Blazers’ Corner: The Last Time Portland Won a Playoff Series


Making the Playoffs, Great… But When Was the Last Time Portland Won a Series?

IN THE YEAR 2000.  IN THE YEAR 2000!!!!  Sorry, not only was I having a flashback to Late Night with Conan O’Brien, but I was also thinking about the last time the Portland Trail Blazers actually won a playoff series.

Blazers Jazz Playoffs - AP-Kevork Djansezian
The last time Portland won a series, Arvydas Sabonis and Karl Malone were battling in the paint. | (AP:Kevork Djansezian) 

That’s right, it’s been that long.  To put it in perspective, every other team in the Western Conference has managed to win at least one series in that span.  This includes some pretty terrible LA Clippers and Golden State Warriors teams in the mid-00s.  But even they managed to have one year where they broke through (LA in ’06, Golden State in ’07 shocking the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks).

Because it’s been so long, I thought I’d take a look back at what was popular/normal in THE YEAR 2000 just to depress Blazers fans even more reiterate how long it’s been.  All of these stats and facts were taken from

Price of Gas:  $1.26

Wow, just wow.  The less said the better with this one.

Tiger Woods becomes the youngest player to win a Grand Slam in Golf

And we all thought he was well on his way to passing Jack Nicklaus and becoming the greatest of all time.  Instead, the Mrs. decides to take up the game by using Tiger’s head as a golf ball uncovering a web of lies on Tiger’s part.  He hasn’t been the same since all the infidelity stopped.  Think about that for a second.

The 2000 Presidential Election ends with George W. Bush defeating Al Gore despite more than a month of disputes of the final tally in Florida

Bush vs Gore - Rick McKay
It was too close to call in 2000. | (Rick McKay)

Now this was a mess.  We all thought Bush had won and then the “Hanging Chad” joined the lexicon delaying the inevitable.  This event will forever be immortalized by this gentlemen.  Never has an individual been more confused about anything ever.


Guess what?  The lights stayed on, Skynet did not become self-aware and mass hysteria did not occur as dogs and cats remained somewhat agitated by one another.

51 Million viewers watch the first season finale of the reality show Survivor

Thus beginning the horrible, brain-cell killing, thought-it-was-a-fad-but-really-it’s-here-to-stay epidemic that is reality television.  Can you tell I don’t watch any of it?

Popular Music 

The Dandy Warhols -
The Dandy Warhols! Remember them. | (

You had your boy bands (N-Sync, 98 Degrees, Backstreet Boys), female pop stars (Britney Spears, Pink, Christina Aguilera), indie bands going mainstream (Red Hot Chili Peppers), emerging UK rock giants (Coldplay) and a Pacific Northwest band creatively named The Dandy Warhols.

Popular Movies

It’s hard to follow a great movie year like 1999 (The Matrix, Fight Club, Office Space, American Beauty, The Green Mile, Three Kings, Election, etc..) and unfortunately, 2000 is not remembered fondly.  Sure you had Gladiator, Traffic, Wonder Boys (I threw that in myself.  It wasn’t popular) and Meet the Parents, but there was also bad blockbusters like Mission: Impossible II, Scary Movie and The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.

What was I doing in 2000

I can tell you what I wasn’t doing yet:

Driving with a license, smiling with my new straight teeth, graduating high school, discovering Arrested Development and breaking free of those totally awkward teenage years.

Blazers Team - Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports
A successful season for the Blazers is a series win in the playoffs. | (USA TODAY Sports: Kyle Terada) 

Why have I spent this entire Blazers column not talking about the Blazers?  Because I’m 30 now and I just realized they didn’t win a series in my 20s.  That’s how long it’s been since Portland won a playoff series.

Making the playoffs is great.  Portland has done it in 30 of their 44 seasons which is something the organization should be proud of.  But they’ve only managed to win at least one series in 9 of those 30 appearances.  They’ve lost in the first round in 9 out of their last 11 trips to the post season.

Is this the year they get over the hump?  And by hump I mean winning one series.  Blazer basketball in May, that’s all fans are asking for at this point.  Just a hint at the possibility of a team that might eventually be good enough to go deep in the playoffs.
















Passionate about movies, sports and writing, Ryan hails from Bend but lives in Springfield now. He earned his college degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and hopes to one day write a novel. He also enjoys sunsets and long walks on the beach.

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