Kevin Duckworth RememberedKevin Duckworth, a two-time All-Star center with the Portland Trail Blazers who won the 1987-88 Most Improved Player Award, passed away on Monday. He was a skillful, quality big man for two Portland teams that made it to the NBA Finals but the best tribute to him is that those who knew him best remember him as a joyful and caring human being, as recounted in this Portland Tribune article:
Blazers mourn Duckworth, who still considered the team his family
Former Blazer broadcaster Bill Schonely was in Pendleton with Duckworth and Kersey last month. “I’m just stunned,” Schonely said. “I can’t begin to tell you what a nice man he was. He loved people, and he was a big hugger. When you got hugged by Kevin Duckworth, you got a real hug. Duck was the unsung hero on those great Blazer teams in the early ‘90s. He was a big part of their camaraderie, an all-around great guy.”
A 2002 Portland Tribune article about Duckworth titled "Duck had his day" provides some more insight about his personality:
Many former Trail Blazers have made their homes in the Portland area, but few have embraced it with the passion of Duckworth, both for the outdoor opportunities and the people. He has considered seeking employment with an NBA club in another city, "but I ain’t leaving Portland," he says.
"I love it here. I don’t want to go nowhere else. Portland has everything I want. If I have to die somewhere, this will be it."
posted by David Friedman @ 12:26 AM