Portland Trail Blazers founder Harry Glickman dies at 96

Harry Glickman, the founder of the Portland Trail Blazers and general manager of the franchise’s just NBA title-winning team in 1977, died Wednesday. He was 96.

The group declared Glickman’s demise. No reason was given.

Portland was allowed an extension franchise in 1970. Glickman was part of the first proprietorship group, alongside Herman Sarkowsky, Larry Weinberg, and Robert Schmertz, that paid the association’s $3.7 million development charge, as indicated by the group’s site. Glickman was one of the shareholders who offered the club to Paul Allen in 1988.

Glickman held various situations with the group, including the general manager, before he retired in 1994. He at that point became president emeritus.

Under Glickman, the Trail Blazers arrived at the NBA Finals three times, winning their solitary title in 1977. Portland additionally won the Western Conference championship in 1990 and 1992.

“Harry Glickman laid the foundation and established the benchmark for small-market success in the NBA,” said Neil Olshey, the president of basketball operations for the Blazers. “He was the driving force that set the stage for the 1977 NBA championship, a seminal moment that elevated Portland and allowed it to join the elite of professional sports franchises.”

Hall of Famer Bill Walton, who helped lead the Trail Blazers to the NBA title and was named the league’s MVP in 1978, revealed to The Athletic, “Harry Glickman is the Portland Trail Blazers.”

“He built a remarkable, impeccable, magnificent empire. When talking about Harry Glickman, you can empty the thesaurus in terms of nice things to say.”

Additionally, under Glickman, the Trail Blazers set an American games record with 814 successive home sellouts, an accomplishment later outperformed by the Boston Red Sox.

“The Trail Blazers have long been the beneficiary of Harry’s vision, generosity, and inspiration,” said Jody Allen, chair of the Trail Blazers. “As the team’s founder and first general manager, his leadership was instrumental in igniting our city’s pride and passion for sports. … He will be missed by many.”

Glickman was born and experienced childhood in South Portland. He served three years in the U.S. Armed forces during World War II, battling in the European theater with the twelfth Armored Division. He was awarded a Bronze Star, at that point came back to the University of Oregon, from which he graduated in 1948 with a degree in journalism.

Glickman established the Portland Buckaroos hockey group in 1960. In 12 seasons with him as co-proprietor and president, the group won three titles.

“Harry was the definition of a true Trail Blazer,” said Chris McGowan, president, and CEO of the Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter. “Through his dedication and persistence, Harry not only created a successful sports franchise in a small Western market but has united hundreds of thousands of people around the world through a shared love of basketball.”

Glickman is made due by his wife, Joanne, his child, Marshall, his daughters, Jennifer and Lynn, two grandsons, and one granddaughter.

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