PORTLAND, Ore. — To honor the Portland Trail Blazers 50th season, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler proclaimed Feb. 19, 2020 as "Rip City Day" during Wednesday’s city council meeting.
The phrase "Rip City" was originated by legendary Blazers announcer Bill Schonely.
In a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 18, 1971, guard Jim Barnett hit a long shot (this was before the 3-point shot existed in the NBA) to tie the game. As the shot swished through the net, Schonely, the radio voice of the Blazers, blurted out "Rip City! All right!"
Schonely has since said he doesn't know where the phrase came from or even what it means. But it became his most well-known phrase, along with other favorites such as "Bingo, bango, bongo" and "Lickety brindle up the middle."
Schonely attended Wednesday’s declaration, along with Trail Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan and Rolia Manyongai-Jones, better known as the Trail Blazers' "dancing lady."
"The term Rip City has come to represent a die-hard pride and passion for the Trail Blazers and the city of Portland," the proclamation reads.
The proclamation also commends the team’s fans for transforming "Rip City from a nickname into a community" and the Trail Blazers organization for its "dedication to positively impacting the community of Rip City through the work of the Trail Blazers foundation, advancing diversity, equity and inclusion work, and environmental stewardship."
Last year, the city council declared June 12 as Portland Trail Blazers Day in honor of the team’s march to the Western Conference finals. Wheeler has also said that Lillard deserves his own day in the city. "We'll make that happen," he tweeted.
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