The Portland Trail Blazers are an NBA team, created in 1970 in the city of Portland, Oregon as an expansion team for the league. The team is part of the Western Conference and in the Northwest Division, along with the Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. In the 2018-2019 season, the Blazers finished second in their division and lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Golden State Warriors.
Here's a rundown of the most important facts before we dive a little deeper:
The Trail Blazers were founded in 1970, established as an expansion team for the growing National Basketball Association. The team's name was chosen as a reference to the trail-blazing expedition of American pioneers Lewis and Clark, who ended up close to Portland on their journey. The team's first seasons were unsuccessful, finishing near the bottom of the division during each of their first six years as a team.
In the 1976-1977 season, things began to turn around for the Blazers. With superstar Bill Walton leading the team, they made it to the NBA Finals and won their first, and only, championship. Their success continued for the next few seasons, but they never repeated their title win. The Trail Blazers' next big superstar was Clyde Drexler, who joined the team in 1983 through the NBA Draft. He played with the team for 12 years but never won a championship.
The Trail Blazers continued being a successful team throughout the 1980's and 1990's, but never again found the success they did in the 1976-1977 season. The team reached the finals in both the 1989-1990 and 1991-1992 seasons, but lost in five and six games, respectively. In the following years, the team was able to reach the playoffs each year, but had a six-season long streak of losing in the first round.
Beginning in the early 2000's, the team began a rebuilding period that saw little success for the franchise, resulting in a last-place season in 2005-2006. The signing of Brandon Roy brought the team into the playoffs during the 2008-2009 season, but the team never made it very far into the postseason.
The real turnaround for the franchise came with the addition of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who brought the team all the way to the Western Conference Finals in the 2018-2019 season, ultimately losing to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Other notable players on the team's 2019-2020 roster include Rodney Hood, Pau Gasol, and Jusuf Nurkic.
The concept behind the Trail Blazers' logo is ten players, five on each side, rotating around each other. The logo has changed five times after its debut in 1970, though it has stayed relatively similar, with a pinwheel look and black, white, and red colors incorporated.
Here are some of the Blazers' career record holders: