Friday's Birthday Shout-Out: Maurice Lucas' Championship Moment

Back when the NBA was a much more rough and tumble game; back before "NBA fight" became a punchline, there were some epic scraps in the league. Most fans can recall or have seen the scary punch Kermit Washington's landed on Rudy Tomjanovich.

Then there was The Enforcer.

Journeyman big man Maurice Lucas earned the nickname during the 1977 NBA Finals. While playing for the Portland Trailblazers, Lucas broke up a fight between 76ers center Darryl Dawkins and Blazers forward Bob Gross - by challenging Dawkins!

Nowadays, NBA fights are a lot of pushing, posturing and yelling. But Lucas and Dawkins squared off in what was going to become a heavyweight street fight if officials and teammates hadn't stepped in.

Lucas and Dawkins were ejected. The Sixers won the game to take a 2-0 lead in the series. But the fight sparked something in the Blazers. They went on to win the next four games to earn the franchise's only championship.

Unfortunately, Lucas died of bladder cancer in 2010. The Blazers honored him all of last season by wearing a patch with the number 20. 

No comments:

Post a Comment