The Portland Trail Blazers have named forward Carmelo Anthony as the recipient of the 2019-20 Maurice Lucas Award, the team announced today. The award was presented to Anthony in Orlando by Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey and head coach Terry Stotts.
“Carmelo’s selfless attitude and leadership on and off the court make him an ideal recipient of this year’s Maurice Lucas Award,” said Olshey.
The annual award was created in 2010-11 to honor the Trail Blazers player who best represents the indomitable spirit of Maurice Lucas through his contributions on the court and in the community, as well as in support of his teammates and the organization. In recognition of the award, the Trail Blazers will make a $5,000 donation to the Social Change Fund, an organization selected by Anthony.
“Carmelo is an authentic leader both on and off the court and truly embodies what the Maurice Lucas award is about,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of the Trail Blazers. “His experience, knowledge, leadership and authenticity have been the perfect addition to the Trail Blazers and the city of Portland.”
The Social Change Fund was created in July by Anthony alongside Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder and former NBA player Dwyane Wade to invest in and support organizations serving Black people, indigenous people and communities of color through long-term policy solutions, community representation and narrative change. Anthony’s involvement with the Social Change Fund furthers the philanthropic work in underserved communities that he has prioritized since launching the Carmelo Anthony Foundation in 2005. In addition to thriving on the court since arriving in Portland in November, Anthony has embraced being a part of the Portland community. Anthony made a holiday visit to Shriners Hospital for Children in December and in January he participated in a discussion about identity, mentorship and overcoming adversity, among other topics at the Trail Blazers practice facility with youth and leaders of color from local organizations.
“It always gives me great honor to present the Maurice Lucas Award to a player who most resembles my husband ‘The Enforcer’ whom I loved and respected,” said Pam Lucas, widow of Maurice Lucas. “Maurice was always willing to stand up for what was right and fair. He inspired people with his leadership and courage. I am so proud that the legacy of Maurice is being passed on to someone who I know that my husband would have great respect for. Carmelo is blazing a new path with his platform for social justice as the generational challenges and struggles continue. As so did Maurice, Carmelo stands for what is right as he serves his teammates and community. It gives me great pleasure to add Carmelo’s name to Maurice’s Legacy.”
Anthony, in his 17th NBA season, signed with the Trail Blazers as a free agent on November 19, 2019. His impact was felt immediately, as he earned NBA Western Conference Player of the Week honors on December 1 after leading Portland to a 3-0 record in his first full week with the team. For the season, Anthony, a 10-time NBA All-Star and six-time All-NBA recipient, is averaging 15.5 points (43.1% FG, 38.7% 3-PT, 84.5% FT), 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 57 games (all starts). Anthony (26,437 career points) has moved up to 15th on the NBA all-time scoring list this season and ranks second among active players in career scoring.
Former Trail Blazers All-Star Maurice Lucas passed away on October 31, 2010 at the age of 58. A beloved member of the franchise and the community, “The Enforcer” was a central figure on the Trail Blazers 1976-77 NBA Championship team. The Trail Blazers honored Lucas by retiring his uniform number (No. 20) on November 4, 1988.
Lucas averaged 15.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.72 blocked shots over five seasons (1976-80, 1987-88) as a Trail Blazer. During Portland’s 1976-77 NBA Championship season, Lucas led the team in scoring (20.2), field goals made (8.0), free throws made (4.2), offensive rebounds (2.4) and minutes (36.2). Selected to the All-Star Game in three straight seasons from 1977-79, Lucas is one of six three-time All-Stars in Trail Blazers history (Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Clyde Drexler, Brandon Roy, Sidney Wicks). He served as an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers for five seasons from 2005-10, and previously in 1988-89.
MAURICE LUCAS AWARD WINNERS
2019-20 – Carmelo Anthony
2018-19 – Jusuf Nurkic
2017-18 – Evan Turner
2016-17 – Al-Farouq Aminu
2015-16 – Ed Davis
2014-15 – LaMarcus Aldridge
2013-14 – Robin Lopez
2012-13 – Damian Lillard
2011-12 – Wesley Matthews
2010-11 – LaMarcus Aldridge
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