The Trail Blazers organization mourns the passing of former Trail Blazer Stan McKenzie. McKenzie died July 21 at the age of 77. McKenzie was selected by Portland in the 1970 NBA expansion draft and spent two-plus seasons with the franchise. A member of Portland’s original 1970-71 team, McKenzie holds the distinction of being the only player to appear in all 164 games for the Trail Blazers during the team’s first two seasons.
Dennis Murphy, a Fullerton businessman whose visionary sports ventures included co-founding the American Basketball Assn., World Hockey Assn., World Team Tennis and Roller Hockey International, died Thursday in Placentia. His death was confirmed by Richard Neil Graham, who edited Murphy’s autobiography. Murphy was 94.
He teamed with Gary Davidson in founding the ABA, which was launched in 1967 and was conceived as a dynamic and fan-friendly challenger to the National Basketball Assn. The ABA’s innovations included the three-point line for field goals, the all-star slam dunk contest and the league’s distinctive red, white, and blue basketball. In need of a superstar, they lucked out when they signed an underclassman from the University of Massachusetts. Julius Erving, nicknamed “Dr. J” for his scoring exploits, fit the bill.