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Remembering Duckworth

Sad news out of Oregon today where former NBA center and one-time Washington Bullet Kevin Duckworth has passed away at the age of 44. A cause of death has not yet been released.

Duck wasn't a Bullet long - he spent 1993-1995 with the franchise - and he's best remembered as a key piece to those really strong Portland teams of the late 80's and early 90's.

I was a huge Clyde Drexler fan as a kid (actually asked my mom for some low-top bright red Kanagroos one Christmans beause that's what Clyde wore that season) and will always remember those Blazer teams as among the most entertaining in NBA history. They could really fill it up.

Duck was a two-time all-star and one of the more likeable players in the league because of his rotund frame and big smile. To me, as a 33-year old, it's simply shocking to see another player I grew up watching pass away at such a young age.

.

By Ivan Carter  |  August 26, 2008; 1:06 PM ET
 
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Comments

I was at EIU when Duck was playing there. He was a jovial and friendly guy throughout his time at college and a person that pretty much everyone on campus would recognize in a crowd as he was heads and shoulders above everyone else. Truly a sad loss to go this early in his life.

Posted by: Penguinsix | August 26, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Duck was one of those guys that just never seemed to work out here. That could have been because he never seemed to work out. That seemed to be a period when the Bullets had a series of guys that ate their way out of the league.

John Williams looked so promising and then tore up a knee and gained the nick name "hotplate" when his weight balloned during recovery. "Dinner Bell" Turpin was another guy that comes to mind. I just have this picture in my head of Wes taking the team out to cruise for buffets on the team bus.

But it's a shame to hear about Duck, and Gee Ivan, how do you think it feels to be older then these guys that drop dead?

Posted by: GM | August 26, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

If I recall, Duckworth had a rep for being somewhat emotionally fragile. There were things written about how he'd go into a real funk over the criticisms he received about his play, particularly when they centered on his weight, and some of his teammates in Portland would talk about how important it was to keep his spirits up to get him to play well.

Posted by: kalorama | August 26, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

It's a sad story, particularly if his death turns out to be related to obesity. Heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes are all common among black males. We all need to get out there and exercise and watch what we eat. He's only one year older than I am. It's definitley an eye opener. RIP.

Posted by: mark | August 26, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Why do you all show YOUR pictures, but not the person you are talking about? Duckworth has not played for a long time. I could use his picture to relate to your story.

Posted by: jim | August 26, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

With Clide the Glide and Duck. et.al, the Portland Trail Blazers played both Chicago and Detroit to a almost NBA championship. The team was an inspiration for our city and for the NBA during times when codes of acceptable behavior was beginning to go south.

Posted by: David Campbell | August 26, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Today all of Portland is mourning this wonderful man. RIP big fella.

Posted by: Chris | August 26, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

hey,gm if you dont have anything good to say then dont say anything at all.at least duck kept his nose clean and he was an inspiring role model. so if you dont mind if you dont have anything good to say SHUT UP!!

Posted by: patrickg | August 26, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I am Kevin’s cousin and I take offense at GM’s comments. Regardless of what he did, everyone could learn something from his life. He may have been large in stature, but so was his heart, mind and soul.

Can you say the same thing GM. I doubt it. Because if you could you would know better than to put something so ugly on this very sad day. You may be alive, but because of your words, your soul is dead.

Posted by: PJ | August 26, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

It's such a shame to lose someone like this so young. I was fortunate enough to watch Kevin throughout high school and college. He always seemed to kick my high schools butt(Thornwood). When I attended Eastern Illinois, Kevin stood out and naturally so. He was a larger than life character and will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family on the south side of Chicago.

Posted by: DanM | August 26, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Kevin was a friend of mine here in Portland. He was a great man with a wonderful heart.

Those that take such a sad day to make some wisecrack about him could take a lesson or two from Kevin's life.

