Maurice Lucas Dead at Age 58

Blazers great Maurice “The Enforcer” Lucas lost his battle with bladder cancer. The Oregonian reports: “Lucas battled bladder cancer for the past two years. He was an assistant coach for the Blazers when he had surgery in April of 2009, then appeared to be recovering when he suffered a relapse that hospitalized him in November of 2009. He passed away Sunday evening in Portland with his family by his side. Following Saturday’s victory in New York, the current Blazers team was informed that their former assistant coach was in grave condition. ‘It’s a sad, sad, sad day for the Blazers,’ coach Nate McMillan said. ‘It happened too soon. It really did. He was a great man, and I mean that. He was a man.’ Lucas will be remembered as one of the greatest players in franchise history, a physical and skilled big man who could shoot, rebound in traffic, and back up his bark with bite. It was his physicality and intimidation that helped the Blazers turn the tide in the 1977 NBA Finals against Philadelphia and cemented his reputation as ‘The Enforcer.'”