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[oregonlive]Coin flip a big part of history between Houston and Portland

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by tinman, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindblazersbeat/2009/04/coin_flip_a_big_part_of_histor.html

    [​IMG]
    AP photoA coin flip decided which team -- Portland or Houston -- would get the first pick in the 1984 NBA draft. Portland lost the toss, Houston selected Hakeem Olajuwon (right) and Portland took Sam Bowie (left). NBA commissioner David Stern is at center.


    Coin flip a big part of history between Houston and Portland
    Posted by Mike Tokito, The Oregonian April 17, 2009 14:45PM
    Categories: NBA, Playoffs

    Starting with Houston coach Rick Adelman, who twice guided Portland to the NBA Finals, the Trail Blazers and Rockets -- who play a best-of-seven first-round series starting Saturday -- have plenty of intersecting history. Some high and low points:

    Tails of woe: In 1984, before the advent of the draft lottery, Portland and Houston were in the coin flip for the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.

    The Blazers had acquired Indiana's first-round pick through a 1981 trade that sent forward Tom Owens to the Pacers, and Houston had finished with the worst record in the Western Conference, 29-53.

    Portland got to make the call and went with tails, but the coin came up heads, giving the Rockets the top pick that they used to draft Hakeem (then Akeem) Olajuwon from the University of Houston. The Blazers got the second pick and took Sam Bowie out of Kentucky in a still-much-debated selection.

    Chicago, with the third pick, took Michael Jordan out of North Carolina.

    Big trade: The trade with the biggest impact came in 1995. Clyde Drexler, the Blazers' All-Star guard, had been unhappy all season after the team had replaced Adelman with P.J. Carlesimo, and had asked new general manager Bob Whitsitt for a trade.

    Finally, on Feb. 14, Whitsitt traded Drexler to Houston along with forward Tracy Murray for Otis Thorpe, the rights to Marcel Nicole and a first-round draft pick (which was later traded to Detroit). Drexler gave the then-struggling Rockets, the defending NBA champions, a boost, and they repeated as champions.

    Drexler's jersey was later retired by both franchises.

    Big trade II: Whitsitt continued the seemingly endless dealing that earned him the nickname "Trader Bob" by pulling the trigger on an blockbuster deal on Oct. 2, 1999, days before training camp was to start.

    The Blazers had made the Western Conference finals earlier that year but were swept by San Antonio. Seeking a steadying veteran, Whitsitt acquired Scottie Pippen, a stalwart on Chicago's championship teams, from the Rockets for six players -- Stacy Augmon, Kelvin Cato, Ed Gray, Carlos Rogers, Brian Shaw and Walt Williams.

    The Blazers again reached the conference finals, but lost in the seventh game to the Los Angeles Lakers. They have not won a playoff series since.

    Another center: The two greatest players in Rockets history are centers -- Olajuwon and Moses Malone. The Blazers had a hand in Malone ending up in Houston.

    The Blazers acquired Malone in the 1976 dispersion draft for players from the American Basketball Association, which folded. But with Bill Walton already on the roster, Portland traded Malone on Oct. 18 to Buffalo for its 1978 first-round pick (which Portland used to pick Mychal Thompson). One week later, Buffalo sent Malone to Houston for the Rockets' 1977 and 1978 first-round picks.

    The Blazers had nothing to do with Yao Ming.

    In the playoffs: The franchises have played twice in the postseason, in the 1987 and 1994 first rounds. Both years, the Rockets won 3-1 in what were then best-of-five series.

    Olajuwon was the dominant force both years, averaging 30.6 points in the eight games. The high point for him was in the second game in 1994, when he scored 46 points, which tied the record for most points scored against the Blazers in a playoff (later broken by the 47 points scored by Phoenix's Charles Barkley in 1995).

    Into the stands and into infamy: The most infamous incident between the teams came Feb. 6, 1995, during a game at Memorial Coliseum. Houston guard Vernon Maxwell went 12 rows into the baseline bleachers and punched a fan.

    The NBA hit Maxwell with what, at the time, was one of the stiffest penalties in sports history -- a 10-day suspension without pay and a $20,000 fine, which combined cost Maxwell more than $200,000.

    By the time Maxwell returned, Drexler was playing for Houston, and Maxwell took a leave of absence and was eventually waived.

    Executive beginnings: The team official who ran the Blazers during much of their recent lean seasons had deep roots with the Rockets. Steve Patterson was the Blazers' president from 2003 to 2007, including a year when he also was general manager.

    His big break came in 1989, when at 31 he became the youngest general manager in the NBA, holding the position until he was fired in 1993. Patterson had succeeded his father, Ray, who had been the Rockets' general manager the previous 17 years.

    Steve Patterson, in fact, was with his father in NBA commissioner David Stern's office during the 1984 coin flip that came up heads for Houston.

