Maurice Lucas, the former Trail Blazers legend – “The Enforcer” – has sadly died after a drawn out battle with bladder cancer, aged just 58 years old.
The athlete helped take the Portland Trail Blazers to their only N.B.A. championship and had been helping to coach the team since 2005, but had to vacate his position last year in order to have surgery.
“We have lost a champion of a man,” according to Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan. “Maurice was a great man and a great friend. He battled his illness like the warrior he was on the basketball court.”
Paul Allen, owner of the Trail Blazers was also full of praise for Lucas: “Maurice was an amazing man and I count myself lucky to have known him. We all – players, coachers, the owner and the fans – were made better by having Maurice a part of our tream, whether playing on the championship team, or most recently as an assistant coach.
“He was one of the greatest Blazers ever.”
The five-time All-Star averaged 14.4 points and 8.8 rebounds for his 12 N.B.A. seasons. In two seasons in the ABA he averaged 15.2 points and 10.8 rebounds.
Lucas is survived by wife Pamela; and three children.