Many of you probably heard that Maurice Lucas died last night. Maurice was mostly known as a basketball sports legend and a fabulous friend of our great city.
I had the honor of being his friend. One of the toughest, nicest guys I ever met. He had an infectious twinkle in eyes whenever he shared a good story. Maurice was an up-attitude, warm, engaging, gentle giant. A true gentleman with a big, big kind heart.
When I was 18 years old, I witnessed his courage and toughness as he led the Portland Trailblazers to an NBA Championship. When I was in my late 30's and 40's, I witnessed his dedication to raising thousands of dollars for local charities. We shared time on the golf course, scotch and cigars; we talked sports, exchanged business ideas and sometimes I'd even get the inside scoop. I loved every moment when I got a chance to hang out with Big Mo!
When I turned 50, Maurice and his wife Pam were at my wedding and 50th birthday party just before he started battling bladder cancer. Their gift to us was a bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne. We've been saving it for the right moment. The moment is tonight!
We toast you, Big Mo, for all the moments you shared with us on your journey.