    -- Mike Tokito: 503-294-7603; miketokito@news.oregonian.com
     
  2. choujie

    choujie Member

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    Blazers stole Brandon Roy away from Rochets though.
     
  3. Dr of Dunk

    Dr of Dunk Clutch Crew

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    Hmm... steal Hakeem or steal Brandon Roy? Tough decision which theft I'd take... ;)
     
  4. BucMan55

    BucMan55 Contributing Member

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    More like Houston choked Brandon Roy to the Blazers and they lost a fair n square coin toss to the Rockets.


    I'll still take Dream any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
     
  5. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    WTF they still could have had MJ the second best player in the draft. It isn't our fault or the coins fault they drafted Mr. Bust
     
  6. levintblack

    levintblack Contributing Member

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    Or Barkley (6th), Stockton (16th), Kevin Willis (11th), Sam Perkins (4th), Otis Thorpe (9th) or ... Rick Carlisle!?!
     
  7. Zboy

    Zboy Contributing Member

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    Obviously fake and photo shopped.. That's Brian Cook.
     
  8. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Barkley and Drexler would have been a good combo back in the day.
     
  9. Gwalchmai

    Gwalchmai Member

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    Sleep deprevation may be making me ask something stupid, but I thought one of the reasons Drexler retired was because he didn't get along with Barkley?
     
  10. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Contributing Member

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    Spoken like a true homer. :D
     
  11. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    in the year 1984. A prime Drexler (Portland) and a prime Barkley would be extremely hard to stop.

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ospDD4fXeYE&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ospDD4fXeYE&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
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    No, Drexler didn't retire because of Charles, he wasn't "The Glyde" anymore. Remember that missed dunk in the playoffs? He couldn't "glyde" anymore.
     
  12. LardLad

    LardLad Member

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    Anybody got footage of Maxwell punching out that loud mouth fan? I feel like posting his bail now...
     
  13. ferrarif1286

    ferrarif1286 Member

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    it's their problem that they didn't draft MJ
     
  14. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Apparently some people here don't like to know the history of Portland vs Houston.

    I suspect its too complex for them to understand.. either that or they are still mad that Brandon Roy shot a 3 in Tracy's face to win a game.
     
  15. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    If they didn't have Clyde, then they would have drafted Jordan.
     
  16. Gwalchmai

    Gwalchmai Member

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    Thanks Tinman. I think I heard that on the radio from some non-local NBA reporter. I didn't have access to much local source Rockets news at that time. That being the case. Yeah, that would have been an awesome duo.

    Barkely was really talented, but I never really liked him. I rooted against him to much when he was with Phoenix. It was really odd for me when he came to play for the Rockets. I didn't particularly like that trade.
     
  17. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Didn't Houston win two coin flips against Portland? I seem to recall that Houston won the 1983 one too that lead to the Sampson pick while Portland took Drexler.
     
  18. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Possibly not. Sam Bowie's college stats were as impressive as Jordon's and in that time it was generally thought that you don't win championships with wing players but with post presence. In fact Chicago thought about trading their pick to get a center like Jack Sikma.

    Here is a pretty good piece looking into the pick of Bowie over Jordan and showing why it made sense at the time.
    http://bigbluehistory.net/bb/bowie.html

    Also consider that the Rockets had at least two chances to get Jordon themselves when Chicago offered him for Ralph Sampson.
     
  19. Nero

    Nero Member

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    These last few years, and even before, people have been all up in arms filled with all this hate for Utah (and rightly so), but for me, the team I have wanted to smash in the face for a few years now has been Portland.

    They screwed us over so bad on that draft-day deal, I still am pissed about it.

    Yeah it was shrewd, and really, JVG was mostly to blame for going balls-out to win a meaningless game in Denver at the end of the season, which cost us the one draft spot we would have needed to get Roy.

    Nothing against Shane, but can you imagine this team with Roy, playing alongside Yao?

    Portland is like leeches to me - they simply sat back and snaked off of Morey's scouting and hard work, and did whatever they could to steal the guys we wanted. I don't remember the details exactly, but I know they did it to us a couple of other times as well, with lesse players, but still guys we wanted.

    Game 1 was immensely satisfying to me, and I hope we do it 3 more times to them.

    Granted, their fans don't seem to be inbred aholes like in utah, but still, I want to see every last one of them sitting there with a Mark Cuban 'who farted' look on their faces tonight.
     
  20. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Before he was in Phoenix he was a rising superstar in Philly. He was explosive and fast. Let's not forget that Barkley is an MVP.

    The 'early' Drexler was compared to Jordan as equals.

    Let's say it was an alternate universe

    The Rick Adelman Blazers would have
    Porter
    Drexler
    Barkley
    Cliff Robinson
    Duckworth

    that would have an awesome team, and back in the day Barkley could run and post up, which would fit Rick's system well.

    Or let's say they drafted John Stockton, Stockton to Barkley, would have caused problems too.
     
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