Jim Barnett, a former Trail Blazer whose shot led to Bill Schonely, screaming "Rip City," honored the longtime broadcaster after his passing. Apr 3, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; Golden State Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams (left) and broadcaster Jim Barnett before the game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Schonely, the original and longtime voice of the Portland Trail Blazers, passed away on Saturday at the age of 93. Schonely received many well-deserved tributes as news of his death reached the public. But late on Saturday night, one came in from a person who will always be connected with Schonely.

In their inaugural 1970-71 season, Portland was playing against the Los Angeles Lakers. One of the Blazers, Jim Barnett, took a long shot that in 2009, Jason Quick, then of The Oregonian, described as “ill-advised, taken much too quickly and from far too long of distance.” Despite all of that, the shot went in. When it did, Schonely screamed “Rip City! All right!” Nobody, especially Schonely, had any idea where “Rip City” came from. But the nickname stuck.

Barnett was only a Blazer for that one season. He later played for the Golden State Warriors, the then New Orleans Jazz, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers. After his playing career, he returned to the Warriors and had a long broadcasting career of his own. But because “Rip City” has become so synonymous with not only the Trail Blazers, but Portland itself, he’s an important part of the franchise’s history.

And on Saturday night, Barnett sent out a pair of tweets, paying tribute to the man who made one of Barnett’s jumpers so famous.

“I can’t let the day go by without honoring the life of former Portland Trailblazer play by play announcer Bill Schonely. Bill died earlier today at the age of 93. He was an icon in Portland for over 50 years. We both started with the Blazers together in the inaugural 1970-71 season for the Portland Trailblazers. Bill was a kind and caring man, and a true professional in his craft. We shared many great moments during that first season, as well as through the years. R.I.P. Bill! “Rip City” @trailblazers”

[Jim Barnetton Twitter, Oregonlive.com]

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