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Thread: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

  1. #1

    Default Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    Kevin Duckworth, former Trail Blazer, dies at 44 news services

    Updated: August 26, 2008, 10:46 AM ET


    Kevin Duckworth, a two-time NBA All-Star who spent the majority of his 12 NBA seasons as the Portland Trail Blazers' center, has died. He was 44.

    Duckworth died Monday in Kernville, Ore., near the coastal town of Lincoln City. His death was confirmed by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. Duckworth was in town as part of a Trail Blazers group hosting a free kids basketball clinic, Fox 12 reported on its Web site.

    The cause of his death was not released Tuesday morning.

    The 7-foot Duckworth started at center when the Trail Blazers won Western Conference titles in 1990 and '92. He played in the NBA All-Star Game in 1989 and '91.

    Remembering Duckworth

    TrueHoop's Henry Abbott will always remember Kevin Duckworth for his starring role in the most exciting basketball game Abbott has seen in person. Blog

    He spent 1986-93 with Portland and also played for Washington, Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Duckworth's last season in the league, 1996-97, was spent with the Clippers. He played his college basketball at Eastern Illinois. A second-round draft pick of the San Antonio Spurs in 1986, Duckworth was named the NBA's Most Improved Player in his second year in the league.

  2. #2
    Lifer 2minutes twowa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    Don't know much about him personally, but it sounds like he was a good guy. On the court you wouldn't think he would be a threat, then he'd keep knocking down those midrange jumpers. Outside of the Pacers, the Blazers of his era was one of my favorite teams to watch. Clyde, Porter, Buck, Duck, Kersey, a very young Cliff Robinson. A shame that team never got a ring.
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    Denim Chicken duke dynamite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away


  4. #4
    Banned Jonathan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    I was a fan of his because I used to play with the Blazers on the Sega 16 Bit System in the early 90's. The game was entitled Blazers vs Bulls.

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    Member pacergod2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    I loved watching that Blazers team. They were such a great team. And Duckworth was a MAJOR part of that. Unfortunate at only 44 years old.

  6. #6
    '12 PD Sunshiner awardee Kemo's Avatar
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    Default Former Portland Trail Blazers center Kevin Duckworth died

    Former Portland Trail Blazers center Kevin Duckworth died Monday. He was 44.

    A member of the Trail Blazers from 1986-93, the 7-footer also played for San Antonio, Washington, Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Clippers during his 11-year NBA career.

    "Today is an extremely sad day for the Trail Blazers family," Trail Blazers President Larry Miller said. "Kevin will be remembered by fans as one of the most popular and recognizable players to ever wear the Blazers uniform, but to people who knew him, he'll be remembered as one of the warmest and biggest- hearted."

    Duckworth died while on the Oregon Coast representing the Trail Blazers as a Heritage Ambassador on the team's 19-city Statewide Summer Tour. The cause of his death is unknown, and will be determined by a Lincoln County, Oregon Medical Examiner.

    Duckworth is the 10th-leading scorer (7,188) and rebounder (3,327) in Trail Blazers history, compiling averages of 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in 527 games with Portland.

    In 684 career NBA games, Duckworth scored 8,085 points (11.8 ppg), grabbed 3,945 rebounds (5.8 rpg) and shot 46.8 percent from the field.

    "This is a devastating loss," said Traci Rose, Trail Blazers vice president of community relations. "To this day, Duck is adored throughout this state and remains a brother to his teammates and to Trail Blazers staff. We will forever miss our beloved 00."
    "They want to be famous. We want to be champions. They want to be rappers and backup dancers. We want to play football." - T.J. Ward, Denver Broncos

  7. #7
    All is full of Orange! Mourning's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former Portland Trail Blazers center Kevin Duckworth died

    Wow! 44? Heart condition or something like that? Way, way too young to pass away.
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  8. #8
    Member Dr. Goldfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    I always liked Duckworth for some reason. People I like dying is weak.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    When I covered the Blazers, he was a decent interview -- pretty friendly guy.

  10. #10
    Peace Dog D-BONE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    Very sad news indeed. Worked hard to improve his game during is career. Not particularly athletically talented outside of his size.
    I'd rather die standing up than live on my knees.

