Harry Glickman, founder and general manager of Portland Trail Blazers Championship, dies at 96


PORTLAND, Oregon. – Harry Glickman, the founder of the Portland Trail Blazers and general manager of the only team to win the NBA title in 1977, died on Wednesday. He was 96 years old.The team announced the death of Glickman. No cause was given.

Portland obtained an expansion franchise in 1970. Glickman was part of the original ownership team, with Herman Sarkowsky, Larry Weinberg and Robert Schmertz, who paid the $ 3.7 million expansion fee for the league, according to the team’s website. Glickman was one of the shareholders who sold the club to Paul Allen in 1988.

Glickman held several positions on the team, including that of general manager, before retiring in 1994. He then became president emeritus.

Under Glickman, the Trail Blazers reached the NBA Finals three times, winning their only title in 1977. Portland also won the Western Conference championship in 1990 and 1992.

“Harry Glickman laid the groundwork and set the benchmark for success in small NBA markets,” said Neil Olshey, president of basketball operations for the Blazers. “He was the driving force that set the stage for the 1977 NBA Championship, a defining moment that elevated Portland and allowed him to join the elite of professional sports franchises. ”

Hall of Fame Bill Walton, who helped lead the Trail Blazers to the NBA Championship and was named MVP of the league in 1978, told The Athletic: “Harry Glickman is the Portland Trail Blazers. ”

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

Still under Glickman, the Trail Blazers set an American sports record with 814 consecutive home sales, a feat later surpassed by the Boston Red Sox.

“The Trail Blazers have long benefited from Harry’s vision, generosity and inspiration,” said Jody Allen, president of the Trail Blazers. “As the team’s founder and first managing director, his leadership helped ignite our city’s pride and passion for sport. … He will be missed by many. ”

Glickman was born and raised in south Portland. He served three years in the United States Army during the Second World War, fighting in the European theater with the 12th Armored Division. He received a bronze star, then returned to the University of Oregon, from which he graduated in journalism in 1948.

Glickman founded the Portland Buckaroos hockey team in 1960. In 12 seasons with him as co-owner and president, the team has 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. “Thanks to his dedication and persistence, Harry not only created a successful sports franchise in a small western market, but united hundreds of thousands of people around the world with a shared love of basketball. ”

Glickman is survived by his wife, Joanne, son, Marshall, daughters, Jennifer and Lynn, two grandchildren and one granddaughter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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