Bill Schonely opened the night with a “Rip City, Baby!” that not only proved that the Trail Blazers icon still had it, but gave Memorial Coliseum a special feel that only it can know as the original home of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Fans crowded into the Coliseum Tuesday night to experience again, if only for a moment, the building that housed the Trail Blazers from 1970-95, including the franchise’s only NBA championship in the spring of 1977.

Schonely moderated a postgame round table discussion of memories with Geoff Petrie, the Trail Blazers first draft pick in 1971, and Jim Barnett, a former teammate of Petrie’s on the original Blazers squad.  At halftime that trio was honored at center court along with fellow original Blazers Shaler Halimon and coach Rolland Todd.

On the floor the Blazers fell to the Denver Nuggets 105-94, but the result was far from primary concern on a night meant to remember legendary Trail Blazers, a theme that will continue throughout the 50th Anniversary season in Rip City.

The Blazers continue preseason on Thurs., Oct 10th at 7pm, hosting  Maccabi Haifa at Moda Center.

 

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