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  11. #11
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    Really nice article here. I remembered watching him play - not really my type of player - but he always seemed like a great guy

    Blazers mourn Duckworth, who still considered the team his family
    'I'm numb,' says close friend Kersey; 'I loved that guy,' says Bowie
    By Kerry Eggers

    The Portland Tribune, Aug 26, 2008, Updated 15.4 hours ago

    Kevin Duckworth snares a rebound for the Trail Blazers in this 1988-89 season game, as teammate Steve Johnson looks on.

    The Trail Blazers’ gentle giant is gone.

    Kevin Duckworth, the center on Portland’'s NBA finalists in 1990 and ‘92, died Monday night in the Lincoln City area. He was 44.

    The 7-foot Duckworth, who weighed more than 300 pounds at the end of his NBA playing career, weighed considerably more than that at the time of death.

    He was in Lincoln City as part of a Blazer summer tour that visited locations in all parts of Oregon and Southwest Washington in an effort to reach out to fans and affiliates on the Blazer broadcasting network. The Blazer entourage, which included ex-player and current broadcaster Michael Holton, had conducted a clinic for children in Tillamook on Monday and was scheduled for stops in Lincoln City, Newport, Astoria and Kelso, Wash. The rest of the tour has been called off.

    “I’m numb,” said former teammate Jerome Kersey, who flew back from Virginia, where he was visiting family, to Oregon after learning of Duckworth’s death. “All through last night I kept waking up and thinking, ‘Did I dream that? It just can’t be.’ “

    The Blazers had a 10 a.m. staff meeting Tuesday at the Rose Garden.

    “Just a chance to talk about this, to talk about Kevin,” Portland General Manager Kevin Pritchard said. “Everybody’s in shock right now.”

    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.”

    Duckworth was not employed full-time by the Blazers – he was working as a boat broker – but he was involved with the organization as a community ambassador. He had driven with Kersey on a recent junket that included stops in The Dalles, Pendleton and Burns.

    “He was in our office about once a week,” said Traci Rose, the long-time Blazer community relations director who began her job in December 1986, the month Duckworth came to the club in a trade from San Antonio. “He was so loved up here. His heart far surpassed his size.”

    An outdoorsman, Duckworth quickly fell in love with the recreational pursuits in Oregon and always made his off-season home here, and year-round home after retirement as a player. He lived in Beaverton, Oregon City and, most recently, Tualatin.

    A few weeks ago, he said his “dream job” would be to serve as a scout for the Blazers.

    “When I talked to him recently about doing something in a little more of an official role for the organiation, he got emotional,” Rose said. “He had teased Jerome when he had left to join Terry Porter as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks. (Duckworth) said he was never going to leave Portland.”

    While there were fans who criticized Duckworth’s weight problems during his years in Portland, a far greater percentage showed appreciation for his contributions to the Blazers’ success in the late '80s and early ‘90s. It was part of the reason he chose to stay here.

    “The love the fans gave me as a player – and still give me when I’m out around town – you can’t put a price on that,” Duckworth said. “Even when the team had knuckleheads, the fans didn’t like those players’ character, but they still supported the Blazers. That says a lot about the loyalty in this community.”

    Duckworth never married and had no children. The Blazers were his family.

    “He was like a brother to me,” said Rose, who said she remembers sitting in the lobby at 700 N.E. Multnomah St. – the former site of the Blazer offices – with him in December 1986. “We grew up in the organization together. He loved this team.

    “When he got home from the trip to Eastern Oregon, he couldn’t stop talking about the people’s response. Everywhere they went, they were rock stars. Fans were so happy to see he and Jerome. He told me the best part of the trip was getting to travel with Jerome, that he had missed spending time with him.”

    “We spent five days together,” Kersey said. “We talked about everything.”

    When Duckworth arrived on the scene in 1986, the Blazers’ big men were Sam Bowie and Steve Johnson. By the 1988-89 season, Bowie and Johnson were both coming off the bench, and the next year, both were gone to other teams.

    “When Kevin first arrived, he was a monster as far as physical size,” Bowie said. “He was competition, so I scoped him out real well. I watched him improve every day through a strong work ethic, and finally you look up and say, ‘Whoa, this guy has some serious skills.’

