Basketball

Harry Glickman, Who Introduced Basketball to Oregon, Dies at 96

Harry Glickman, who based the Portland Trail Blazers of the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation and was broadly thought of the daddy {of professional} sports activities in Oregon, died on Wednesday in Portland. He was 96.

His demise, at an assisted dwelling heart, was confirmed by his son, Marshall.

Mr. Glickman held many titles for the Path Blazers: government vice chairman from 1970 to 1987, normal supervisor from 1976 to 1981, president from 1987 to 1994. He was additionally a tireless promoter and a civic-minded entrepreneur in an period that predated the rise of billion-dollar sports activities franchises.

“He was simply a kind of pure guys who loves the state and town he got here from,” Chris McGowan, the Path Blazers’ president, stated in a telephone interview, “and he did all the pieces he may to complement it.”

Mr. Glickman helped form the Path Blazers into one of many N.B.A.’s nice success tales. Like most enlargement groups, they received off to a gradual begin. However, led by Bill Walton at heart, they received a championship of their seventh season, they usually regularly made the playoffs and persistently drew capability crowds for a few years.

Mr. Glickman had lengthy since retired from his front-office place when Mr. McGowan took cost of the workforce in 2012, however he nonetheless valued the group and town he referred to as house. He sought out Mr. McGowan, who was relocating from Los Angeles, after his introductory information convention and prolonged an invite: How about they take a tour of Portland the subsequent day?

“He got here and received me, and we actually spent three hours driving round Portland,” Mr. McGowan recalled. “He confirmed me all of the landmarks, the place the Blazers had their championship parade, the basketball courts the place Invoice Walton hung out. I’ll always remember it.”

Harry Glickman was born in Portland on Could 13, 1924, and raised there by his mom, Bessie, who labored within the garment business, after she and his father, Sam, divorced.

He enrolled on the College of Oregon to review journalism, however left to spend three years with the Seventh Military’s 12th Armored Division throughout World Struggle II. He was elevated to the rank of workers sergeant whereas serving in Europe, and was awarded a Bronze Star.

After returning house, Mr. Glickman accomplished his diploma and hoped to write down about sports activities for considered one of Portland’s two day by day newspapers. However, unable to land a job immediately, he gravitated to the enterprise of selling sports activities. He staged boxing occasions and lured the Harlem Globetrotters and the Nationwide Soccer League to Portland for exhibitions.

He additionally promoted concert events, although he soured on the expertise of working with high-profile entertainers after Judy Garland canceled a few tour stops on the final minute.

“She made a sports activities fan out of me,” Mr. Glickman as soon as stated, based on The Oregonian.

Mr. Glickman was the president of an organization referred to as Oregon Sports activities Points of interest and, in 1960, based a minor-league hockey workforce, the Portland Buckaroos, which went on to win three league championships in entrance of adoring crowds.

Satisfied that Portland was a viable house for big-time sports activities, he sought to land one of many N.F.L.’s enlargement franchises within the mid-1960s. He obtained assurances from his good friend Pete Rozelle, then the league’s commissioner, that it could occur if town have been to approve the development of a 40,000-seat stadium, the Delta Dome. However the proposal fell quick by about 10,000 votes, and the Delta Dome was doomed.

Mr. Glickman was undeterred. Because the N.B.A. sought to develop in 1970, he lined up a number of rich buyers to purchase one of many league’s new franchises for $3.7 million.

The Path Blazers weren’t a right away success. Fewer than 5,000 followers confirmed up on Oct. 16, 1970, for the workforce’s first house recreation, a 115-112 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers that supplied false hope: The Path Blazers have been one of many worst groups within the league by way of their first 4 seasons of existence.

However Mr. Glickman had a motto, “You win with good folks,” and the Path Blazers ultimately grew right into a winner. Walton joined the workforce in 1974 after an All-American profession on the College of California, Los Angeles, and later helped lead the Path Blazers to the championship, an achievement that Mr. Glickman described as “whole, full ecstasy.” Mr. Glickman’s autography, “Promoter Ain’t a Soiled Phrase,” was revealed after that season.

The workforce continued to be enormously standard, promoting out 814 straight house video games between 1977 and 1995 and successful the Western Convention championship in 1990 and 1992.

Even after Mr. Glickman retired, he remained an lively presence across the group. He was president emeritus till he died.

Earlier than the coronavirus pandemic interrupted the present N.B.A. season, the Path Blazers have been within the midst of celebrating their 50th anniversary. As a part of the festivities, the workforce had organized a sequence of “Decade Nights,” with dinners for invited company.

Mr. Glickman attended all of them, Mr. McGowan stated, visiting with former gamers and colleagues and sharing tales in regards to the previous days.

Marshall Glickman, who spent a number of years as an government with the Path Blazers, stated in an interview that he had visited his father a couple of week earlier than he died and located him talking on the telephone with Clyde Drexler, considered one of many former gamers who had saved in shut contact.

Along with his son, Mr. Glickman is survived by his spouse, Joanne (Matin) Glickman; his daughters, Jennifer Glickman-Hett and Lynn Glickman; and three grandchildren.

Final yr, Mr. Glickman obtained the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He’s additionally a member of the Worldwide Jewish Sports activities Corridor of Fame and the Oregon Sports activities Corridor of Fame.

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