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Friends, Teammates Remember Maurice Lucas

11/08/10
  1. Written by: caseyholdahl  / avg. rating: 5.0

    · Commissioner David Stern:
    The NBA family has lost one of its most beloved members. Maurice Lucas was a great basketball player, a standout at Marquette and an NBA All-Star and relentless defender in both our league and the ABA. Maurice, however, was more than simply a great basketball player. He was an amazing human being and teacher, who, as an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers, helped shape the lives of many of the organization's young players. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. On behalf of the NBA, we extend our deepest condolences to his wife Pamela, sons David and Maurice II and daughter Kristin.

    · Larry Miller:
    Words cannot express the magnitude of loss we feel tonight with the passing of Maurice Lucas. The Trail Blazers family has lost our Enforcer, but for me personally, I have lost a brother.  Maurice has left unforgettable fingerprints on every decade of Trail Blazers basketball, yet it is his booming personality, his warrior-like loyalty, and most of all, his undying love for his family, for the Trail Blazers, for his teammates, and for the city of Portland that we will all hold dearly in our hearts. On behalf of myself and the entire Trail Blazers organization, our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife Pam, sons Maurice Jr., and David, daughter Kristin and grandson Luke.

    · Brandon Roy::
    I loved Coach Luke because he was honest. He would pat me on my back when I needed it, but he would also kick me in my butt. He is someone I will miss, but I’ll carry his message with me for the rest of my life.

    · Joel Przybilla:
    Luke was a good man, good person, genuine. He cared more about you as a person than as a basketball player and that meant a lot. He was like a father figure to me, someone who I could go to talk to, not just about basketball but everything, life stuff. He always had your back and was always there for you and just cared for you as a person.

    · LaMarcus Aldridge:
    It’s a sad day. Luke was a great mentor, great coach, and great player. I'm sad that this had to happen to him. He's going to be missed by us all. I hope his family can cope with this and know that he was a very good man that everybody looked up to. I respected him.

    · Greg Oden:
    Coach Luke was a great friend and mentor. He obviously taught me a lot about the game, but he taught me a whole lot more about life. I’m grateful to have known him and will miss him very much. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

    · Bernie Bickerstaff (coached Luke in Seattle):
    We've lost a warrior. I had the utmost respect for him as he came in with us in Seattle after leaving the Lakers. He really was the driving force of us getting to the Western Conference Finals. Just the things that he represented with that team, the toughness, the loyalty, the guy who has your back. Luke has always been a good soldier in that respect. Even with his ailments we would text and he was still positive, even when he probably knew what was happening was inevitable. He was still very positive. He was not about himself. He was always a very selfless human being.

    · Terry Porter:
    We lost one of the greatest warriors in the NBA family & the Blazers nation. I was blessed to have him as a teammate and to have known him as a friend.

    · Jerome Kersey:
    Maurice was not only a teammate of mine, he was a great friend of mine. I looked up to him for advice and wisdom. He was always available for me to share good times and bad times, I will miss him very much.  What a great man to everyone, he made you smile.

    · Harry Glickman:
    Maurice Lucas was one of the greatest players for the Trail Blazers and one of the great human beings I have ever known. Joanne and I extend our deepest sympathy to his family over his untimely passing. He will be missed by the entire Blazer family.

    · Bill Schonely:
    Maurice always called me “Rip”. Because he loved Rip City, and to Luke, I was Rip. The world has lost a true professional. A kind, human individual, and my dear friend. The Trail Blazers organization will miss him dearly. The Enforcer is gone, but not in our hearts. I and many others will miss him always.

    · Dale & Jeni Schlueter:
    A huge hole in all our hearts is left by the passing of our friend and teammate “Luke.”  Known as “The Enforcer”, those who knew him best found the gentle giant inside of him........a very kind, caring, and compassionate individual loved by family, friends and fans. Luke will be missed by basketball fans across the country .................. those us of us who watched him play his tough defense and not back down to anyone and loved him for it!!  My kind of basketball player.  His legend will live on in the hearts and minds of all of us.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Luke’s family and friends.

    · Patrick Ewing:
    Luke was always a class act. I enjoyed the many battles I had against him. He was a fierce competitor who knew all the tricks of the trade. I wish his family the best in this trying time.

    · Paul Silas:
    Maurice was very special to me. He was a great player and a good  
    friend. We had some real battles when we played against each other.  
    When he was in college he said he fell in love with how Paul Silas  
    played, you wouldn't know it the way he kicked my butt. Maurice will  
    always be known as one of the greatest players to wear a Portland  
    Trailblazer uniform. Maurice will be missed but not forgotten. My  
    prayers go out to his family.

    · Ron Culp:
    As an athletic trainer in professional basketball you work with hundreds if not thousands of athletes but only a few a very few achieve the pinnacle of this sport and without question Luke achieved that his dominance on the floor and his witt off the floor were remarkable  his person and his personality will be missed greatly.

    · Chris Dudley:
    My wife and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Maurice Lucas. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family. He was a great man who touched so many lives. I will never forget his laugh, his handshake and his overall love of life. He was perhaps the greatest Blazer of all time, yet his biggest impact was off the court. His contributions to the Portland community will continue to better the lives of Oregonians for years to come. He will be missed.

    · Lionel Hollins, Grizzlies Head Coach:
    He was my friend.  He was like a brother to me.  He was a confidant.  He helped me on the court, but he also helped me off the court.  He just took care of me.  I was his little brother, and I tried to take care of him – on the court, and a little bit off the court. He had a tough exterior, but he was a sweetheart of a man and very loyal to his friends.  He made an impact on a lot of people’s lives, and he influenced a lot of people.

    · Johnny Davis, Grizzlies Assistant Coach:
    Maurice was the consummate teammate, a guy who really cared about the team and the members of the team.  His persona to outsiders was a tough guy who was menacing and very aggressive, but the guy had the kindest, biggest heart of anybody you’d ever want to meet.  We all knew him as that.  Whereas other people would know him as this big, mean, tough, angry guy, he was a very kind and gentle and giving person to his teammates, to people that were close to him.  Now, obviously, outsiders, yes, they caught an elbow or two.  But on the inside, you couldn’t have asked for a better friend and a better teammate than Maurice Lucas.  He was the best.

    · Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak:
    “A few weeks ago, I received a box of old pictures that was stored in a house that I used to live in.  As I looked through the pictures, I came upon a team photo of the 1973 World University Team; a team that I was a part of.  We won the gold medal in Moscow that year. As I looked at the picture and scanned player to player, I came across Maurice Lucas, and remembered how strong and tough he was.  He was one of the most skilled players on a team that boasted David Thompson, Marvin Barnes, Quinn Buckner and Alvan Adams.  Maurice was one of the all time competitors.  In fact, during one of the games against Cuba, a brawl broke out.  I vividly remember Luke standing by himself at mid-court daring anyone to come near his teammates, as chairs flew by.  Finally, the starter’s gun went off, causing half of the arena to hit the deck.  A smile came to my face as I remembered that day with clarity.

    “Luke became a Lakers teammate for the 1985-86 season.  Although we didn’t win the title that year, it felt good to have him once again as a teammate.

    “Like many others, I am thankful to have had Luke as a teammate and friend, but sad to hear of his recent passing.”

    · Lakers Director of Scouting / Basketball Consultant Bill Bertka:
    “We competed against Maurice Lucas many times in the 80’s. I always admired his fierce competitive spirit and consistency. In 1985-86 he joined the Lakers and we experienced the gifts of a true professional. The game has lost a special man.”

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