Posted by: A Friend | August 26, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

He died because he ate too much and he had a heart attack. That is pathetic and also if you have Christian values a sin of glutony. And, if I am to understand the above comments, his carreer was shortened because he could not control his eating habits. Decisions and consequences.

Posted by: Lynn | August 26, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

hey lynn you need TO SHUT UP TOO. because we are talking about someone that died,hell for what its worth you got people that are weighing 95 pounds that are dropping dead!!! you dont know what happened. SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: patrickg | August 26, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

way to go Lynn - real "Chistian" of you. Duck was someone who succeeded in spite of his frailties - a true role model. Oh, I forgot, "Christians" like you are without frailties (ie., sin) - why don't you just go bomb some Islamic children and call it a day

Posted by: jdub | August 26, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

RIP big fella. I loved watching Kevin play during his time with the Blazers. Those were some very entertaining teams and Kevin was a very big part of their success.

Posted by: ADS26 | August 26, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

people that call themselves christians and then make such rude and hateful comments should pray for forgiveness.

we will miss you duck!!

Posted by: doll | August 26, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

R.I.P. Duck! I remember that patented one handed push shot from your dayz in Portland running with Clyde, Terry Porter, Clifford Robinson & Co.

Posted by: G$ | August 26, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Its obvious Lynn you've never done anything wrong in your life, perfect i'm sure except for those heartless comments you just made, show some compassion and class PLEASE!!!!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag@aol.com | August 26, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Duck was a big part of some great Blazer teams back in the late 80's and early 90's, not to mention a fan favorite who was well respected in the Portland community. How he performed here with the Bullets is not worth mentioning on such a sad day. Did anyone bother to read that Duck was on a 17-city tour through Oregon promoting the Blazers when he passed away? I can't think of any Wizard in recent memory except Wes Unseld who ever did anything to promote the team after retiring.

People should be sending their condoloences and prayers to his family & friends on his early passing.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 26, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

R.I.P. Duck! I remember that patented one handed push shot from your dayz in Portland running with Clyde, Terry Porter, Clifford Robinson & Co.

Posted by: G$ | August 26, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

GM + Lynn = Bags of Sh*t

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Kevin is one of the last approachable professional athletes. As big in stature as he was, he had a youthful heart and soul. He was a giver. Where can we find that in today's professional athletes?

Posted by: KDF | August 26, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

In the late 1980s, when he first came to be a Blazer, Kevin once lived across the street from the grade school where my son practiced for Little league. He often came over to the field to walk his puppy/dog and chat with the parents and kids - once giving an impromptu tour of his made-to-order kitchen (very tall counter tops!) for my husband and I. He was always friendly and always remembered us. We will miss running into him - he was an asset to our community here in Portland and to the Blazers and the fans.

Posted by: CBL | August 26, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

In the late 1980s, when he first came to be a Blazer, Kevin once lived across the street from the grade school where my son practiced for Little league. He often came over to the field to walk his puppy/dog and chat with the parents and kids - once giving an impromptu tour of his made-to-order kitchen (very tall counter tops!) for my husband and I. He was always friendly and always remembered us. We will miss running into him - he was an asset to our community here in Portland and to the Blazers and the fans.

Posted by: CBL | August 26, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

In the late 1980s, when he first came to be a Blazer, Kevin once lived across the street from the grade school where my son practiced for Little league. He often came over to the field to walk his puppy/dog and chat with the parents and kids- once giving an impromptu tour of his made-to-order kitchen (very tall counter tops!) for my husband and I. He was always friendly and always remembered us. We will miss running into him - he was an asset to our community here in Portland and to the Blazers and the fans.

Posted by: CBL | August 26, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

RIP Duck.

I'm only posting this link b/c Mike Lee had a blog topic on this dude:

http://news.yahoo.com/story//nm/20080826/us_nm/dre_dc

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 26, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Kevin was such a friendly person. He would come into the hardware store where I work and everyone loved to visit with him. You could see him from all over the store because he towered over the shelves. I know speaking for myself and coworkers, we will miss seeing his smiling face in our store. Good bye my hero!

