Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer marked tonight’s start of the Portland Trail Blazers’ 50th NBA season with a concurrent Congressional resolution that honors both the team’s history and fans’ faithful support of the franchise.
“From Bill Walton and Maurice Lucas leading the Trail Blazers to the NBA title in the team’s first playoffs run to last season’s playoff heroics by Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, the last 50 years of special memories are embedded deeply in the DNA of fans in Portland, throughout Oregon and beyond our state’s borders,” Wyden said. “I look forward to even more great moments during this landmark 50th season and in the years ahead for all of us fans rooting in ‘Rip City’ for our beloved Trail Blazers.”
“Hearts were racing all over Oregon when Damian Lillard sank his buzzer-beating three-pointer during last year’s playoffs—an incredible reminder of the joy the Trail Blazers have brought to our state for generations,” said Merkley. “As we look back on 50 years of play and kick off this year’s milestone season, I’m excited for all of the remarkable moments and celebrations to come. Rip City!”
“Portland’s passionate fanbase and the culture of the Trail Blazers franchise is the best in the N.B.A.,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “For 50 years, everyone that calls Rip City home has felt the energy in the air every night the Blazers take the floor—we take great pride in our beloved franchise. I look forward to rooting on the Blazers in this historic season and continuing to witness the winning tradition that’s been cultivated here for decades.”
The Trail Blazers open their 50th season tonight against the Denver Nuggets, the team Portland beat last spring to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
A web version of this release is here.
Text of the resolution is here and below.
Title: Congratulating the Portland Trail Blazers on the 50th anniversary of their inaugural season.
Whereas, since 1970, the Portland Trail Blazers, known as the “Blazers”, have proudly and energetically represented the pioneering spirit of Oregon on the national basketball stage;
Whereas the signature phrase of the Blazers, “Rip City”, coined by longtime announcer Bill Schonely, has come to represent the city of Portland and fans of the Blazers throughout Oregon;
Whereas dedicated administrators, including Harry Glickman and Larry Weinberg, worked behind the scenes to establish a sustainable and beloved franchise;
Whereas the Blazers won their first National Basketball Association Title in 1977;
Whereas Bill Walton, colorful personality and backbone of the franchise, was named the Most Valuable Player for the National Basketball Association Finals that year and won the National Basketball Association League Most Valuable Player Award in 1978;
Whereas the Blazers and their fans have the longest-ever streak of consecutive sold-out National Basketball Association games, at 814 games;
Whereas history-making players, including Geoff Petrie, Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, and Arvydas Sabonis, powered the Blazers through the first quarter century of their existence;
Whereas the Blazers’ 21 consecutive playoff appearances (1983 to 2003) rank second all-time in the history of the National Basketball Association;
Whereas Blazers Brandon Roy and Rasheed Wallace represented Oregon nationally as All-Stars in 2008 and 2001, respectively, demonstrating that the talent of the Blazers had not waned;
Whereas Damian Lillard and Brandon Roy blazed into their National Basketball Association careers with Rookie of the Year honors in 2012 and 2006, respectively, representing Portland as a hub for dedicated basketball stars;
Whereas Damian Lillard and his outstanding teammates have lifted the franchise back into the realm of deep playoff runs, including the strong showing made last year in the Western Conference Finals;
Whereas the owner of the Blazers and benefactor for 30 years, Paul Allen, is deeply missed after his death on October 18, 2018; and
Whereas the Portland Trail Blazers have brought Oregonians together for 50 years, each year generating as much excitement, hope, and promise as the first year: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) recognizes the Portland Trail Blazers for embarking upon their 50th season;
(2) congratulates all players, administrators, and fans of the Portland Trail Blazers for half a century of dedication to the sport of basketball and the franchise;
(3) joins Oregonians and Blazers fans everywhere to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rip City; and
(4) directs the Secretary of the Senate to produce copies of this resolution for the team members, staff, and management of the Portland Trail Blazers.