Monday, November 1, 2010

Maurice Lucas dies of bladder cancer at age 58

The Oregonian’s Jason Quick reports via Twitter that Maurice Lucas, former Trail Blazers player and assistant coach, has passed away at the age of 58. Lucas had been battling bladder cancer for several years, undergoing surgery in 2009, which forced him to step down as assistant coach under Nate McMillan, a position he had held since 2005.

Lucas played professionally for 14 years, first in the ABA and then in the NBA. His career included two separate stints as a power forward for the Blazers, highlighted by his integral role on the legendary 1977 team that won the franchise’s only NBA championship to date.

Following his tenure with the Blazers, Lucas played for several different teams before returning to Portland in 1987 to play one final season. His #20 jersey has hung in the rafters at the Coliseum and Rose Garden since 1988, and he has long been considered one of the most important players in Trail Blazers history. He will be missed.

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