Posted by: KAYLENE | August 26, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I cared very much for Kevin.He was truly a gentle man with a big heart.I used to make his sandwiches for him at Mulino store, thats how I got to know him .He was truly one of the nicest guys I've ever meant.He loved animals as much as I do. He opened his home to me and let me spend time over their with him and the animals.He was always so kind never looking down on anyone.I painted him two Elk ceramics that he put in his trophy room, he seemed so proud of them. We both hunted and fished so we had some things in common to talk about.He always treated me with great respect,I always got a big hug when I left.I cried today when my mom called me with the sad news I lost a friend someone very special. people loved him how could you not.Its been five years since I last seen him. I got married and moved to Central Oregon.I never forgot Kevin and I kept in in my prayers.I can only hope I will see him again in Heaven someday. Please don't judge people by the way they look.Look into the heart the soul of a person thats whats real.Good bye my friend I will always love you and never forget you.Love always, Kami

Posted by: Kami Shank | August 26, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

tis a shame, to short of a life. RIP Duck

Posted by: ps posse | August 26, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I often shot around and lightly scrimmaged with Kevin at the RIverPlace Athletic Club in Portland i 1994-95. If you ever met him, then you could never say a mean thing about the guy. Easy going, funny and didn't take anything to seriously (except catching fish) Critics be damned,I wish there were more Kevin Duckworth's in professional sports. By no coincidence, I lost interest in the NBA shortly after those great Blazer teams of the late 1980's and early 1990's. What I would give to have professional athletes with more personal integrity these days.

Posted by: DLandrey | August 26, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Could you please post my comments that I sent in.Thanks Kami Shank

Posted by: Anonymous | August 26, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Duckworth was an excellent player, and I never heard anyone say anything bad about him all the years I lived in Oregon.

He scored his share of points on a team that included Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Jerome Kersey, Buck Williams, and Clifford Robinson. His rebounding stats could have been even better, but he was playing good team basketball, boxing out the opposing center so Williams, Kersey, and Drexler could hit the boards.

Posted by: Craig | August 26, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Here is a pic of Kevin signing "The Duck" on one of our race cars last Fall

Such a nice guy, RIP Kevin :(

http://img516.imageshack.us/img516/6844/dsc01006il8.jpg

Posted by: Team AFP | August 26, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Kevin is one of the most decent human beings in my family. People shouldn't judge a book by its cover....kevin was a good person as well as a good basketball player. He was friendly to everyone and was well respected. You will be truly missed and I LOVE YOU CUZ..REST IN PEACE.

Posted by: willie williams | August 26, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm from Detroit and was still living there when the Blazers played the Pistons in the FInals. I used to really enjoy watching that Blazers squad, with Drexler, Duckworth, Porter, and the rest. That was some great ball being played.

Posted by: kalorama | August 26, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Oh, my dearest friend Kevin….
My heart aches knowing that we will not be having our daily chats about life!!
Our special love for one another will live forever!!
I will always remember the way your whole face lit up when you smiled… your laugh was one in a million!!
I will never forget playing for the Double "O" Duck's softball team, feeding your Australian Porcupine or your mountain lion or you, Shaun and I hanging out after your games, heading to Orchards/Vancouver, Washington to check out the opening of your new restuarant, or having you over to Moms house to help hand out candy at Halloween... (loved the looked on the kids faces when you answered the door)... living through sooooo many years with you have made my life more full!! Being there for you when your brother passed, your father passing and your mom having a steal plate placed in her head... and for you to be there for me and my family when my mother passed was priceless!!
Your kind heart and wonderful hugs that gave me the sense of security will be missed...
Rest in Peace Kevin… You will be missed!
Love,
Corrie Brock and family from Beaverton, Oregon
Corriebrock@yahoo.com

Posted by: Corrie Brock ~ Beaverton, Oregon | August 27, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

"Duck was one of those guys that just never seemed to work out here. That could have been because he never seemed to work out. That seemed to be a period when the Bullets had a series of guys that ate their way out of the league.

