HoopsHype Maurice Lucas rumors

November 1, 2010 Updates

Maurice Lucas, the fierce power forward known as "The Enforcer" who helped lead the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA title, has died after a long fight with bladder cancer. He was 58. Lucas, who in later years was an assistant coach with the Blazers, died Sunday at his home in Portland, the team said. Lucas joined Portland in the 1976 ABA dispersal draft and averaged a team-high 20.2 points and grabbbed 11.2 rebounds per game in the 1976-77 championship season. His No. 20 was retired by the Blazers in 1988. At public appearances, fans often greeted Lucas with cries of "Luuuuuuke!" His competitive demeanor on the court was in contrast to his gentle nature off it. "We have lost a champion of a man," Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan said in a statement. "Maurice was a great man and a great friend. He battled his illness like the warrior he was on the basketball court." ESPN.com

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