Tuesday, August 26, 2008

R.I.P. City

Kevin Duckworth b. April 1, 1964 - d. August 25, 2008.

Kevin Duckworth has died. Sometime Monday at the Oregon Coast.

Duck was a Portland legend. Seven feet tall and close to 300 pounds when he played he was both intimidating and gentle. One of the nicest and most emotionally honest athletes ever to come through Portland.

I have several fond connections to Duck.

In 1988 I bought my first Blazers Authentic Jersey. I had a choice between Clyde Drexler’s #22 and Kevin Duckworth’s #00. I chose Duck. It cost all of $45 new at the time. I have long since outgrown that jersey, but I will never part with it.

When I worked for the Blazers, my producer knew of my attachment to Duckworth and at the end of the 2001 season she presented me with his game used warmups from 1992-1993. He was one big dude.

In 2001 when the Blazers retired Clyde Drexler’s number I got a chance to chat with Duckworth. He was as cordial and gentle that night as he ever was. I will always remember his easy smile.

Kevin wasn’t enough of a legendary player to have his jersey number retired. But he was enough of a legendary person to have a place of honor by the Blazers. The early fan input is that the team name their community service award and program for him. They could re-name the Blazers Boys and Girls Club on MLK in his honor. There are lots of good ideas. But please, do something.

R.I.P. City for Duck. R.I.P.



Derek said...

Total bummer. I still remember when I was a little kid, my goal was to be bigger than him so I could play on the team.

cora d said...

I remember having the Duckworth glass from Burger King or Dairy Queen or some place. He always reminded me of a gentle giant, quite like Andre.

Side note - I didn't know you worked for the Blazers. You are full of surprises, Brucey.

E. Alley said...

I, too, fondly remember the DQ Duckworth glass, in fact I seem to remember having multiple glasses from consecutive years. It's a shame Bruce's return to the blog-o-sphere is in regards to this sad news.

Rip City, Duck.

steeplechase3k said...

I think renaming the "Blazers community player of the year" to "The Kevin Duckworth award" would be a great tribute.