John Williams looked so promising and then tore up a knee and gained the nick name "hotplate" when his weight balloned during recovery. "Dinner Bell" Turpin was another guy that comes to mind. I just have this picture in my head of Wes taking the team out to cruise for buffets on the team bus.

But it's a shame to hear about Duck, and Gee Ivan, how do you think it feels to be older then these guys that drop dead?

Posted by: GM | August 26, 2008 2:01 PM "

What poor taste and poor comments coming from GM about someone who just died. It's sad.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 27, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

To all,

I know this blog is only supposed to be sports related, so I will try to be brief. To the many fans/family members/friends of Kevin, my thoughts and prayers go out to you. He was somebody's son, brother, father & husband and this topic should only offer sensitive words. Let's keep opinions about how well he played while with the Bullets away from this. He had some great moments in his career and played on a level that many have not/will never attain. As for the "Christian" comment, I am one too. No, we are not perfect and we put our foot in our mouths sometimes. That is clearly wrong. We all need forgiveness from God for our mistakes in life. Please don't generalize and think that all Christians are heartless. Thanks and God bless.

Posted by: newguy | August 27, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Go to www.dalockerroom.com for news on sports, music, politics, women and more.

Posted by: DLR | August 27, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I believe that the Portland Trailblazers team with a starting five of Kevin Duckworth, Buck Williams, Jerome Kersey, Terry Porter and Clyde "the glide" Drexler with Danny Ainge and Cliff Robinson coming off the bench was one of the most underrated team in the history of the NBA. RIP Kevin!

Posted by: Dave, | August 27, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I just want to make a brief, to-the-point comment on GM's comment regarding Kevin.

Totally incomprehensible that you would take this time to air your personal opinions on Kevin's eating habits!!! Do you actually know what they were? Were you eating with him? How do you know that his condition was not perpetuated by "genetics", and that the good-shape that he worked so hard to maintain while in the league caused for him to go above and beyond, due to an inherited deficiency or the like.

If you can't contribute to the solace and comfort for those that loved Kevin for the special qualities he exuded from within, which caused others to think of him in such a fine manner, really then, you should keep your unwelcomed comments to yourself!!

Another word that may come to mind when speaking of Kevin is..."class-act!" Quite obviously, that's not a description that will label you now, nor once you're gone.

To the family and friends of Kevin Duckworth, my prayers are certainly with you.

Posted by: Old Friend - J.Gray | August 27, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

So young, so sad... The big guy could play and onbviously he could reach out to people in fine ways. I wish the Bullets had him in his prime so the fans could be more appreciative of him!

Posted by: khrabb | August 27, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to read the comments from people who knew Kevin. Thanks for sharing them.

Just ignore the ignorant comments. The Internet seems to attract a few folks like that, and life is too short to worry about those sorts of people, as Kevin's passing illustrates.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 27, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Duckworth was my cousin and my big brother in Christ. He gave his all to his family and friends. Those who truly knew him appreciated him long before he ever played a game in the NBA and some of those people reside in Phoenix, Illinois. So long my cousin and thanks for the great times we had in P-Town. I will miss you and see you in Glory. Your greatest fan JD.

Posted by: jd | August 27, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

It's reall sad that in a moment of pain and loss for the family and friends of Kevin Duckworth,GM would make such a classless remark. While what he said was insulting,what Lynn said was said with intent and mean spiritedness and she had the nerve to claim to be a christian.Lynn you're no christian you're an idiot.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

anonymous. can't a christian also be an idiot or are they mutually exclusive

RIP Duck

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

GM, when DC88 accuses you of bad taste and isn't laughed out of the room, it's probably time to step up and apologize.

