It's a sad day in Rip City with the news that former Blazer and 2-time NBA all-star Kevin Duckworth passed away last night in Lincoln City. Like many people around here, I have great memories of Duck and the Blazers of the late 80s and early 90s. The first thing that comes to mind was the finesse he displayed for a big man. Despite being 7 ft. tall and nearly 300 lbs., he had a sweet jump shot, and the famous "Duck-hook."
But my favorite memory of Duck was during the best-of-seven playoff series with the San Antonio Spurs in 1990. After suffering a broken right hand earlier in the playoffs, Duckworth was expected to miss six weeks. But with the series tied 3-3, and the Blazers needing someone to contain Spurs center David Robinson, Duckworth made a dramatic return to the court for game 7 in Portland. He was given a standing ovation by the home crowd before helping the team eliminate San Antonio and move on to play in their first NBA Finals since 1977. It was a great moment and a great memory.
Thanks Duck. We'll miss you.