    “Kevin didn’t have much self-confidence. He might have been picked on because of his weight as a kid, and he didn’t really believe in himself. I used to try to help him with that. I helped him so much that (the Blazers) eventually kicked me out the door, and I would completely agree with their decision.

    “I’m at a loss for words. Kevin Duckworth. He’s not supposed to be gone so young. I loved that guy. He was a great teammate, one of the best I ever had. We were extremely close.”

    Johnson and Duckworth were similar in some ways as players – both excellent offensive players, good on the low block, not so good on defense.

    “We sort of identified with each other that way,” Johnson said. “And we got along great. For as big a guy as he was, he had a very tender heart. That’s what everybody loved about him.”

    Kersey was Duckworth’s closest friend among his ex-teammates.

    “We were kind of like brothers,” Kersey said. “We’d argue. He’d call me a fool. You know how brothers are. But everything was done in a loving manner.

    “He was just a good guy to be around. When he talked about hunting and fishing, his eyes just lit up. He was an easy-going, fun guy. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, it’s what's in your heart.”

    “It’s a sad day for the Portland Trail Blazers and the Portland community,” Pritchard said. “As good as Kevin was on the court – and he was pretty special – he gave more back to this community.”

    Another former teammate, Clyde Drexler was in Taiwan, doing a post-Olympic promotion for USA Basketball, and couldn’t be reached.

    “I know Clyde will take this very hard,” said his wife, Gaynell.

    Duckworth was a two-time All-Star who combined with Kersey, Drexler, Terry Porter and Buck Williams to form the starting five for the Portland team that thrived under coach Rick Adelman, winning Western Conference titles in 1989-90 and 1991-92. The 1990-91 Blazers had an NBA-best regular-season record of 63-19 but were beaten by the Los Angeles Lakers in the West finals.

    A second-round pick by San Antonio out of Eastern Illinois in 1986, Duckworth was traded after 14 games with the Spurs his rookie year to Portland for Walter Berry. He spent seven seasons with the Blazers, the last six as a starter, and was the NBA’s Most Improved Player for the 1987-88 season.

    Duckworth also played with Washington, Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Clippers before retiring after 11 seasons in 1996-97.

    On Monday in Tillamook, Duckworth was hanging with adoring kids, signing autographs and doing an interview on the Blazers’ radio affiliate there. On Monday night, the big man was gone.

    “It just goes to show,” Johnson said, “that no one is promised tomorrow.”

  12. #12

    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    that's too bad. he seemed like a good guy. it sounds like as they said in one of the articles that he weighed considerably more than his paying weight of 300 pounds- that he probably died of a heart attack.

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    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    Quote Originally Posted by clownskull View Post
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    that's too bad. he seemed like a good guy. it sounds like as they said in one of the articles that he weighed considerably more than his paying weight of 300 pounds- that he probably died of a heart attack.
    Most estimated his weight at around 500. It could have even been a little more. He was huge.

  14. #14
    Administrator/ The Real Jay Jay@Section12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    Duckworth dies of heart failure

    By Brian Hamilton | Tribune staff reporter
    3:24 PM CDT, August 27, 2008

    Former Thornridge and Eastern Illinois star Kevin Duckworth died Monday due to congestive heart failure, according to the Oregon state medical examiner's office.

    Duckworth, 44, passed away while on a trip to the Oregon coast to host a free basketball clinic. The medical examiner's report said the cause of death "was attributed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with congestive heart failure."

    Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle. The medical examiner's office concluded that it, along with Duckworth's hypertension, resulted in an enlarged heart that had been "failing for some time."

    Though talented, the 7-foot Duckworth battled weight issues from his days at Thornridge, and Eastern Illinois had him work with a nutritionist in his four years there. According to Francine Duckworth, Kevin's younger sister, both his brothers and his father also died of congestive heart failure.

    Details for a memorial service were not yet available Wednesday afternoon.,4821287.story
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
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    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
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    Gold Swagger Hoop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    Sad. I always liked him and those Blazer teams.
    "Just look at the flowers ........ BANG"

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kevin Duckworth of the Blazers has passed away

    Sad that he [passed away, but I have to say somehting about "those Blazer teams" - They were probably the dumbest really good team I can remember. The number of bad shots they took was incredible - very undisciplined for such a good team

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