Harry Glickman, who based the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association and was extensively thought of the daddy of professional sports activities in Oregon, died on Wednesday in Portland. He was 96.
His demise, at an assisted dwelling heart, was confirmed by his son, Marshall.
Mr. Glickman held many titles for the Trail Blazers: government vice chairman from 1970 to 1987, basic supervisor from 1976 to 1981, president from 1987 to 1994. He was additionally a tireless promoter and a civic-minded entrepreneur in an period that predated the rise of billion-dollar sports activities franchises.
“He was just one of those pure guys who loves the state and the city he came from,” Chris McGowan, the Trail Blazers’ president, mentioned in a telephone interview, “and he did everything he could to enrich it.”
Mr. Glickman helped form the Trail Blazers into one of many N.B.A.’s nice success tales. Like most growth groups, they received off to a gradual begin. But, led by Bill Walton at heart, they gained a championship of their seventh season, they usually often made the playoffs and constantly drew capability crowds for a few years.
Mr. Glickman had lengthy since retired from his front-office place when Mr. McGowan took cost of the staff in 2012, however he nonetheless valued the group and the town he known as residence. He sought out Mr. McGowan, who was relocating from Los Angeles, after his introductory information convention and prolonged an invite: How about they take a tour of Portland the following day?
“He came and got me, and we literally spent three hours driving around Portland,” Mr. McGowan recalled. “He showed me all the landmarks, where the Blazers had their championship parade, the basketball courts where Bill Walton spent time. I’ll never forget it.”
Harry Glickman was born in Portland on May 13, 1924, and raised there by his mom, Bessie, who labored within the garment business, after she and his father, Sam, divorced.
He enrolled at the University of Oregon to research journalism, however left to spend three years with the Seventh Army’s 12th Armored Division throughout World War II. He was elevated to the rank of workers sergeant whereas serving in Europe, and was awarded a Bronze Star.
After returning residence, Mr. Glickman accomplished his diploma and hoped to write about sports activities for considered one of Portland’s two every day newspapers. But, unable to land a job immediately, he gravitated to the enterprise of selling sports activities. He staged boxing occasions and lured the Harlem Globetrotters and the National Football League to Portland for exhibitions.
He additionally promoted concert events, although he soured on the expertise of working with high-profile entertainers after Judy Garland canceled a few tour stops at the final minute.
“She made a sports fan out of me,” Mr. Glickman as soon as mentioned, in accordance to The Oregonian.
Mr. Glickman was the president of an organization known as Oregon Sports Attractions and, in 1960, based a minor-league hockey staff, the Portland Buckaroos, which went on to win three league championships in entrance of adoring crowds.
Convinced that Portland was a viable residence for big-time sports activities, he sought to land one of many N.F.L.’s growth franchises within the mid-1960s. He acquired assurances from his buddy Pete Rozelle, then the league’s commissioner, that it might occur if the town had been to approve the development of a 40,000-seat stadium, the Delta Dome. But the proposal fell quick by about 10,000 votes, and the Delta Dome was doomed.
Mr. Glickman was undeterred. As the N.B.A. sought to develop in 1970, he lined up a number of rich traders to purchase one of many league’s new franchises for $three.7 million.
The Trail Blazers weren’t a direct success. Fewer than 5,000 followers confirmed up on Oct. 16, 1970, for the staff’s first residence recreation, a 115-112 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers that supplied false hope: The Trail Blazers had been one of many worst groups within the league via their first 4 seasons of existence.
But Mr. Glickman had a motto, “You win with good people,” and the Trail Blazers finally grew right into a winner. Walton joined the staff in 1974 after an All-American profession at the University of California, Los Angeles, and later helped lead the Trail Blazers to the championship, an achievement that Mr. Glickman described as “total, complete ecstasy.” Mr. Glickman’s autography, “Promoter Ain’t a Dirty Word,” was printed after that season.
The staff continued to be enormously standard, promoting out 814 straight residence video games between 1977 and 1995 and successful the Western Conference championship in 1990 and 1992.
Even after Mr. Glickman retired, he remained an energetic presence across the group. He was president emeritus till he died.
Before the coronavirus pandemic interrupted the present N.B.A. season, the Trail Blazers had been within the midst of celebrating their 50th anniversary. As a part of the festivities, the staff had organized a sequence of “Decade Nights,” with dinners for invited company.
Mr. Glickman attended all of them, Mr. McGowan mentioned, visiting with former gamers and colleagues and sharing tales in regards to the outdated days.
Marshall Glickman, who spent a number of years as an government with the Trail Blazers, mentioned in an interview that he had visited his father a couple of week earlier than he died and located him talking on the telephone with Clyde Drexler, one of many former players who had kept in close touch.
In addition to his son, Mr. Glickman is survived by his wife, Joanne (Matin) Glickman; his daughters, Jennifer Glickman-Hett and Lynn Glickman; and three grandchildren.
Last year, Mr. Glickman received the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.