The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association as a club of the leagues Western Conference Northwest Division. The team played its games in the Memorial Coliseum before moving to Moda Center in 1995. The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA championship once in 1977 and their other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 31 seasons of their 45-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003, the second longest streak in NBA history. The Trail Blazers 31 playoff appearances rank third in the NBA only behind the Los Angeles Lakers, six Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers. Bill Walton is the franchises most decorated player, he was the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 1977, four Blazer rookies have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Sports promoter Harry Glickman sought a National Basketball Association franchise for Portland as far back as 1955 when he proposed two new teams, the other to be located in Los Angeles. To raise the money for the $3.7 million admission tax, Glickman associated himself to real estate magnates Robert Schmertz of New Jersey, Larry Weinberg of Los Angeles and Herman Sarkowsky of Seattle. Two weeks later, on February 24, team management held a contest to select the teams name, the most popular choice was Pioneers, but that name was excluded from consideration as it was already used by sports teams at Portlands Lewis & Clark College. The name Trail Blazers received 172 entries, and was selected by the judging panel. Despite initial mixed response, the Trail Blazers name, often shortened to just Blazers, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Buffalo Braves, the Trail Blazers entered the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team, under coach Rolland Todd. Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks led the team in its years. During that span, the team had three coaches, team executive Stu Inman also served as coach. The team won the first pick in the NBA draft twice during that span, in 1972, the team drafted LaRue Martin with the number one pick, and in 1974 the team selected Bill Walton from UCLA. In 1976, the ABA–NBA merger saw those two rival leagues join forces, four ABA teams joined the NBA, the remaining teams were dissolved and their players distributed among the remaining NBA squads in a dispersal draft. The Trail Blazers selected Maurice Lucas in the dispersal draft and that summer, they also hired Jack Ramsay as head coach. The two moves, coupled with the stellar play, led Portland to several firsts, winning record, playoff appearance
The 1970–71 Portland Trail Blazers
Sidney Wicks, who played in four NBA All-Star Games while with the Trail Blazers, won the 1971-72 NBA Rookie of the Year Award after averaging 24.5 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game.
Bill Walton won the NBA Finals MVP in 1977 and was named the NBA Regular Season MVP in 1978 while with the Trail Blazers.