Hailing from Portland Oregon, The Portland Trail Blazers compete in the NBA’s Western Conference Northwest Division. The team plays in the world famous Moda Center, which has been the team’s home since 1995. The team has always enjoyed a strong following since their 1977 season, with an outstanding record of 814 consecutive sold out home games, the longest streak in American Professional sports at the time.
Since the Trail Blazers’ 1970 debut, they have competed in the NBA Finals three times, and won the championship in 1977. The team has qualified for the playoffs over 35 times in 51 seasons, which is tied for the second longest streak in NBA history. The Trail Blazers also ranks third in most playoff appearances behind only the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs.
Some of the best NBA action can only be seen at the Moda Center, home for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Moda Center Arena
The Moda Center was once known as the “Rose Garden Arena”. The original name refers to Portland’s reputation as the “Rose City” and to reflect the basketball heritage established by Boston Garden and Madison Square Garden arenas in Boston and New York City.
In 2007, the Trail Blazers and Vulcan announced that they were seeking a corporate partner that would grant naming rights to the facility. In 2013, six years later, the Trail Blazers announced that they reached a 10 year deal with Moda Health, an Oregon based health insurance provider. From then, the arena’s name was changed to The Moda Center.
The Arena features two councourses, the 100 and 300 levels, that are open to the public during events. The 100 level concourse provides access to the lower bowl and the 200 level seats, while the 300 level concourse connects with the upper bowl. The 200 level concourse is also where visitors can find a wide array of gest services including a sports bar, barbecue grill, and several outdoor terraces.
Every concourse also comes equipped with a huge variety of concession stands and a total of 32 public restrooms (with women’s restrooms outnumbering men’s restrooms by 3 to 1).
Once you’re seated for the game, you can keep close watch on the action thanks to the Mitsubishi-manufactured HD video scoreboard. This scoreboard features four of the largest video screens in the NBA. And if you’re ever away from the main arena, you can catch the action from one of 650 television monitors scattered around the arena.
The Moda Center is home to the Western Hockey League’s record for single game attendance with 14,103 spectators on March 15, 1997, where Portland tied against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds.
Trail Blazer Team Summary
The Portland Trail Blazers story began back in 1955 with sports promoter Harry Glickman. Glickman wanted an NBA franchise for Portland and proposed two new expansion teams, one for Portland and the other for Los Angeles. Glickman saw potential in using the Memorial Coliseum as a professional basketball venue when it was opened in 1960. But it wasn’t until 10 years later, in 1970, that Glickman was granted the rights to a Portland franchise.
Later, team management held a contest to select the team’s name. After 10,000 entries, the most popular choice was the Pioneers. But since that name was already used by Portland’s Lewis & Clark College, the name “Trail Blazers” was chosen instead. The chosen name was revealed on March 13 during the halftime of a SuperSonics game at the Memorial Coliseum.
The name comes from the trail blazing activity explorers used to make easier trails through thick verdant forests. It inspired images of ruggedness. The name is often shortened to “Blazers” by Oregon natives.
This led to the Trail Blazers joining two other teams as expansion teams in 1970. The team saw its first playoff berth and championship (1977) under head coach Jack Ramsay.
This winning season led to an amazing streak of 814 sell out games, the longest in Americal professional sports history until 1995.
Today, the Trail Blazers are in what sports analysts call, “The Damian Lillard Era” for the team. In 2012, the Trail Blazers signed Weber State guard Damian Lillard and University of Illinois center Meyers Leonard as their 6th and 11th picks. Since then, Damian Lillard has been a key part of the Trail Blazer’s most successful games and seasons.
His success led to Lillard being named NBA Rookie of the Year (2012) as well as NBA All-Star six times (2014 – 2015, 2018-2021). Lillard is the player to watch and a Lillard led Trail Blazers are the team to keep an eye on.
It’s hard to believe that a team that’s just recently reached 40 years in the NBA could have such a storied history. But the Trail Blazers are nothing if not rugged pros for their conference. Ever since their 1970 debut, the team has earned several accolades.
These include 7 division titles (1978, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2015, 2018), 3 conference titles (1977, 1990, 1992), and their championship run in 1977.
The Trail Blazers have also had several points scoring leaders, with Damian Lillard earning 16,815 points as of the end of the 2020-2021 season. Bill Walton has also brought the NBA MVP award to the team back in 1977.
In addition, the Trail Blazers have earned several league performance records including the following:
Most points scored in a game: (Damian Lillard – 61 points in 45 minutes against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 20, 2020)
Most rebounds in a game, franchise history: (Enes Kanter grabbed 30 rebounds against the Detroit Pistons on April 10, 2021)
Most steals in a game, franchise history: (Brandon Roy stole the ball from the Washington Wizards 10 times on January 24, 2009)
Most three-point field goal attempts, game (combined): (During the Blazers and Golden STate Warriors game on April 15, 2005, the teams combined for 69 three-point field goal attempts. Damon Stoudamire of the Blazers attempted 21 three-point shots alone)
Largest margin of victory in overtime: (The Trail Blazers beat the Houston Rockets 17-0 during the first overtime period during their game on January 22, 1983).