense about the weather. Back in the days of the Portland Buckaroos, all of our players came from Canada and were often fond of saying, “You don’t have to shovel rain.”