Posted by: | August 31, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter if GM apologizes or not...he's still a foul idiot!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

GM is a pompous moron....not surprised by his comments.

Posted by: Batman | August 31, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Holy crap, Ivan! Publish a new post already before DCMan88 runs out of names to post under in order to bash GM.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

GM is a moron..I must agree.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Can we please get off GM's back? He's an outstanding contributor to this board -- his opinions are well-reasoned and his posts informative.

I don't see how it's disrespectful to say that Duckworth's career in Washington was a disappointment. It was. He was a highly skilled center who never seemed to have the fire in the belly to be an elite player, although he had the potential, IMO. He was soft, plain and simple. Nice array of offensive moves, good touch around the basket, could move reasonably well up and down the court. But he never was a "take over the game" type of player, and could have been.

Now, this is not to denigrate him in any way as a person. It sounds like he was much loved, and contributed a lot to his communities. That's wonderful. But those of us who don't know him can't speak to those issues -- I'm glad others have contributed their memories.

But the insults hurled at GM have just gone overboard. He's not a cheap-shot artist, or guy who lives to stir up trouble. You may agree or disagree with the appropriateness of his remarks, but I'm sure, given his history, he wasn't trying to disrespect Duckworth.

RIP, Kevin.

Posted by: Keithinator | September 2, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Nice post Keithinator - I agree 100%

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Timing is everything it's not as much what he said as it is when and where he said it. He chose a blog site remembering a recently deceased ball-players life and carreer to make that statement.Having said that I dont find what he said half as disgusting as what Lynn said and I wonder why noone has taken her to task on that. I guess it's easier to just attack GM(not right)

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"Timing is everything it's not as much what he said as it is when and where he said it. He chose a blog site remembering a recently deceased ball-players life and carreer to make that statement.Having said that I dont find what he said half as disgusting as what Lynn said and I wonder why noone has taken her to task on that. I guess it's easier to just attack GM(not right)

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 4:15 PM "

GM's BS is beyond ridiculous...kicking dirt on a man's grave.

As written on this blog, a relative of KD was offended.

To date, no one has read an apology from GM'er, although there have been plenty from the peanut gallery coming onto this blog to make an excuse for someone who hasn't even apologized.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 2, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh please. Many more people have disapproved of GMs comments. About 3 or 4 posts have defended him, so I have no idea what "peanut gallery" you are talking about. And since when did you become the moral high ground of this blog? You have already stated your disapproval of GMs comments so lets move on. Lets try and talk basketball and not resort to personal attacks, or you are just as classless as GM is.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"Oh please. Many more people have disapproved of GMs comments. About 3 or 4 posts have defended him, so I have no idea what "peanut gallery" you are talking about. And since when did you become the moral high ground of this blog? You have already stated your disapproval of GMs comments so lets move on. Lets try and talk basketball and not resort to personal attacks, or you are just as classless as GM is.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 7:59 PM "

Shut da hell up!

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 2, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I second Keithenator's sentiments regarding the 88man and GM and the plea to Ivan; please oh please, post something new so we don't have to endure the pathetic mewling of DC88 and his band of pseudonyms regarding his recently attained sensitivity.

The Duck was an NBA baller of some note and therefore a public figure, once you enter that realm you are open to public comment. GM's suggestion that the Duck was a sensualist and tucked into his pasta putanessca with a little more enthusiasm than he might have applied to his workouts is a sling or arrow that I think the Duck would have shed like, well water off a duck's back.

His outrageous and sublime fortune was in attaining the nearly unattainable heights of an NBA career and it sound like he enjoyed himself along the way. I'm just guessing but he might even get a little chuckle out of GM's post.

Posted by: Myshkin | September 2, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Don't bother begging Ivan or his higher-ups to do anything regarding DC88. It's wasted time.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Munchkin is a scumbag just like GM'er.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 2, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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