By Jonathan Ryan Davis
The sweetest passing big man of all time enters the Basketball Hall of Fame tomorrow. Arvydas Sabonis will be remembered by Blazers fans as a dominant big man who could shoot and pass like a guard. He had remarkable touch around the basket and was a stalwart on the defensive end, swatting away a shot and swiping a Spalding each game while corralling over seven boards—all of this during his 30 somethings on two bad knees.
Everyone in Blazers nation wonders what would have happened if our Cold War enemies had allowed Sabonis to leave Lithuania and join the Blazers in 1986 when Portland drafted him. Would the Blazers have had a “Three Pete” from 1990-92? Would Sabas and The Glide have been a more dynamic duo than Jordan and Pippen? Would Sabonis have become a top five center of all time in the NBA? We will explore these questions when TANY launches our series in the fall of “What If.”
In the meantime, let’s reflect on and appreciate the seven seasons Sabas played in Portland. Let’s remember his unique and inspiring style of play. Let’s honor one of the greatest big men in the history of basketball.
Congratulations Sabas, you deserve it!