PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Rose Festival has named the Trail Blazers' 1977 championship team as the grand marshal for the Grand Floral Parade on Saturday, June 10.
“We are honored that the Rose Festival selected our 1977 championship team with this distinction,” said Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the 40th anniversary than with Trail Blazers players parading the streets of Portland once again.”
Drum Roll Please..... The 2017 Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade Grand Marshal will be the 1977 World Champion Portland Trail Blazers. You can see team members Bobby Gross, Lloyd Neal and Larry Steele on Saturday, June 10, at 10 a.m. More information can be found at RoseFestival.org
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Portland Rose Festival
In 1977, the Portland Trail Blazers, who were founded in 1970, had their first winning season (49-33) and first trip to the playoffs. The third seed in the Western Conference, the Blazers surprised everyone by making it to the NBA World Championship Series (the final round of the NBA playoffs wouldn't be called the NBA Finals until 1986).
Once there, the young Blazers, led by Bill Walton, Maurice Lucas and head coach Dr. Jack Ramsay, lost the first two games on the road to the favored Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers (50-32), the top seed in the Eastern Conference, were led by Julius Erving.
Trailing 2-0 in the series, the Blazers came back to Portland and routed the 76ers in consecutive games, 129-107 and 130-98. Back in Philadelphia for Game 5, the Blazers won a close contest 110-104 before winning the championship with a 109-107 win in Game 6 in Portland.
“Many of us here at the time remember exactly where we were that day,” said Brett Baker, president of the Portland Rose Festival Foundation. “For Oregonians, it was bigger than the moon landing and when that final buzzer sounded the entire state jumped for joy. I am thrilled to relive that moment a little and honor the team as Grand Marshal on their 40th anniversary.”
Tickets to the parade, which begins at 10 a.m. on June 10, can be purchased at tickemaster.com, the Rose Quarter Box Office or by calling 800-745-3000.